These are the moments we look forward to above all else. The expectation of what constitutes must-watch TV. If you’re an avid TV follower, there’s a chance you’re still recuperating from the last wedding slaughter in HBO’s flagship series Game of Thrones — maybe even from the wedding massacre before that. Nominated this year for a prodigious 19 Emmy’s and snagging 4 wins, Season 4 incorporated what fans have now come to expect each season: meaningful character deaths and lingering questions that leave you with an insatiable appetite for more bloodshed.
Despite an unparalleled variety of programming options, the similarities between TV’s most admired shows has become increasingly evident. While there remains a plethora of quality shows with which us to extricate ourselves from the current trend, TV has become the most depressing “entertainment” outlet available. So before you sit down and binge-watch the latest buzz-worthy show, consider the following:
TV’s most popular show is a post-apocalyptic nightmare where everyone you love dies
You love The Walking Dead. Apparently so do your friends. The Season 4 finale alone drew 15.7 million viewers, setting yet another record for AMC’s money-printing gore fest. Apparently no one is tired of watching this ever-rotating cast of zombie fodder corner themselves into absurd scenarios. Tank shootouts, cannibals, you name it! While The Walking Dead flourishes in an environment where no one is safe from death, the actors bringing this show to life are by no means disposable. The show shrewdly focuses on compelling character arcs to keep audiences engaged. Still, half the “fun” is anticipating who showrunner Scott Gimple will kill off next. It’s an interesting premise that has unsurprisingly resonated with people, but is this something to be proud of?
For the first time in a serialized drama, part of you is always rooting for someone to die because otherwise the show loses purpose.
The Walking Dead didn’t start this way. Longtime fans of the original comic book series understand that these stories aren’t so much about the shocking deaths or “cure chasing” as they are about a journey the characters take with each other. Luckily, the show is still inspired by many events from the comics and if those stories are any indication of what’s to come, your taste for TV despair will be quenched pretty much forever.