My wife texted me after a gruelling day at work to let me know how much she was looking forward to getting home, snuggling up on the sofa and “watching zombies getting their heads caved in.”
We’ve come a long way since The Generation Game was the go-to show for family entertainment!
The Walking Dead has usurped Bruce Forsyth frantically running about helping competing families spin plates or make spaghetti as our idea of relaxing TV.
For those of you unfamiliar with The Walking Dead, it’s a TV series that follows the ups and downs (and occasional mutilations) of a rarely merry band of zombie apocalypse survivors. It’s fictional, not a documentary, in case you were wondering.
Before every show there’s a warning flashes up on the screen informing viewers that the following show ‘contains scenes of violence and horror.’ Every time it appears I say “I should hope so too. After all, it’s about the dead rising up to eat the living.”
It’s a family joke, though it doesn’t quite work as a catchphrase. “Nice to eat you, to eat you … NICE!” would work much better. What is Brucie doing these days anyway?
To be fair, we don’t cuddle up on the sofa to watch The Walking Dead as a family. Son Two (Isaac, 13) is tucked up in bed. There’s normally just me, my wife and our 16-year-old, Bradley. My wife spends the entire time either hiding her face in a cushion or screaming. Son One, like most teenage boys, devours the graphic violence as waves of zombies are casually despatched by the survivors. Me, I spend my time picking holes in the writers’ version of what life would be like in a zombie apocalypse.
How come all the survivors appear to be on a dress down day? Every single one is wearing muted greys and dirty blues. And this despite everyone having their choice of high street clothing stores.
I can accept that, in a zombie apocalypse, fuel and food may well be in short supply, but not clothes, yet you never see anyone in a canary yellow shirt, Bermuda shorts or even a tuxedo.
They also lack humour. No one ever plays practical jokes, or even tells a joke. Given the situation, a bit of light relief wouldn’t go amiss.
And why doesn’t anyone ever refer to the zombies as, well, zombies. They don’t even reference old zombie movies, or any other horror genres. You’d think at least one person would say “My god, it’s just like that scene in Dawn of the Dead. Zombies everywhere, if a werewolf turns up, I tell you, I’m outta here. It’ll be Dracula next.”
My favourite oddity appears in the opening credits. It’s the words “Away with you” written in large letters on the walls of a building. It’s clearly a warning, but given the severity of the situation, I’d argue it’s one of the weakest warnings in Christendom.
Maybe it’s the show’s one nod to humour. As an ominous portent of doom, “Away with you” is up there with “sling your hook.” Though if I were the writer, “skedaddle” would be my threat of choice.
Think about it next time you snuggle up for a night of relaxing zombie mayhem.