Thursday, July 13, 2017

Nihilism Pays.

Not too long ago I posted a review of the first season of the nihilistic TV show PREACHER. Although I found large sections of the production to be actually offensive, there were enough bright and humorous touches for me to like it as a whole. Part of that had to do with the very simple (and selfish) fact that I find Ruth Negga to be extremely attractive, and another part of it was that I saw so much comedy and humanity in the way Jackie Earle Hailey portrayed the character of Odin Quinncannon.

Last week--because I had enjoyed the previous season--I tuned in for the first episode. I wish I had not done so.

For me, all of the humor was gone. The nihilism was still there--in great abundance--but the humor was missing. What they were trying to pass off as humor was just a kind of sick arrogance that I found merely disgusting. When one of the heroes casually murders the pet of an innocent man, and that same innocent man in hunting for the lost pet has his tongue pulled from his living can see where I might be just a little bit put off. That's the point where I stopped watching, and that's the point where I decided that I won't bother with the show anymore.

Sorry, Ruth. Not even your presence can get me to watch another episode of PREACHER.
But nihilism these days seems to really pay in great dividends. All around the world of novels, comics, TV, and film, the worst of the worst seems to be in great demand. Novels that are nothing but racist gun-porn sell like mad. Movies that feature one inhuman murder after another are tops. I know this is nothing truly new, but the unrestrained excess of it has reached a point where I just cannot tolerate it.

Hell. Blame it on my age. Or on the point where my own level of tolerance has been saturated. Whatever it is, I've had enough.

Apparently the most popular cable TV show in the history of the medium is now embroiled in a vast legal battle over the billions (yes, you read that right--billions) of dollars it has generated for the network that aired it. I am, of course, talking about that Queen of Nihilism: THE WALKING DEAD.

That THE WALKING DEAD was copped from the work of George A Romero without remuneration to said fellow is beside the point. The fact of the matter is that while Romero's work was social commentary, the TV show gleaned from the vision of Romero and John Russo is just simple, nasty, violence-infused grue. But my how that shit sells! It has sold to tunes so vast that it has created its own self-perpetuating industries. Starting as a comic trimmed from Romero & Russo's zombie vision, it branched out into collected graphic novels, a TV series, video games, T-shirts, media conventions, etc. and so on. If there's a way to squeeze a dollar out of it, they have done so.

And enter now the original director and show-runner Frank Darabont who was chased away from the series and is now suing. There is something extremely satisfying in watching these Hollywood folk fighting over the steaming corpse of a visual property the way the rotting zombies struggle to get their piece of a recently murdered human.

I have to laugh.

There's still some actual humor to be found in the nihilism of true life.

For what it's worth, Mr. Darabont--I hope you win.

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