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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Walking Away: Why I Deleted The Walking Dead From My DVR

Upon returning from the beach last Sunday (I had a great time, by the way.  Thank you so much for asking!), I erased every last episode of AMC's The Walking Dead from the family DVR.  At the time, very little thought went into this brazen act of destruction.  I simply sat down on the couch, called up a list of recorded television programs, and, in the process of choosing something to watch, deleted the back half of Season 3 and the latest episodes of the current season.

The next day, I reflected on my actions, and felt satisfied with my "final solution."  There was no regret, no pangs of want.  There was a mild feeling of relief, like, "whew, there's one less thing in my life to worry about."  I had a boner, but I always have a boner in the morning, so I chalked that up more to tradition than to DVR clean-up-based sexual arousal.  As the day progressed, I found myself compiling a list of reasons I had for saying good-bye to The Walking Dead, a series that I once very much enjoyed.  Here's what I came up with:

1. Zombie fatigue:  Zombies, like vampires and the Tea Party, have gone from "trend" to "pretty much a thing," so they're not going anywhere. Once society has accepted something as "pretty much a thing," that "thing" tends to not give way to other "things," but rather gets repeated and repeated and repeated until we just kind of accept the "thing" and let it wash over us like a briny ocean wave (Man, I miss North Myrtle Beach!  There was a Lazy River at our resort, dudes!!!).  We don't question the wave's validity, it's reason for continued existence, we just watch it cover us in boring seaweed day after salty day. 

What I'm trying to say is that I'm tired of zombies.  I was actually never really that into zombies in the first place.  Of course I like Night of the Living Dead and Zombieland.  I thought Dead & Buried was kind of a fun spin on the zombie story.  Stephen King's Cell had it's moments.  My horror tastes run more towards 80's slashers, city-stomping monsters, ghost stories and foul-mouthed killer dolls.  Zombies aren't super exciting and for some reason they are everybody's favorite thing now.  I just got tired of them.  Not because I'm cool and above-it-all, but because I've fulfilled my life's zombie-quota and I'm ready to move forward.

2. Breaking Bad: I recently finished watching Breaking Bad in its entirety.  If you haven't seen it, I recommend that you do so as soon as humanly possible.  It's maybe the best television show I've ever watched, and I've watched a lot of television shows.  It's also so frighteningly good, that it kind makes all other one-hour dramas look like garbage.  After following the rise and fall of chemistry teacher turned wannabe drug kingpin, Walter White, and his drugged-up, emotionally-scarred partner-in-meth, Jesse Pinkman, caring about a show with zombies in it seems kind of silly.

3. Critical non-acclaim: A lot of critics I trust don't seem particularly excited about The Walking Dead anymore.  This is not usually a factor in my decision whether or not to stick with a show, but as we are currently living in a Golden Age of television, it seems irresponsible to waste time on a show for which I am no longer passionate.

4. Funny stuff:  I'd rather watch half hour comedies then full hours of repetitive brain stabbing, pained grimaces to the middle distance and groaning.  Shows like Parks and Recreation; It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia; New Girl; The League; NTSV:SD:SUV; Children's Hospital; Brooklyn 9-9; South Park; Bob's Burgers; American Dad; and, yes, even How I Met Your Mother, which mercifully ends this year.  And I've heard good things about this Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..  And I love Alice in Wonderland, so I sort of want to check out this Once Upon a Time in Wonderland shit.  Plus, a source I trust says Sleepy Hollow is dumb fun.  And I'm pretty excited about Almost Human.  See, there's a plenty of other stuff to watch, guys.

5. I just don't care anymore: I think that's pretty self explanatory, right?

My decision to abandon Rick and the gang has already been met with rage and disgust (not really), and I get it.  Fans of The Walking Dead are passionate about the show.  But it's really not a big deal.  First of all, it's the number one show on television.  Me not tuning in isn't going to result in the series' immediate cancellation.  Second of all, it's on Netflix, so if I ever change my mind or feel myself desiring a little "zombie action" again, I'll check it out there.  Sure, I'll miss some valuable zombie apocalypse survival tips by not watching the show anymore, but I'm sure my zombie-obsessed friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Friendster, FaceSpace, and Mybook will help me out with that (Ugh.).

So, farewell, zombie friends.  Perhaps we'll meet again one day.  And if we do, I'll be sure to shoot you in the face.  After all, it's the American way.

PS: I'd like to apologize in advance to my co-workers.  You will no longer be able to have me sign my name next to Has Seen Every Episode of The Walking Dead during the ice breaker portion of our next staff retreat.

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