Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Walking Dead and the Retching Fans

I'm not a fan of The Walking Dead myself, but then, I'm not much of a TV viewer, period. But my husband watches the series, so I looked in on a few episodes when it began, partly because of the Georgia locations, and partly because I had read that it was supposed to be a thought provoking look at how people handle a Götterdämmerung.

But even in the beginning, the carnage overshadowed the psychological elements. I've seen a handful of episodes since then, usually when hubs is watching off-season repeats, but I'm still no fan.

The premier for Season 7 that aired on October 23, was sadistic and sickening, with no redeeming qualities whatever that I could see, and for me that description now fits the whole series. I won't be watching it anymore.

I actually think a story about how a people, a culture, handles the collapse of their civilization would make a great TV series or theatrical film, if it was realistic (i.e., not due to a zombie apocalypse). In fact, I think how our Southern ancestors handled the oppression of their region, its economy and culture, for several decades after the civil war, would be fascinating -- although likely not in the hands of leftist Hollywood haters.

A series about surviving civilizational collapse, whether fictional or historical, could be still be thought-provoking, even compelling. The collapse of civilization has occurred numerous times in various parts of the world throughout history, and such catastrophes have already inspired cinematic and television dramas. The reality of societal cataclysm is beginning now in Europe and it's in full swing in Syria -- and some of the atrocities occurring in Syria would make the latest episode of The Walking Dead look like a kid's Halloween special by comparison.

But regardless of how much worse reality can be, last weekend's sadistic television make-believe was over-the-top. The reaction by some viewers that I've seen online echo my thoughts. The series is no longer character driven; it is driven by shock value. One viewer commented that the episode was "snuff porn." Skimming comment threads about the premier and the series itself, I saw many declarations that AMC and the producers had crossed the line, and the viewer would not follow the series anymore.

Reportedly, the Season 7 premier was the second highest-rated episode of the series, so presumably next week's ratings will give an indication of just how sick this sick episode made viewers and fans.

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