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.
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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