Socio-Political Apocalyptic Dramas

Whether it’s “The Walking Dead” or “Designated Survivor” or “The Man in the High Castle,” or any number of other TV, or streaming media shows, from what I can tell, there’s been almost an explosion of socio-political apocalyptic dramas over the last few years.

I don’t watch any of them, although I’m exposed to snippets of many of them – except “The Walking Dead” – because my wife the professor finds them entertaining. It’s one of the few areas where our tastes are not similar, and it’s likely because, after having spent almost twenty years in national politics in one capacity or another, I don’t find such shows entertaining. For me, they’re only a depressing reminder of one of the worst aspects of human nature – the unbridled lust for power of far too many members of the species.

And frankly, I can’t understand her fascination with them, given that she has to deal with similar aspects of [in]humanity in academic politics, because no full-time faculty member can totally escape politics. She’s pointed out that, depressing as those dramas may be, there’s actually more that’s optimistic in the shows than she sees in either national or academic politics. In that vein, some of my readers may recall my citation of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s observation that international politics was no different from faculty politics at Harvard.

Even if such shreds of optimism exist in such shows, the apparent popularity of this “genre” concerns me, as does, as I noted in an earlier blog, the popularity of “Game of Thrones,” because they all seem to emphasize the lack of ethics and the triumph of the worse in human character. Now… some people claim that such shows offer warnings about the dangers of such people in power, but I don’t see it that way. It’s almost as if such dramas are making the point that the only way to gain and hold power is to use every tool possible, regardless of either ethics or consequences, and I find that incredibly depressing.

1 thought on “Socio-Political Apocalyptic Dramas”

  1. Tom says:

    While murder and torture, lies and treachery, have been in the literature for years; it seems to me that over the last 40 years the detailed intensity and descriptions of barbarity have increased in quantity. The writers who declare that it is necessary to describe such depravity in detail to document historical and imagined events seem to ignore the fact that this facet sells books, films, and bias.

    The question I have: are individuals of our earthly societies so bereft of imagination that we cannot picture these acts without detailed description? Do we readers and movie watchers need this and thus encourage its production!

    Of-course this may all be a diabolic conspiracy of the anti-government state to remove all homo sapiens self-control and allow true anarchy.

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