In response to The mysterious appeal of “The Walking Dead”:
I was talking about this with a friend. The concept of “habit-viewing” seems pretty widespread. People freely admit they take no more pleasure in certain shows, but merely watch them out of ingrained habit. The Office has been habit-viewing for a while, and 30 Rock for four seasons. People still cite and link Saturday Night Live as if it’s both compass and lodestar of public opinion, when in fact it hasn’t really been any sort of genuine tastemaking influence since the Bush-Gore election. And of course it’s not funny.
Another friend spoke to me about The Walking Dead specifically, and could not explain why he watched a show he drew no pleasure from. He spoke with something akin to self-hatred. And also, Walking Dead hatred.
It’s funny, though. I’ll see people rip The Walking Dead as nearly unwatchable and then, like two days later, they tell me, “You should watch The Walking Dead.” And they don’t even appear to be my enemies.