Following Sunday night’s particularly brutal episode of The Walking Dead, there were a lot of reactions from the show’s fans, and some from the show’s detractors. Some of these were, to put it frankly, ridiculous.
First, the Parents Television Council (PTC), decided to raise a stink about how the show was “one of the most graphically violent shows we’ve ever seen on television, comparable to the most violent of programs found on premium cable networks”, as stated by council president Tim Winter. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he also went on to say, “This certainly raises question of if there should be an even more severe rating than TV-MA.” Here’s the crazy part: Winter had apparently only watched clips of the episode.
Then, we have Mayor Mark Boughton of Danbury, CT. Boughton is apparently a big fan of TWD, but was no less extreme in his reaction to the episode. While live tweeting his reactions, Boughton tweeted out that “Due to the the death of Glenn and Abraham. Danbury Public Schools will be on a 90 minute delay.” A little while later, he followed that up with a cancellation of Halloween.
Finally, we have fans who actually called in sick to work & school on Monday morning, citing a death in the family. I repeat: Following the deaths of Glenn & Abraham on The Walking Dead, people called in sick to work & school because they said they had A DEATH IN THE FAMILY!
I’m all for suspension of disbelief, and becoming emotionally invested in characters we’ve grown to care about. However, let’s be realistic, dear readers. It’s a FICTIONAL TELEVISION SHOW! In the case of the PTC, if you want to protect your children from witnessing violence on television, keep an eye on what they’re watching, and learn to say no! Don’t rely on cable providers, politicians, or networks to parent your children for you. The show gave AMPLE warnings about the graphic nature of the episode. Additionally, as my esteemed colleague Harry mentioned, maybe parents should focus on getting kids to bed by 9pm, so that they can…oh, I don’t know…be up for school in the morning? As far as Mayor Boughton’s reactions go, they may or may not have just been him trying to be comical & identify with his constituency. He is known for using a lot of vernacular & “street” talk on his Twitter account. Finally, for anyone who ACTUALLY called out of work or school, in order to process what you saw on TV the night before, I have one thing to say to you:
Put on your big boy/big girl pants and deal with it. We watch these shows because we want to be entertained. There are plenty of warnings on them, and they are rated for a reason. If you don’t like them, or can’t handle the emotional investment like an adult, don’t watch them.