A Fox News contributor, Dr. Manny Alvarez wrote a column, “America’s obsession with ‘The Walking Dead‘ is hurting our society.” The article claims that America’s fascination with zombies is all about violence . In his mind, “entertainment should help us soothe our brains so that we can ease our minds of some of the stress from our daily lives.”
I have a different view about the purpose of entertainment. The best entertainment should expand your mind, it should make you think, it should make you feel.
The final line in Alvarez’s article is, “Stop obsessing over eating brains, and focus on cultivating your own.” The Walking Dead is a show that “cultivates” brains. The drama of The Walking Dead, makes you think of the beauty of humans and the survival instinct. The Walking Dead shows the power of the collective. It is better to be part of a group you trust than to be alone. The first few episodes of Season 4 are intriguing, since people are not protected even within the “safe” walls of the prison compound they call home.
We want Rick to be an effective leader. We want Maggie and Glenn’s romance to thrive in this ugly and dark world. We want Daryl to evolve into an epic hero. We want Carl to behave.
We put ourselves in the character’s shoes, not because we want to kill zombies, but imagine what we would do in this situation. Would I survive this? How would I survive this? Would I want to survive this? These questions make you think about important life and death issues. This is more vital and interesting than “entertainment that eases our minds.” That is the kind of entertainment that is mindless.