If you happened to be a fan of Carl and Enid (among the many others) back in the day and thought there just wasn’t enough teen angst and moodiness within The Walking Dead Universe, you won’t be disappointed with the World Beyond!

The latest Walking Dead spin-off instantly feels like a kids’ show during the opening moments of the series premiere, as cartoonish, artistic lines are drawn onto random walkers, as if pulling directly from Robert Kirkman’s source material — if for only a moment — before venturing outside into new directions. In this series, the audience is introduced to four teenagers who long for more than life within the protected, gated community of Campus Colony.

You’ve got the workaholic student council president, her rebellious and cranky older sister, the studious (read geeky) smaller male and the strong-but-sensitive larger male venturing out on their own, without parental protection for the very first time in their lives (at least for now). That’s plenty of stereotypical characters to go along with the many storyline tropes featured in the first episode, “Brave.” Their lives are spent doing nothing but hoping and waiting for a better life, which sounds like desperate times deserve desperate measures.

Instantly, I remembered every kid ever appearing on the mothership or its sister show, thinking they might be welcomed on this show, but probably not, as the respective shows’ writers never actually intended to expand their annoying roles. In fact, the kid aspect feels like a gimmick, as the adults are more interesting — come for the demographics, stay for the conspiracy theories!

“Why do you do what you do, when you have what you have?”

Now that’s some quality writing, right there.

Not a whole lot is revealed about Campus Colony before the kids leave, other than the community’s Alliance of the Three (along with Portland and Omaha) to join the Civic Republic probably spelled its doom. The episode’s conclusion shows what looks to be a genocide as its total population of 9,671 people were killed, save for the kids and the two adults who earlier escaped.

Mysterious black helicopters appear (now with Chinooks towing supplies)! Monument Day! Feast Day! And the Civic Republic receives a very brief backstory, although it’s still unknown where it operates or who operates it. What is known is the sisters are searching for their father, who was supposedly whisked away to a New York research facility. The foursome prepares to grow up quickly during their 1,100 mile journey on foot, fighting “the empty” or “empties” (a new term for the undead) as well as this secret shadowy government, until they find their dad.

The truth is out there, and this series seems to be focused on the future, finding the science to bring the world back together again. Or it could be all about dividing the scattered survivors. That part is uncertain. What is clear is that conspiracy theories were first introduced to the franchise via Fear‘s doomsday preppers of Season 3, which was an enjoyable storyline for a bit, but none have officially followed up within either franchise until this shadow government arrived, whisking away one Rick Grimes (The World’s STILL Gonna Need Rick Grimes!), and will soon be explored within the next season of Fear and the upcoming TWD movies.

Already announced to be a two-year limited series, The Walking Dead: World Beyond will have an 11-episode season airing this year. And then there’s two more spin-off series already lined up in the pipeline, getting ready to air once the mothership wraps in two years (Just like we predicted!). So, if you’re wanting to get more background information on what Sherriff Rick will eventually be up against in TWD movies, then you should totally tune into this show.

More information is definitely needed for The Night the Sky Fell and the Four Corners Agreement, whatever that is. Although it feels a bit forced to have two connected characters unite and not realize they’ll eventually become rivals in later episodes… that’s a case of bad foreshadowing. I’m also hoping flipping off others as a major form of communication will soon end, as that gets really old, really quickly (unlike these characters). They will soon learn the necessity to communicate better, much like the new show‘s writers, who I’m already having issues with.

It might actually be easier to survive the Zombie Apocalypse that to watch the entire first season of this show sober. May just have to turn it into a drinking game. Chug every time you cringe or roll your eyes at ridiculous dialogue spoken by or situation created by these young characters… I may not actually make it through an entire episode! Good luck!!!