OK. I binged again last night. I hate to even admit it. It’s a terrible habit and I can’t seem to shake it. I watched another 2 hour block of really good, really bad television. With Netflix, On Demand and the DVR, we have managed to store away hours and hours of programming to watch. And I can’t say we’ve chosen the most redeeming shows on which to spend our time.
We’ve watched a show about a chemistry teacher turned meth amphetamine dealer, a show featuring a widowed mother turned marijuana dealer, another one about a serial killer/blood spatter analyst with a sister that cusses like a sailor, one about a woman dying from cancer, and the ever popular zombie apocalypse show.
What is it about this R-rated programming that sucks us in? Is it the novelty of being able to see sex, violence and any other number of reprehensible behaviors in our living room? Is it that seeing people behave so badly makes us feel as though we’re better, nicer people ourselves?
Last night, we caught up on Walking Dead. We’re way behind on this one and have to cover our ears when friends talk about current episodes. Sometimes we have to cover our ears during the show itself as the sound of humans piercing zombie skulls with their knives can get a little graphic. And squooshy. I found myself closing my eyes and cringing more than once. I think I may have even used the dog to shield myself from the violence taking place on TV.
What is it about zombies? I Googled that phrase exactly and received 159 million hits. So it seems I’m not the only one wondering why we seem obsessed with them. I read several articles that indicate Americans get fixated on zombies during times of unrest or economic uncertainty. We've certainly had our share of those lately. I personally think the obsession means that we've lost our way – both culturally and morally.
Does that mean I've lost my way? Should I be countering the programs I've been exposed to with the same number of hours watching something a little more educational or morally redeeming? I frankly can’t stay awake during those shows. But give me a good murder scenario or a mother behaving badly and I’m at the edge of my seat.
Maybe it’s all about escapism. Or maybe watching people or the undead behave badly makes me feel like a better person. Heck. It’s not hard to feel a little morally superior to murderers, drug dealers and flesh-eating dead people. Honestly, it’s a mystery. And one I will be examining very closely for an hour or two each night until I’m caught up on Walking Dead.