Ok, so I’m no Knox McCoy, but I do watch T.V. (Even though, sadly, I’m not a doctor, nor do I even play one–anywhere).
That out of the way:
I’d like to think that I do have a thing, or two–or three–to say about things.
I’ve watched both The Walking Dead, and The Bachelor, and I’ve gotta tell you, despite the whole end-of-the-world vibe going on over in Grimesville, they’re pretty much the same show. (I hear you in the peanut gallery: with a series as successful as The Bachelor/ette, it’s got to be the end of the world, right? I agree with you).
Think about it: they’re both shows largely about turning human beings into:
For mass consumption. Sure, on the one, it’s by choice, and the other, well not so much. But both–by and large–appeal to our collective sense of schadenfreude (a fancy German word that makes me sound smart. Do you like it?).
Schadenfreude is, as I said above, a fact word that essentially means pleasure from pain (no cracks about S&Mers being into schadenfreude, thanks). As in, we take pleasure from the discomfort (or discomfiture) of others. I stub my toe, my daughter laughs. Kacie B. bawls her eyes out on national T.V. we’re entertained (even though we might feel a little dirty). Sophia’s dad gets noshed on by a zombie, we cheer (he deserved it, the no-good wife, and child, beater!).
On the surface, these shows might seem to punch different buttons, but deep down they appeal to much the same places in our souls.
They are amongst our contemporary cultural juggernauts, and like a proverbial trainwreck, God help us: we can’t look away…
Let me ask you: do you watch The Bachelor, or The Walking Dead? If so, why? What do you take away from either, or both? (Am I completely out to lunch here?) Tell me in the comments.