Violence on television seems to be the main topic of discussion among TV buffs these days, especially after the season five premiere of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” The show is known for it’s graphic portrayal of violence on the undead, which seems to go unnoticed by most people, myself included. The season opener from a few weeks ago was different, however, as that showed a very brutal display of how a group of cannibals goes through the process of making their meals. Eight people were lined up, on their knees, in front of a trough to be knocked out with a baseball bat and have their throats slit then thrown forward to let their bodies drain for human consumption.
I’ve seen some pretty grotesque stuff in movies and even a little bit in television here and there, but the trough scene from “The Walking Dead” made me uneasy. I don’t think it was the throat slitting or the fact they were being primitively knocked out beforehand, I think it was knowing they were being drained to be eaten later on and the people committing this act were so blase that they were going to eat these people.
Violence like this seems to be all over television lately, and yet we still can’t hear some profanities and see nudity. I’m not calling for some kind of action to put vulgar language and borderline pornography onto American television screens. However, I do think our nation’s attitude toward violence in media in general is outrageous based on what you can get away with broadcasting on air.
Even network television programs like “Hannibal,” another show featuring killer cannibals, gets away with gruesome imagery that would get slapped with an R rating if it was a movie. Yet after the safe harbor time begins in this country, people can be beheaded and filleted like fish but heaven forbid someone accidently sees a nipple or two. We really have to think of the children on this one. Honestly I would love for my hypothetical children to see humans get their throats slit and treated liked cattle in a slaughterhouse because explaining cannibalism is so much easier than explaining why a woman has two nipples the same way a man does.
Again I don’t think the vulgar language and the sexual content needs to be on the same level of the violence that’s shown on television. Even then ramping up that kind of content won’t fix anything, the real issue here is the violence shown on television continues to increase and get more and more over the top. Soon there may come a time where the only thing separating violence in TV shows and violence on the movie screen will be negligible.
This debate of how much violence gets shown on television could go back and forth with no clear winner and the grisly acts only increasing. In the end, there probably isn’t a real solution that will make everyone happy. My advice: don’t watch “The Walking Dead” or shows like it if you have a weak stomach.