Misrated TV Show: Into the Badlands on AMC
Written by PTC | Published December 7, 2015
For extreme, graphic violence, the Sunday, December 6th episode of AMC’s Into the Badlands was definitely Misrated.
With its tale of feudal-style “barons” terrorizing and enslaving humanity with professional murderers called “clippers” in a presumably post-apocalyptic future, Into the Badlands is a mix of Game of Thrones and The Road Warrior, one where (as the show’s tagline states), “The world is built on blood.”
This TV show’s world certainly is – as witness some of the content from last week’s episode:
• Tilda runs out into the road covered in blood and stops two men in a truck. The two men get out of the truck and are immediately struck in the head by two bladed throwing stars. The two men die instantly from the head wounds. The Widow and Tilda's sisters walk out of the forest. One of Quinn's “clippers” is caught by the Widow and held by her daughters. The Widowswings a pickaxe and buries it in his body. A splatter of blood sprays across her face.
• A severed head is shown sitting on Quinn's desk, with another baron's name carved into its forehead.
• Quinn's men pull out their swords, as do Jacobee's men. The two groups begin fighting. One of Quinn's men is struck with a pickaxe in the shoulder. Sunny and Zephyr sword fight each other until Sunny kicks her in the chest. One of Jacobee's men jumps in front of Sunny and he is sliced up by Sunny's blade. M.K. catches up to Tilda and the two begin fighting each other. They exchange kicks and punches until Tilda throws a throwing star at him. M.K.'s face is cut by the blade and he begins to bleed, which triggers his powers. M.K. grabs her by the throat. Quin and Jacobee slice through and kill several of each other's men.
Fans of AMC’s established series The Walking Dead have handwaved away that program’s scenes of torture and gore, claiming that the show’s writing and posing of moral dilemmas justifies such excess; but literature, and even Hollywood, has told stories of moral dilemmas for decades without resorting to such sickening content.
No doubt, some will try to justify Badlands in the same way. But whatever claims they make make for the program’s writing, the truth is that Into the Badlands is little more than an excuse for ludicrously over-choreographed and abominably horrific bloodshed and gore. And what audience is this content aimed at? Why, 14 year old children, of course!
That’s what AMC has rated this program: TV-14 LV, appropriate for young teens. The entertainment industry loves to say, “Parents, it’s YOUR job to keep your kids away from the content we shove into your homes (and advertise to them on the internet).”
Isn’t it nice to know the industry is so responsible and willing to cooperate with parents in the betterment of society?
Once, in fact, AMC was. In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the PTC contacted AMC and asked them to change the rating on The Walking Dead, to TV-MA. In an unprecedented show of responsibility, they did so.
The PTC now calls on AMC to show the same responsibility with Into the Badlands, and rate this graphically-violent program TV-MA as well.
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