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At the beginning of the 4th Season of Walking Dead, I was appalled by the gratuitous violence and wrote a scathing blog called “Is Violence the New Porn?” about it, as well as other shows on the new Fall season of TV.

I may not have been the only one objecting because when I checked in on the shows later in the season the violence was definitely toned down. My self-imposed protest of these shows (by refusing to watch them) sort of fell be the wayside.

I found that the barrage of blood and guts were replaced by some actual story and character development that sucked me back in like an addict. In the case of The Walking Dead, I was not alone in my addiction.

Nielsen estimates that the regular-timeslot telecast of the zombie skein averaged 15.7 million total viewers — a 17% week-to-week gain (from 13.47 million) and 26% bigger than its year-ago season finale (12.42 million). Among all episodes to date, Sunday’s finale ranks third, behind only the season 4 premiere last fall (16.11 million) and the show’s mid-season return on Feb. 9 (15.76 million).

In adults 18-49, “The Walking Dead” averaged a 8.0 rating (10.2 million viewers in the age group), up 20% week-to-week and about 25% vs. last year. It more than tripled the top rating for any broadcast entertainment series on Sunday (ABC’s “Resurrection” did a 2.3 rating). http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/amcs-walking-dead-finale-draws-whopping-15-7-million-viewers-1201150367/

What is the fascination with the Zombie Apocalypse world of The Walking Dead? In my last blog I wrote about Dystopic Fiction and Young Adults.  If Dystopia is the new Utopia for Young Adults, then Anarchy is Nirvana for Adults. Young Adults resonate with a world controlled by a totalitarian regime that the heroic characters revolt against to reclaim their freedom. (i.e. The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner etc.)

The world of The Walking Dead is a view of humanity without rules without order-survival of the fittest-anarchy.  I’m reminded of that ode to anarchy by Alice Cooper:

“School’s Out”

Well we got no choice

All the girls and boys

Makin all that noise

‘Cause they found new toys

Well we can’t salute ya

Can’t find a flag

If that don’t suit ya

That’s a drag

School’s out for summer

School’s out forever

School’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils

No more books

No more teacher’s dirty looks

Well we got no class

And we got no principles

And we got no innocence

We can’t even think of a word that rhymes

School’s out for summer

School’s out forever

School’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils

No more books

No more teacher’s dirty looks

Out for summer

Out till fall

We might not go back at all

School’s out forever

School’s out for summer

School’s out with fever

School’s out completely

There are no rules, no laws in The Dead.  There is a different kind of freedom in this society of anarchy.  The only guidance for behavior is in the vestiges of human kindness and love that the characters have for each other.

The Walking Dead juxtaposes the almost utopic commune of the living in their barricaded prison, with the dangerous world of flesh eating zombies roaming beyond the barbed wire enclosure.  When the prison is evacuated, the former inhabitants are left to fend for themselves against the world of the undead, the wilds of nature and the packs of brutal criminal humans.

They have only their wits, their weapons and their will to keep fighting.  They search for “Terminus” at the end of the railroad tracks.  Could this be the utopia they are looking for?

Terminus appears to hide a dark secret (and a lot of grilled flesh).  The message is  that when humans organize and leaders emerge, freedom is lost. Anarchy is the only road to freedom and Nirvana. Will there ever be true freedom for the characters of The Walking Dead-or humankind in the world as we know it-for that matter?

Tune in next season to find out…….

As for mankind my hope is:

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. I Peter 1:24-25

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