Last Sunday night over 17 million people gathered around the glow of their TV screens to watch a mishmash of human characters scrape a survival out of a world overrun by the walking dead.
The show is aptly titled, The Walking Dead. However, week after week, this zombie infested drama has proven to be less about the dead and more about humanity… or the lack there of.
It’s no secret. This weekly 42-minute drama is offering something that resonates with America; because it’s not only breaking records for viewership, beating out everything else cable or broadcast… it’s trumping Sunday Night Football! (And what’s more American than that?)
And when the show stops, the chatter doesn’t. The Twittersphere lights up with favorite quotes of the evening, questions, and plot speculation. Social Media begins buzzing. Dedicated fans even devote another hour to the subject at hand the same evening, watching The Talking Dead, a talk show where actors, producers and celebrities (this week it was Conan O’Brien) unpack what they’ve just seen and ask questions like, “Was Tyreese right when he killed Martin?”
And that’s the beauty of the show. No other show cultivates so many water cooler conversations about morality.
That’s probably why The Gospel According to the Walking Dead blog emerged. Conversations about morality open doors to conversations about Biblical truth. Every week this blog provides conversation, scripture and discussion questions unpacking the prior week’s episode.
Consider the dissection of good and evil in the Season 5 Premiere this past Sunday. Tyreese, one of the lead characters who has been carrying and protecting a baby through the post apocalyptic chaos much of last season, becomes engaged in a conversation with a sociopathic killer named Martin:
Martin: I don’t have any friends… I used to have em. I used to watch football on Sundays. I went to church. (Chuckles) I know I did. But I can’t picture it anymore. It’s funny how you don’t even notice the time go by. Horrible sh*t just stacks up day after day. You get used to it.
Tyreese: I haven’t gotten used to it.
Martin: Of course you haven’t. You’re the kind of guy who saves babies.
It happens every week. Humans are put in situations where they have to make choices. And the audience can’t help but wrestle with the morality.
Was he right?
I’ve met countless parents who watch it with their teenagers. When the show ends, “you just want to talk about what you just saw.”
I don’t know. Do you wish your kids wanted to talk with you about morality?