Is Death and Fear Really Entertainment?

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Perusing the television channel guide would lead one to believe that it’s a cookie cutter world. While there are literally hundreds of channels available to the average cable or satellite dish subscriber, there seems to be a dearth of variety. At first glance one may disagree with that assessment. But what happens when we take a closer look at the channel or program description.

There seems to be just a few varieties of programming available. There are the talk shows that are all similar in format and content. There are the games shows that promise much hype and excitement for those who are swayed by material goods. There are still a few daytime dramas that spin their tales out for weeks and months and throw in the ever-present cheating spouses and back stabbing villains.

Two other options are the situation comedies that tend to feature mouthy children, super moms and the obligatory clueless father or male counterparts. Lastly, there are the dramas that are featured mainly in the primetime hours. Here is where the fascination with death and fear seem to be most prevalent. The vast majority of these evening drama shows focus on either solving crimes such as murder, or trying to avoid death from an endless parade of evil creatures.

The most hyped and purportedly watched show is the Walking Dead and its spinoffs. This show is based on the premise that a deadly virus has infected the vast majority of humans and leaves them part of the undead. These merciless creatures then walk the country side looking for the brains and flesh of living people. The stars of the show then must evade both these zombie-like creatures while also trying to either defeat or avoid the pockets of evil people who are trying to control whatever resources are left on the planet.

This program is heavy on gore and violence and features its star characters in situations where they often must either kill other people and zombies or leave others behind to be sacrificed. It is heavy on blood and killing scenes and features even young characters in scenes that include killing and great peril. It is currently one of the most watched shows on television and entire families will sit and view it together.

The other crime solving shows also feature scenes with death and torture all in the name of making the storylines authentic and as true to life as possible. In the meantime, the viewer’s taste for violence and gore seems to be only increasing as these shows continue to highlight death and violence over character development and coping with everyday dramas and family situations in positive ways.

Yes, there are bright spots in television viewing options. There are nature, science and history programs that provide information while also seeking to entertain. However, these shows seem to be in the minority and are often relegated to channels that are not heavily promoted.

So, will the trend reverse anytime soon? Or will death and violence continue to be our entertainment of choice?

Writer Bio:  Angela Mose

I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years.  I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia.  A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.


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