I have read some of the fan outrage at the "brutal deaths" that occurred on the first episode of The Walking Dead's seventh season. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but let's just say that some people died. Since the title suggests this is half the premise of the show, it really shouldn't come as a surprise. It is the fictionalized account of a group of survivors. In six previous seasons, the body count has been profound, and as our little band has made its way through the post-apocalyptic wasteland, the body count has been significant. Four of the original seven main cast has been sacrificed to the sake of story. Of the fourteen members of season one's supporting cast, only two are still walking.
I suppose I have to applaud the writers of this television show for keeping folks interested in watching what is a slow and steady march into the gates of, well...The loss of a wife or trusted friend has been tempered with the regular and explicit dispatch of dozens if not hundreds of zombies that seem to remain an issue despite our courageous band's best efforts to find safe haven. Even though we all understand in this world your are just a sprained ankle or a stray arrow from a crossbow away from being part of the latex-shrouded extras.
It brings to mind something about which my father once complained. He was trying to relate his disgust and dismay at the movie he had just been to see. He went on and on about how violent and depraved it was. "No redeeming social value," he sniffed. The title of the film? Natural Born Killers, directed by Oliver Stone from a screenplay by Quentin Tarantino. The redeeming social value aside, I wondered what my father might have been expecting when he paid for is ticket and walked through the lobby in the direction of the marquee that was full of that phrase: Natural Born Killers. If he had been anticipating a nature documentary about carnivores in the wild, the posters with a bald, sneering Woody Harrelson could have been a tipoff that it wasn't going to be a Disney movie.
When people tune in to watch "The Walking Dead," what part of that message are they missing? Sure, I can remember what it's like to lose your favorite character in whatever tragic or amusing accident or assassination. My wife and I drifted away from ER after all those years of must-see TV. We didn't recognize any of the hard-working and even harder living doctors and healthcare professionals who went in and out of those sliding emergency room doors. There were apparently only a certain number of times that getting a blood chem and a chest tube stat that can sustain a viewer's interest. Our interest, anyway.
So you say that things have become too brutal on the show about brain-gobbling zombies and their warm-blooded prey? You could try testing your mettle with something a little edgier. Kevin James has a new show.