I will never watch The Walking Dead again. After last night, I’m done with it. Really.And spare me your sanctimonious uber fan status with “It’s just like in the comic book.” I didn’t read the comic book. I don’t care what happens in the comic book.
I’m just not interested in seeing what happens after last night’s season premiere.
No,… I take that back. I’m not just “not interested.”
I’m unsubscribed to my weekly AMC Walking Dead email. I’ve unfollowed them all on Twitter. I’ve deleted the apps and pages on my Facebook page. I don’t want to have anything to do with it anymore.
And I know I’m not alone.
I’m not just “not a fan” anymore.
I know, I know – we’ve all seen violence and gore on the show before. I can hear some of you now… “God, it’s just fake. It’s entertainment.” Or “What kind of a wimp are you if you can’t take this? Maybe you should go, because it gets much worse.” Or “Jeez, you hyper-sensitive liberals, what’s next? Zombie rights?”
By the way, spoiler alert
It’s not about Glenn. It’s not about Abraham. It’s not about Negan.
It’s that I’m not a fan of all of us somehow deciding that sadism and snuff films are now quality entertainment.
Here’s the thing – this isn’t a comic book. It’s a television show. It’s real and it’s moving and it’s graphic. It’s happening right there in your living room. It’s viewed and taken internally in a different way than a comic book. It becomes a part of your home.
I don’t want that in my home.
We’ve watched for six seasons as the violence on TWD got increasingly more intense. The gore got gorier. The deaths became more shocking. The attacks got bigger and bigger.
So… of course, they had to amp it up this year, right? It’s all justifiable in the name of “good TV”, right?
Not in my mind. It used to be about the zombies. It used to be about the human condition and the will to survive. It used to be about wrong vs. right.
Now… not so much. What I saw lat night, was a film maker daring me to continue watching.
As I’ve said to film makers who make films like “Saw” and “Hostel” who seem to get gorier and nastier and more sick with each film, all of the following ones getting worse than the first, each daring us to not get sick, to not look away, to not be disturbed by the content, I will now say to Nicotero and company…. “Okay. I won’t watch anymore. You win. Happy?”
The ever up-ticking episodic violence has reached a level where it’s not just disgusting, it’s disturbing. What’s next? A slow painful disembowelment? Death by gang rape? Draw and quartering someone? Will that be shocking and awe-inspiring enough for viewers? Where will it end?
I guess the idea that these were not zombies that got hacked to pieces, but people we’ve come to love, is what made my stomach churn. I’m no big Glenn fan and I’m certainly no Abraham fan. Heck, if they’d done the same thing to Michonne and Eugene, I would have said the same thing. It was just too much.
And the story lines used to be about how the group helped each other, not how one man bent another to his will in the most sick and sadistic ways possible. Since when does sick and twisted have a place to sit around our living room table.
I’ve long had a problem with television news showing the last moments of someone’s life. Whether it’s a train wreck, a police shooting, a video-taped terrorist attack, or people falling from the World Trade Center towers – I’ve taken issue with using someone’s death to hedge up ratings as they continue to do on the nightly news. It’s a snuff film. Only, it’s news, so it’s legal.
And this was no different. We watched Glenn die. When I looked at him and saw the divot in his head and his eye bulging out while he tried to speak, I decided I was done. It’s not heart-breaking or gut-wrenching… it’s a moment-by-moment play of a man dying in the most brutal way imaginable for “entertainment.”
You realize that is what they say about snuff films too, right?
Entertainment for me was when I watched in the beginning and there was spirit and the drive to survive and create a new place to call home. Entertainment was the fight inside ourselves when faced with a gut wrenching decision to kill someone who looks like a loved one. Entertainment was seeing how horror didn’t kill the desire to be human.
Entertainment was not watching a man grapple with whether or not to cut his own son’s arm off or watch seven people die. I find no joy in that. It crosses a line for me.
And maybe it’s just my line and my little judgment call and my little sense of what’s right and moral. But at least I have a line.
As I’ve watched all these seasons cross lines and break barriers and push further than any other series has, I could never help but wonder – when will it stop? What will the next crossed line be? Where will the go with the violence and the gore? When will enough be enough?
Fortunately for me, I won’t be around to see it.
Sorry, Kirkman. This Kentucky girl is done.
Copyright (c) Liz Carey 2016