Tales of the Walking Dead Series-Premiere Recap: Seeking a Friend for the End of The World

Tales of the Walking Dead Series-Premiere Recap: Seeking a Friend for the End of The World

Published August 15, 2022
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I have a real Lucy-holding-the-football relationship with The Walking Dead franchise. I was absolutely wowed by the pilot for the original series — still the show’s best-ever episode — and spent years chasing that high, with increasing frustration, until I finally tapped out during the rise of Negan. I tried Fear the Walking Dead, hoping a new cast and location might inject some life into the franchise before bailing on that in season two. I even gave The Walking Dead: World Beyond a fair shake at this very website, though it quickly became clear that it was doomed to underwhelm as well.

So why am I taking a stab at yet another extension of the increasingly tired Walking Dead franchise? Because I believe that if there is still a Walking Dead for me in 2022, it’s an anthology series. Tales of the Walking Dead promises to discard everything that frustrates me about the franchise by telling a series of one-off standalone stories set in the Walking Dead universe and consequently unbeholden to the characters (or even the tone) of the series proper.

While Tales will never violate the series’ established mythology, it’s also set in a world big enough that basically anything is possible. As a bonus, it allows the series to rope in stars who might not want to commit to an entire TV show but are happy to square off against zombies for a single episode.

And with that guiding principle, how does our first foray into the unknown turn out? Pretty well! “Joe / Evie” is a lurid but remarkably genial look at two survivors, Joe and Evie, who form an unlikely but warm connection as they sift through regrets about someone else.