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"Fear the Walking Dead" premiered on Sunday on AMC

"The Walking Dead" companion series explores the beginnings of the zombie apocalypse

CNN  — 

After what seemed like months of buildup, we finally got to see “Fear the Walking Dead” on Sunday night.

Fans of the original show, about a group of human survivors in a post-apocalyptic Southeast U.S. overrun with zombies, tuned in to learn about the origins of the outbreak.

This companion series to “The Walking Dead” explores the early days of the zombie apocalypse in Los Angeles. The story is told through the eyes of a blended family whose members are just beginning to realize that something around them is going terribly wrong.

‘Fear The Walking Dead’ devours cable record

Fan reaction to the first “Fear the Walking Dead,” which will air five more episodes this year before returning for a second season in 2016, has been mostly positive.

“My heart has been racing this entire time. It’s like they KNOW how to mess with the viewers!” said one viewer on Twitter.

Here’s what we learned from the premiere:

1. The Los Angeles zombie outbreak may have started in an abandoned church.

At least that’s where things seemed to go bad in that city.

Drug-addicted teen Nick woke up in the church with his girlfriend nowhere to be found – until he saw her enjoying a breakfast of human flesh.

Needless to say, he took off running, but he wasn’t ready to tell anyone what he had seen.

2. Trouble has started in other parts of the country.

One of the troubled students at the high school where Nick’s mother, Madison, works is concerned about reports of strange, deadly happenings in other places. So things may have already started in Rick Grimes’ Georgia.

3. People have no idea what they’re dealing with.

People’s response to the zombies (or the “infected,” as they’re referred to here) has been to run, shoot them or run them over, none of which works effectively (as we know, the only “kill shot” that works is to the head).

The characters – including law enforcement authorities who are attacked by a freshly undead zombie – seem way out of their depth.

4. The zombies look more human than not, other than a little blood or shuffling.

Since these undead died only recently, the main giveaways that they’re zombies are that they shuffle and seem very eager to bite you. There hasn’t been enough time for them to decompose.

5. If your boyfriend stops texting you, he might be a zombie.

We don’t know why the boyfriend of Nick’s sister, Alicia, didn’t meet her for their date and hasn’t responded to her texts. But we can wager a guess …

The story continues at 9 p.m. ET Sunday on AMC.