The Walking Dead may be ending, but the franchise will continue to live thanks to several spinoffs in the works.
The latest suffers from the jump due to poor characterization, no stakes, and a group of, quite frankly, uninteresting teenagers.
Focusing on the first generation of kids to grow up during the apocalypse could have had legs, but the best way to sum up World Beyond is as a teen melodrama with an apocalyptic backdrop.
Through two episodes, the teens find themselves in a string of deadly situations, but it says a lot about the series because of how little I cared about any of them.
Alexa Mansour leads the cast as Hope, a young woman determined to find her missing scientist father. She doesn't let anyone stand in her way, but she also has a lot of secrets.
Out of the supposedly young characters, Hope is the most well-rounded, and she feels like a character that could be a part of the franchise.
Mansour gives Hope the much-needed vulnerability, allowing you to believe she is a young woman trying to find herself in a world filled with zombies.
Aliyah Royale plays her sister, Iris, and if the first two episodes are anything to go by, she will be in her sister's shadow for much of the series' 20-episode run.
The development for Iris in those two episodes was absurd, and that's problematic when she's supposed to be one of the lead characters.
Royale also gets the corniest dialogue that makes Iris seem dull and uninspired. The actor does her best with what she's given to work with, but what hinders her out of the gate is the poor writing.
Nico Tortorella and Annet Mahendru play the much more exciting characters, Felix and Huck.
Their characters have a dynamic that is unmatched by the two sisters, who are supposed to be at the wheel of the show.
Maybe I expected too much because of the adult subject nature of the two shows that came before, but it's hard to recommend a series that takes no risks.
Despite Felix and Huck getting less screen time than the teens, the actors are series regulars, so if their presence increases throughout the series, it could be worth watching.
Felix, in particular, gets a meaty storyline to work with in the second episode that helps him become the best character on the show.
Huck appears to be along for the ride with Felix, but there's a lot going on for her.
There are hints of a much bigger story with the CRM, but not even Julia Ormond could make it interesting.
The CRM have been a part of the comic book series of The Walking Dead, so at least fans know what to expect, but as far as a long-term storyline featuring them on this particular series, it leaves a lot be desired.
One of the bigger criticisms of The Walking Dead is that the characters have been shielded by communities for too long, and to an extent, I have to agree.
That's what made this third spinoff so alluring to me. A group of teenagers on a mission into the unknown should have been a fresh and exciting spin for the world created by The Walking Dead.
It pains me to say this because of the tremendous respect I have for the franchise, but TWD: World Beyond does not deserve to be set in the same universe as the other two series. It plays like a series that has been rejected by The CW.
From the teen melodrama to the encounters with zombies, everything seems watered down.
The series is obviously targeting a younger audience, and while networks are eager for more younger-skewing content, TWD: World Beyond lacks the excitement of the other series.
Yes, there is a story in there about youngsters growing up in the apocalypse, but the two episodes screened for critics don't instill much hope that the series is going to blossom into something deserving of the brand name.
The show might offer just enough mythology that could connect to the other series to make it worth watching, but if you tune in expecting something close to The Walking Dead or Fear the Walking Dead, you will be sorely disappointed.
The high-stakes battles with walkers have been replaced by teens traversing a wasteland that does not seem as scary as it did with adults at the helm.
And somehow, teens growing up in the battle-torn land cannot bring themselves to harm walkers. Have they been raised to believe walkers have souls? You might get that impression, and we don't have an answer.
But, the touchy-feely nature of the teens does little to endear them to us, if that is, in fact, the reason behind their actions (or lack thereof).
The Walking Dead: World Beyond premieres October 4 on AMC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.