In the wake of losing Breaking Bad I, like a lonely person after a break-up, have reverted to bad habits. I wanted to give up on Sons of Anarchy for a variety of reasons. The first was once a biker gang was involved in international arms smuggling and getting in Civil War style battlefield escapades (but with rocket launchers), without a hint of law enforcement intervention I sort of had my eyes permanently rolled back in my head. Then there was the burning of people alive. And this season, in addition to the usual throat slitting and head bashing (this show is on basic cable – they cannot say fuck so they overcompensate with the word shit and insane violence – see this sketch as an example) there was a school shooting massacre by a 12 year old, which felt so out of place that it really just felt like the show’s creators said “I don’t think we are offending/shocking/repulsing enough people – PLOT AND SENSE BE DAMNED!”
On the other end of the living spectrum, but even further along on the violence spectrum is The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead is like Breaking Bad’s dumber, sluttier, less attractive sister that I have decided to hook up with in an attempt to hurt Breaking Bad’s feelings. Thanks to Netflix I have been able to “binge watch” The Walking Dead. It is a show that I must admit, considering I bashed it for an entire podcast episode, that benefits greatly from the cinematic feel of binge watching. I always maintained that the first season of Walking Dead was a strong season and that season two, for several reasons articulated on the podcast, was weak. I actually enjoyed it a lot more on a second viewing (in two days), though my main complaints are still valid (lack of black people in Atlanta, Shane’s varying accent and enhanced physique despite wandering the earth in a gym-less apocalypse, etc). But watching the show in the aggregate like that led me to see about 1000 head smashes, ligament tearings and eye gouges in a short amount of time. The show really is incredibly violent and it is not restricted to “dead” people. As season 3 progressed (I am 4 episodes in) it seemed more slashes and rips and blood poured forth from living people.
The fact is with language restrictions and sexual restrictions still on basic cable shows it seems like the only envelope they push is violence and it is now pushed to the max. I hate to sound like an old fogey (for the last time stop texting and walking!), but the violence on basic cable in these two shows is ridiculous. I am just assuming that child rape is really the only place left to go. And I am betting that Sons of Anarchy will be the one to do it. It would make no sense on The Walking Dead, since most of the villains are zombies, though in season 2 a now-deceased character alluded to a roving gang that raped two teenage girls while their father watched. But I think Sons of Anarchy is the show with the “courage” to actually showcase this as a climactic scene. That show literally has nothing left to do except that when it comes to a checklist of awful things to show on basic cable, other than make Ariel Castro an honorary executive producer. Either way I think we can all agree that the parents who bring their children in for that fateful/eventual audition should be arrested on the spot, or at least be featured in Bruno 2.
On a lighter note, it has inspired one of my new sketches for this month. Considering how crushing a skull to the point of hearing a brain get squished (that sound that sounds like moist fruit being stepped on) is the most in-demand sound in cable television (Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy to name a few that now show that merely beating a guy to death just doesn’t get America hard without hearing the brain squish), my next sketch character will be the Spielberg of Skull Crushing Sound Effects. Look for it in a couple of weeks, along with my Dante de Blaiso/Bill de Blasio parody.
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