Negan, Trump, and “Going Too Far”

“Once we sign on and commit to something—a worldview, a television show, a politician—we have accepted its truths and its trajectories as our own.”

I’m no fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead. It’s just not my cup of tea. I can handle violence, but I just don’t have the stomach for the unique brand of gore presented by TWD, so I’ve never started watching the show.

What I have done, though, is follow very closely others’ reactions to major plot points as they reveal themselves. One of the overarching themes of this exercise is that I now constantly see people throwing up their (virtual, Facebook) hands and proclaiming they are done with the show because someone died and they can no longer go on supporting such nonsense. This is not limited to the average viewer, either. Especially since Noah’s death in season five—you know, the one where his face is graphically ripped off—articles have been cropping up wondering whether “TWD went too far this time.”

Such questions have now reached a fever pitch, as it was revealed in this week’s season-seven premiere that the beloved Glenn met his demise at the end of arch-villain Negan’s “vampire bat.” A popular blog titled “The Walking Dead Quitter’s Club” has now proclaimed (after several prior events that tested the authors’ commitment) that there is a 100% likelihood they will never watch again.

With such a fierce reaction to an admittedly unpopular decision, people like me are left to wonder what compels TWD viewers to keep watching. If one death can be so heartbreaking in a show whose bread and butter is sucking the hope out of everything, what could possibly entice someone to stay on board?

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