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Home » Health » Apocalypse Wow: How end times fascination fuels the entertainment industry | News OK

Apocalypse Wow: How end times fascination fuels the entertainment industry | News OK

Famine, drought, viruses, blood-red moons, a scorched and depopulated Earth — the end of the world as we know it turns out to be a rollicking good time.

How else to explain the onset of Apocalypse Wow, the curious morphing of popular entertainment from the warm, safe and familiar (think Andy Griffith, Alex P. Keaton, Bill Cosby) to the barren outposts of dread of “The Walking Dead” and “The Hunger Games”?

“The Walking Dead,” the AMC drama about survivors of a mysterious virus that causes the dead to reanimate and feed on the living, recently began its fifth season with 17.3 million viewers, many of whom stayed up for another hour to talk about the episode on “Talking Dead” (a live talk show on AMC). It’s drawing twice the viewers of “The Big Bang Theory,” its closest competitor among television entertainment series.

But the trials of Rick Grimes (the lead character on “The Walking Dead”) and his perpetually blood-soaked compatriots is but one component in an entertainment cabinet that thrives not on plenty but on sustenance. Top-selling games like “Call of Duty” and “Gears of War” posit similarly scorched and stripped-down planets; books such as Peter Heller’s “The Dog Stars” entice us with worlds that you’d think we would flee. Nightmares are no longer contained in our closets; we’ve invited them into our living rooms.

And in some cases, the line between fiction and reality seems to be blurring. “The Walking Dead” is a favorite show of “preppers,” people so intent on surviving apocalypses yet to come that they construct their real lives around future disasters (that may never come to fruition). Their lives and discontents are detailed in a National Geographic reality show, “Doomsday Preppers,” that has been running for four years, with episodes such as “Live Bees, Live Ammo” and “Americans not Ameri-cants.” One more sign that the end times are as popular as ever? It’s the network’s most popular show.

via Apocalypse Wow: How end times fascination fuels the entertainment industry | News OK.

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