‘The Strolling Useless: Useless Metropolis’ provides contemporary method to undead franchise

Ryan Ranc, Life&Arts Senior Movie Columnist

“The Strolling Useless: Useless Metropolis,” the brand new spinoff present in “The Strolling Useless” universe, follows Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) as they enterprise by way of the ruins of apocalyptic Manhattan in the hunt for Maggie’s son, Hershel (Logan Kim).

Since “The Strolling Useless” season seven featured the demise of one of many present’s most beloved characters, Glenn (Steven Yeun), it suffered a dip in rankings and views. After this sudden change, solely die-hard followers continued to observe larger-scale tales with extra characters and subplots than the present had ever encountered. The present continued till the sequence finale in season 11, which premiered round when AMC introduced three spinoff exhibits, one being “Useless Metropolis.” “Useless Metropolis” goals to repair points the primary present encountered on the finish of its undead life.

The story of “Useless Metropolis” advantages from a a lot tighter premise. After Maggie finds Negan, she enlists Negan to search out Hershel regardless of his killing Glenn. The pair quickly journey to Manhattan to flee some marshals. The premiere seemingly units up the season to middle across the seek for Hershel, focusing solely on Maggie and Negan somewhat than leaping round quite a few subplots each episode. This narrowed method makes for a way more attractive and bite-sized sequence that will not entice new audiences however might probably carry again outdated followers of the franchise.

Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan give their normal excellent performances. The pair all the time stood out within the authentic present, so their return will excite audiences. Maggie’s palpable hatred towards Negan for killing Glenn feels uncooked and thrilling. Negan’s normal nihilistic allure and Maggie’s drive to avoid wasting her son make for prime stakes as Maggie confronts the ethical complexities of killing others who may have households to return to. Whereas these two extremely proficient actors deserve big-budget roles, seeing them return to their beloved character portrayals will carry a smile to audiences’ faces.

As a setting, Manhattan works remarkably properly. “The Strolling Useless” often explores Atlanta in season one and some scenes in Washington, D.C., towards the present’s finish, so having this sequence happen in Manhattan establishes an uneasy, mysterious tone because the characters be taught to outlive outdoors their aspect. The Walker encounters in episode one mark a number of the most entertaining sequences within the sequence.

“The Strolling Useless: Useless Metropolis’s” first episode is a promising begin to the post-mainline period of the franchise. Whereas it doesn’t provide a lot for brand spanking new audiences, present and previous “The Strolling Useless” followers will discover so much to like on this premiere.