Our nation is currently divided on their feelings about Mexican immigration into the United States, so it is not much of a surprise that viewers of Fear the Walking Dead would likewise be divided over an episode that aired almost entirely in Spanish with English subtitles. From a storytelling standpoint, it made perfect sense, as showrunner Davie Erickson explained to Entertainment Weekly:
I hope that people don’t get frustrated by the subtitles, but creatively, it just made sense. That was not something that I was concerned with and it’s not something that the network ever expressed any worry over either, so it’s just what it is. I mean, if you’re telling a story that’s set in Mexico and the characters are all Spanish-speaking characters, there’s no reason to play it in English. If we had thrown in a character who was English-speaking just to make sure we had some balance between the languages, that would have felt a little bit cheesy, a little bit forced.
A lot of twitter users gave the series props for daring to air the episode mostly in Spanish.
#FearTWD so many Spanish haters… ummm just wtf did you expect with a hispanic cast ? Chill… the wall hasn’t been built yet.
— Scott שאול בן ישוע (@SGrayban) June 19, 2017
This #FearTWD episode is so good I haven’t minded at all that most of it is in Spanish with subtitles. Totally worth watching & reading it.
— Snotgirl (@Fawn_Liebowitz) June 19, 2017
— Rizzy (@A1Rizzy) June 19, 2017
#FearTWD should just continue in Spanish. Following the Daniel Salazar character is where this show should be going.
— David Triana (@dmt1196) June 19, 2017
Wish these subs would actually capture the actual/colorful Spanish dialogue. Props to #FearTWD for taking a risk & doing something so unique
— Early Fans (@EarlyFanatics) June 19, 2017
— David (@DFM2099) June 19, 2017
— Susan Graham (@frecklesgraham) June 19, 2017
However, there were just as many on Twitter who expressed their frustration with all the subtitles in the episode, even if it made total sense creatively.
a spanish episode is hard to get through, but a full spanish episode focused on one character was terrible. episode was a mistake #FearTWD
— ky (@alycified) June 19, 2017
I’m perfectly fine with some Spanish in Tv shows but this whole episode has been in Spanish! ENGLISH please. #FearTWD
— Dustin Wade Cordell (@DCordell_B3) June 19, 2017
— Mamalittle7 (@theschenkstir) June 19, 2017
Tonight’s #FearTWD makes me feel like I’m watching a bad foreign film with English subtitles…
— stefanie (@ItsStefJ) June 19, 2017
The whole fucking show is in Spanish now. It’s fucking bullshit #feartwd
— Kat Splat (@thekat0711) June 19, 2017
I would probably continue to watch “Fear the walking dead” If AMC had the good sense to air an English version in the US. …
— William Schaefer (@Billytech) June 19, 2017
— Stacey Yost (@lilamour) June 19, 2017
I can’t even watch the actors’ performance b/c I have to read subtitles the whole damn episode of #FearTWD Losing interest in this show.
— Angela (@CrazieDogLadie) June 19, 2017
Agree or disagree with the decision, the use of subtitles is not likely to go away anytime soon. The series features a number of Spanish-speaking characters, its set both in Mexico and on the Mexican-American border, and the series has attracted a huge following in Mexico and Latin America. At the very least, it is something one thing that definitely separates Fear the Walking Dead from its parent series, The Walking Dead.
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