The Walking Dead Knows How To Hurt Me

I’ll warn you when I’m going to post Season 7 spoilers… okay?  The first part of this will be fine for anyone who’s seen through the end of Season 6.

Every time an episode of the Walking Dead airs, people everywhere post how they’re going to stop watching.  I see it in my Facebook feed, and I see it in articles online.  When they pulled the thing in Season 6 where Glenn supposedly was eaten by zombies, but wasn’t, people everywhere got quite upset, vowing to stop watching.

Maybe some people even did quit.  I didn’t.  I’ve never even thought about quitting.

I didn’t want to start in the first place.  My husband watched the first few episodes, and insisted I had to watch.  I got all cranky about it because I hate getting addicted to TV shows.  But I begrudgingly watched the first episode and was hooked.  As soon as I found out about the graphic novels, I bought those too.

We don’t have cable, so we buy the season pass on iTunes, which means it’s not available until about 1 a.m.  So, we got up first thing this morning and watched this first episode with our morning coffee.  Then I went online to see what everyone was saying about it.

People said lots of things, mostly about how sick it made them feel, how difficult it was to watch.  A few people even said they had trouble sleeping.  We’ve all known a character we cared about was going to die.  We’ve known it for like the last 6 months.  Everyone lined up in the circle was someone who’d have some emotional impact.  The only question was… who was it going to be?

If you haven’t watched the first episode of Season 7, you should probably stop reading now.  I’ll start up again below the photo.

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*Spoilers*

It was hard to watch Abraham die, but I suspected it was going to be him, primarily because he was beginning to be hopeful and care about life last season.  That’s the kind of thing writers do, and it made sense.  I didn’t like it, but it made sense.

When Glenn died, I was shocked, but not as shocked as I might have been.  I mean, he dies in the graphic novels, so I knew he was on borrowed time.

What makes their deaths so shocking, in my opinion, is not how they were carried out.  People talk about how graphic the deaths were, but I don’t think they were more graphic than other things I’ve seen.  What made them so shocking and visceral is that they were so senseless.  I’m used to villains not necessarily following through, pulling punches, being full of hot air. Negan isn’t.  Plus, he’s cordial, joking around like none of it bothers him.

At this point, characters being killed by zombies is something we expect.  Even being killed by other characters isn’t all that surprising.  We’ve already figured out that human beings are the real monsters.  And last season showed us one huge moral dilemma when Rick and his group attacked Negan’s group without direct provocation.

We’re a society who sees blood and guts on TV all the time.  Modern audiences have become blasé about a lot of it.  I laugh at horror movies.  We know it’s not real, and most shows don’t kill off beloved characters.  When was the last time two main characters got killed in a show?  It doesn’t happen often.

I keep watching the Walking Dead because it emotionally impacts me.  I care about the characters and know that anything could happen to them at any time.  It makes me think. I was on the fence last season as to whether or not Rick and his group crossed a line.  I’m still on the fence.  Can we use the present to justify the past?

Negan is a worthy villain, a reflection of Rick.  He’s arrogant and affable, with a loyal following.  I doubt this is going to be the last difficult episode this season.

I may not like who got killed (I don’t), but

Like it or not, The Walking Dead experiments with ways of making the viewer feel something.  I would argue that even when people hate the way they do things, the experiments mostly pay off.  After all, I can find tons of articles discussing just about every episode.  Love it or hate it, that’s why they’re already signed on for Season 8.

So, what are your thoughts on all this?  Let’s discuss in the comments!

 

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2 comments on “The Walking Dead Knows How To Hurt Me

  1. I called both of the deaths…mainly because in comics Abraham should’ve died in the little shootout ambush thingie and I think Glen (Darryl was my other guess) definitely had the hope factor which you spoke of that A started having last season… I cannot wait to see what a bad ass Maggie is going to become, I really think it will be on her to push the story along. I was mad that people said they would stop watching, I mean these visceral reactions can only mean it’s “good tv”. Excellent TV in fact. The acting, staging, shooting, lighting is phenomenal and I may not love where they go but dammit my seat belt is buckled and I am ready to tag along.

    • doreeweller says:

      I agree about Maggie. She can barely even stand, and she’s ready to go Medieval on Negan. She’s always been a powerful character, and I think this will push her to a new level.

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