Sometimes, TV shows pick up steam after weak premieres.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond is not one of those shows.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 1 Episode 2 was an excruciating watch, and it all comes down to those pesky teens and the terrible writing to support them.
The mythology across the franchise has been a bit all over the place, and the flaws were on full display on "Blaze of Gory," an episode that tried to introduce new elements, but was marred by the worst teenagers on all of TV.
From their names for the zombies to the way they were all scared shitless about going toe-to-toe with members of the undead, it was exhausting.
Maybe the message to take is that people who grow up in shielded communities will not have the survival skills when they are put to the test.
The campus setting and the 10,000 people living there was essentially a community, so probably, many people didn't have to fight with the undead in their lifetime.
Felix: I mean, he was risking the whole alliance by sending those. The Civic Republic doesn't play.
Huck: You really think he may be in some kind of trouble? That Will is? None of his messages said the CR were bad people. Just saying.
Felix: Maybe the facility is in trouble, maybe their whole community is. I don't know.
Huck: Say what you will.
Felix: What, that they are bunch of black wearing paranoids, light years ahead of us in manufacturing fuel and chicory.
There were self-defense classes, though, that should have taught these young ones how to keep themselves safe should disaster strike.
Iris basically wrestling with the walker was more comical than it should have been, which made this episode fall flat pretty much out of the gate.
The teens need to understand that communication is key to survival. If you don't know what everyone else is doing in any given scenario, then you run the risk of getting yourself or someone else killed.
While watching the teens playing board games and hiding out from the threat that lurked below should have been some much-needed levity, it only further fueled my hatred for the characters at the wheel of the story.
Hope's decision to sneak down and get rid of the threat was frustrating, but it did help move the narrative in a direction that was less mind-numbing.
Huck: Say what you will, but they handle their shit. You sure they headed East?
Felix: This road's a straight shot, and you know what's Eat.
Huck: It's a funnel. It will stop them. The second they catch sight of it, they'll be glad they still have a home to go back to.
Hope continues to be the better teen, purely because she does not follow the rules. Maybe if the other teens refused to follow the rules, they would be more street smart and ready to take on the undead forces that want to feast on them.
The horrible thing is that Iris, Elton, and Silas could die, and I wouldn't bat an eye-lid. The only thing they bring to the table is terrible reads.
Hope traversing the world on her own would be infinitely more exciting because the writers have actually bothered to flesh out the character so that she doesn't feel forced.
The standout of "Blaze of Glory," however, was Felix. I suspected Felix and Huck would be way more intriguing characters, and I was not wrong.
Felix's past was heartbreaking. Just as the world was coming to an end, he wanted to seek shelter with his parents, but his bigoted father shut him out because of his sexuality.
Could you imagine a teenager forced to stay outside the house as the world was legitimately coming to an end? That's cold, but it highlighted just how homophobic his father was.
Being shut out of the home has undoubtedly hardened Felix. He was forced to adapt to the world while simultaneously coming to terms with the fact that his parents died refusing his help.
You find yourself face-to-face with one of the dead. To eliminate the threat, you go straight for the brain. A direct stab through the eye-socket is the easiest way.Felix
Had we picked up with twentysomethings, like Felix and Huck, and eliminated the teenagers, the series could have been much better for it.
We could have flashed back to times in their lives without being forced to endure the drivel that we are getting now with teenagers who very clearly lack the common sense to survive.
Huck took a back seat in this hour, but her inevitable flashback episode cannot come soon enough. Nico Tortorella and Annet Mahendru are a match made in TV heaven.
I could watch a series with only those two surviving in the apocalypse. Both characters have energy that bounces off one another, and they have meaningful conversations that help propel their respective arcs forward.
The jury is still out on Elizabeth, but surely, in due course, we'll start to get more information on the fateful decision to wipe out an entire community because of a misplaced map.
Julia Ormond is an excellent actress, and if she's wasted as a cardboard villain, it will be very unfortunate.
Even though the show does not work in many aspects, I dare say many people are tuning in for the mythology alone. We've been promised answers about the helicopter people, and unless we start getting them soon, the ratings will probably dive.
Then again, the ratings are worthless when you consider that this is a 20-part limited series, and work is about to begin on the back half of the series' run.
Iris, let us help.Hope
As things stand, The Walking Dead: World Beyond remains a teen drama with one-dimensional teenagers. If the characters get some organic development in the coming episodes, it could make the series more watchable.
What do you think of the teenagers? Are you digging Felix and Huck more than the others? What do you think of Elizabeth?
Hit the comments below.
Remember you can watch The Walking Dead: World Beyond online right here via TV Fanatic.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond airs Sundays at 10/9c on AMC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.