Showing posts with label Walking Dead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Walking Dead. Show all posts

Monday, October 20, 2014

Why I Finally Stopped Watching The Walking Dead.

***contains spoilers of the first episode of season 5. 

So, the Walking Dead. Just about one of the best shows ever on tv, right? I know. I've watched every episode, even though I say I'm never watching it again everytime. But, I'm really done watching it this time and I'll tell you why.

Secret: I kind of love zombies. It's the only area of the horror genre I can handle. I don't do ghosts or demons (certainly not demonic children...can someone please tell me why this is a recurring theme?!), haunted or evil houses, gory deranged serial killers, or just gore in general. It's apocalyptic - which caters to my borderline doomsday prepper disorder perfectly...and gives me ideas about what to do/not to do in dire situations!  It's an us vs. them mentality and you always want the good guy to win, right? C'mon humanity! ..and then you have the tiny detail that it's COMPLETELY fictional and could never happen. So, even though I never want to admit that "yes, I'm a Walking Dead fan" to say, like, my Bishop...I'm a fan because it's secretly kind of fun. 

Except this new season isn't fun, at all. Did you catch the first episode last week?!  Gore, gore, more gore. We can definitely agree that the gore level has been increasing each season, but it's always looked pretty fake...and it's a zombie show, so there has to be some gore, right? 

But, we're not dealing with just zombies anymore. The good guys aren't just running away from fictional monsters. In this season, the fractured group we've all been rooting for comes together at what they thought was a safe haven free from 'walkers'. But, the people who run this compound called 'Terminus' aren't just misguided folks who steal to survive - they're in the business of pillaging, torturing, murdering, and eating people. 

Eating people. 

In the premiere episode of season 5, I watched in horror as 8 people were shown waiting in line at a giant trough-like stainless steel sink to get their heads beat in with a baseball bat while another guy jumps in to slit their throats. The show didn't just insinuate this was watched it happen. 

Obviously, the 4 main characters in that line-up survive this ordeal by killing their captors, stealing automatic guns, and then firing on more of these people to get the rest of their group and get out of there. Oh yeah, and they have to walk past corpses hanging like slabs of meat, butcher shop style. Like, human bodies without arms or legs just hanging there. All the while, zombies are taking over the camp and biting people everywhere.

 And then we have the guy with intentions of hurting the baby, which, for a mom with a new baby and four other innocent kiddos - I don't need another reminder of all the people in the world who would hurt children if given the opportunity. And can I just add - you never know what kinds of ideas people are getting from these crazy shows. There's a lot of freaks out there. 

Anyway, after watching that episode I have been mauling it over all week. I think we, as television viewers, should demand more of our tv shows, yes. But, I don't have time to do that and there are millions that don't want to do that anyway. And, if that is your prerogative, go for it. 

But maybe there's someone out there that feels like me and wants a reason to stop watching, too. As I couldn't get images of that episode out of my mind this week,  I was reminded of an article by Richard G. Scott that I used for a talk I gave in church one Sunday. You can find it in its entirety here.

Here's a few snippets: (bold is mine) 

We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day. Righteous character is a precious manifestation of what you are becoming. Righteous character is more valuable than any material object you own, any knowledge you have gained through study, or any goals you have attained no matter how well lauded by mankind. 
You cannot be passive in life, or in time the natural man will undermine your efforts to live worthily. You become what you do and what you think about. Lack of character leads one under pressure to satisfy appetite or seek personal gain. You cannot successfully bolster a weak character with the cloak of pretense.
It's a stretch to apply these snippets to someone who watches shows like the Walking Dead. Do I think it's going to undermine my character? No. Not specifically. But, I do think - that for me - consistently watching shows - or consistently doing anything that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ will eventually erode my character - absolutely. Not religious? You don't have to be - the shock value of shows like this desensitizes and normalizes things that should be outrageous to everyone. 
"You become what you do and think about". I want to be better at being a mom, and a wife, and even though I rarely have the time for it anymore - a writer.  I want to be a better cook and friend and someone who freely gives service. And watching the filth that I saw last week will not help me achieve any of those things. I want to consciously choose entertainment that makes me happy and that I can share with my whole family - and the Walking Dead definitely is not a family affair. Not to mention - it's pretty stressful to watch that show anyway. 
"We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day" - Consistently making better choices in all things will add to and fortify our character and help us develop into what we want to become. 
And when you have that perspective - that show gets a lot less important. 
And I'm hoping my "better choices" in television programs won't come with nightmares. 

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