Did not go too far — William Outlaw (@jw_outlaw)
“The Walking Dead” has been a cultural phenomenon for the past six years, but people are apparently just now starting to question its sometimes grotesque violence. For the record, I am not a fan of gore or blood-soaked violence in any sense, but it doesn’t offend me either. Despite this, the season premiere did make me a little sick to my stomach out of fear for the characters, and I think that’s exactly what was supposed to happen. “The Walking Dead” has been using over-the-top violence for a while now, and I think there are actually a number of worse offenders than Negan’s murderous acts (Lori’s C-section and subsequent mercy killing by Carl, Rick biting a man’s neck, etc).
It was hard seeing beloved characters being beaten by a baseball bat, but that just made me hate the insidious nature of Negan more. A noteworthy thought to add is that “The Walking Dead” is clearly made for a mature audience. While it might be on basic cable television, it does have a parental advisory notice and is rated TV-14. While this rating might seem low, one has to remember the level of violence that is currently acceptable in a PG-13 movie. Also, as stated before, “The Walking Dead” is currently in its seventh season; it’s hard to believe that new people would just now be jumping onto the series, particularly without knowledge of the violent precedence. For those that have watched weekly since 2010, it is no secret that the show is very violent and can be quite unsettling, and there have been a few instances where the gore seemed to be pretty unnecessary.
Regardless, I believe that in this instance, the showing of Glenn and Abraham’s murders made me understand how messed up Negan is and how much I want to see justice done. It’s no secret that “The Walking Dead” (and AMC in general) is toeing the line with what is allowable on cable television. While I do think that the showing of violence might have been unnecessary, I do not think it crossed a line, or if it did, it had already been crossed seasons ago, and we didn’t recognize it.
Did go too far — Shayla Nidever (@shayla_nidever)
Beloved fans of “The Walking Dead” waited in agony for the season premiere so they could see who this new character, Negan, killed. It’s true that if you watch “The Walking Dead,” you have inherently accepted the fact that there will be blood and violence. However, this last episode was something none of the fans were prepared for.
Negan’s character was sadistic and frightening to an extent never seen before. Although we were all prepared for one of our beloved characters to die, the emotional turmoil set up by how the episode revealed it and the fact that there was a second death was too much. The rating of TV-14 is probably accurate for the show, but that doesn’t mean AMC’s directors didn’t go too far. The emotional rollercoaster everyone went on when we saw Glenn holding on for dear life — right after Abraham’s death — with his eye half out of his skull after being beaten in, trying to say something with his last breath, was too much.
Right after that, the emotional torment continued as Negan’s character wanted to place himself as the most powerful and brought Rick and Carl front and center. He portrayed himself as God, making Rick take the axe and telling him to cut off Carl’s arm, seconds before the blade hit skin — stopping Rick and making him say that Negan was THE leader now. This whole thing made this episode too real and too cruel. Rick, who had been strong for a whole six seasons, was broken under this man. The episode was too real. Once only characters, we saw the fragile humanity of the people in the show. They had been broken by Negan, killed by him, and now, this madman was in control. We lost two of our favorite characters, and although this all has a purpose for where the show is going, the lines that were crossed this time cannot be uncrossed, leaving fans with a legitimate fear for the season.