• Worst Cable TV Show of the Week: Fear the Walking Dead on AMC

    by  • August 25, 2015 • Violence, Worst Cable Show of the Week • 11 Comments

    For brutal and horrific violence, the August 23rd series premiere of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead is the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.  

    The Walking Dead is a program which shows graphic instances of murder, decapitation, and dismemberment, complete with blood, brains, and viscera spraying in all directions as human beings ruthlessly cut down other human beings…and its new prequel Fear the Walking Dead does the same.

    Is such a show suitable for 14 year olds? Should it be aired at 8 o’clock in the evening, where millions of channel-flipping children can watch it, or even just catch a glimpse of its gory mayhem?

    AMC says “yes.” 

    After all, that’s what has made The Walking Dead one of the most-watched series on television. Critics and fans hail its character-driven, tightly-plotted episodes dealing with deep, philosophical themes. But what nobody seems to notice is that Western civilization has produced deep, philosophical drama for millennia without resorting to showing human beings committing atrocities, with brains and blood splattered everywhere.

    Indeed, it often feels as if “the lady doth protest too much” when such fans go on and on about what a sophisticated drama The Walking Dead is. Admittedly, the show may contain some good storytelling; but the repugnant violence and gore is totally unnecessary and even, scientific studies show, distract viewers from other information being conveyed – whether advertising messages or the program’s own deeper themes. And those who sneer, “But it’s about life after an apocalypse!” are apparently unaware that various films, from On the Beach to The Omega Man to the 1980s TV-movie The Day After have dealt with post-apocalypse life…and did so in a fashion younger viewers could watch and learn from, without need of spraying the walls with entrails and gore.

    The new series is little different from the original. Purporting to show where the “zombie plague” came from (and thus undeniably demonstrating that the “zombies” are not, in fact, reanimated corpses, but are still-living, if disease-stricken, human beings – which the “heroes” have no compunction about murdering wholesale), much of Fear the Walking Dead is devoted to scenes  like:

     

    A man’s corpse is shown with a bloody throat wound and blood on the walls. A zombie is shown eating a corpse and her face is covered in blood. The corpse is shown and part of his face has been chewed off. A young man runs out into the street and is hit by a car.

    and

    Travis and Madison see Calvin’s bloody corpse walking toward them. When they attempt to talk to him, he attempts to bite Madison.  Nick starts the truck and backs up into Calvin, knocking him back.  Calvin gets back up and Nick drives the car into him once again, sending him flying forward. Calvin’s bones are now protruding from his arm and his bottom jaw is missing, but he is still moving. 

    Travis: “Holy s***!”

     

    For pumping graphic violence into every home, forcing every pay-TV subscriber to pay for it, and rating the mayhem appropriate for children, AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead is the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.

     

    _________________

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    About

    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    11 Responses to Worst Cable TV Show of the Week: Fear the Walking Dead on AMC

    1. Sara
      August 25, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      I noticed this show is rated TV-14 and I was surprised, since The Walking Dead is TV-MA. It’s interesting that apparently AMC is calling the violence here “intense violence” instead of “graphic violence” (which I think would get an automatic TV-MA). What you described sounds pretty graphic to me!

    2. Jonathan
      August 26, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      Nope it’s the best show of the week and is okay for a 14 year old to watch if their parent feels they can handle it.

    3. Brandon
      August 26, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      If you watch the show is has been shown more than once that they are indeed reanimated corpses. Not only is the evident by the fact that the zombie never die or starve to death and a-lot of them are missing crucial body parts and organs but still moving around.

      In an early episode it was shown in a lab setting. The infected person died, his brain and other organs shutdown, but then a small part of his brain reactivated again but it is a very primal part of the brain. Also the other organs don’t reactivate. So yes they are reanimated corpses and the comics get into it even more. But for the sake of argument let’s say they are still alive and not reanimated corpses; there is no cure, they are violent, travel in packs, and eat anything that moves. It’s not like the characters have a choice. Lastly they do feel guilt when ever they are forced to kill a zombie child or someone they knew.

      • Brandon
        August 26, 2015 at 5:11 pm

        Also Macbeth has a decent amount of blood and gore. A lot of Shakespeare stuff has blood and gore.

        • Christopher Gildemeister
          September 30, 2015 at 4:32 pm

          Brandon,

          if you are seriously comparing Fear the Walking Dead with Shakespeare, I must respectfully disagree with your assessment.

          You love to go on about the “cinematic” values of shows like Hannibal, but then you make a comparison like this. Where’s the poetic use of language in Fear the Walking Dead, comparable to Shakespeare? And where’s the moral? In MacBeth, we learn that unbridled ambition is dangerous to oneself, others, and society. In Fear the Walking Dead, we learn…what? That it’s okay to murder anyone you think is a threat to you?

    4. SteveVO
      August 28, 2015 at 8:20 am

      I see clearly that this site is censored by the politically correct nazis also! Enjoy your brave new world because you are hypocrites too!

    5. Alexander
      September 2, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      I allowed my son, who was 16 year old, to watch it and he love it.

    6. February 19, 2016 at 5:22 am

      I like walking dead very much. I have been following it for several years now. This is the best series for me. I cannot wait for another episode to come. It’s very thrilling and teaches us a lesson for survival.

    7. Diane Rainey
      October 24, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      Stop trying to cram your believes down my throat. It should NOT be up to you what people allow and do not allow in their homes. It should not be up to you what parents allow and do not allow their children to watch. You can make recommendations to those parents that are not smart enough to know, but you should not be dictating what shows you you think are ok or not.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        June 7, 2017 at 10:49 am

        We’re not “cramming our beliefs down your throat.” Indeed, you have to choose to come to this blog to find out what we have to say — quite unlike The Walking Dead, which plays on every TV set with cable, whether people want to see (or pay for) it or not.

        Not only have you chosen to come to this blog, you have chosen to take time reading this post, and take time replying to it.

        It is not “up to us what people allow and do not allow in their homes,” “allow and do not allow their children to watch,” or “dictating what shows we think are ok.” We have no power whatsoever to compel any behavior from anybody.

        I’m sorry you get hysterical whenever anyone dares to critique your beloved gore-fest; but if AMC has a right to show The Walking Dead, and you have a right to watch it, we’re simply exercising our right to talk about it.

        So many people say, “If you don’t like the show, don’t watch it”…but apparently, the corollary never occurs to them: If you don’t like our blog, don’t read it.

    8. ryan
      October 24, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      It was fine! we have seen more gruesome stuff from killing the walkers then what they showed on S7E1, most of the blows where seen in frames that only had him swinging the bat! The show is about survival in what most don’t know but that is going in a there parts of the world minus the apocolypse part! It’s a show, acting, makeup green and blue screen effects!

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