by Eve Vawter
People sure are upset about the wonderfully gory and heartbreaking season seven premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead. My social feeds were filled with people either vowing to never watch the show again or linking to articles about people vowing to quit watching The Walking Dead or headlines asking "Has The Walking Dead Gone Too Far?"
I can understand being dismayed at how brutal the season premiere was. It was extremely hard to watch and heartbreaking. I can see feeling horribly sad when one of your favorite TV characters dies. When a particularly violent and sad death befell one of my favorite Sons Of Anarchy characters I was bereft for about a week. But I can't understand the season premiere of The Walking Dead finally being the thing that drives fans over the edge and makes them refuse to tune in Sunday nights and watch something on ABC Family instead. Didn't these same fans see Season 3 when Carl had to perform an emergency c-section on his own mom before she died? Or season 4 when Hershel died? Doesn't anyone remember Beth?!
The Walking Dead has been breaking our hearts and making us cover our eyes for the last seven years. It's a horror show. Sure, it's a horror show with great storylines and strong character development but that doesn't mean at its essence it isn't a horror show, and what horror does, what horror should do, is frighten us and make us sad and make our hearts beat faster and make us worry. It's why we watch horror shows! So we can remind ourselves that what we saw wasn't real and there are no walkers outside our doors our big bad villains wielding barbed-wire-covered baseball bats.
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I'm not a The Walking Dead superfan, I haven't read every graphic novel and I can't argue to whether or not the TV show is straying too far from the books and all that, but I am a horror superfan and I'll defend The Walking Dead and its right to show heartbreaking, gory, violent, depressing deaths until Rick is the one getting his precious head beaten in.
But not Daryl or Michonne. That would be too far even for me.