‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Once Upon A Time’ Theology

So my last post was about ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Dexter’ as they relate to how we UUs engage (or refuse to engage) with popular culture. Now…with the season premiere of ‘The Walking Dead’ coming tomorrow, and the popularity of ‘Once Upon A Time’ (so popular it already has a spin-off), it seemed like a good time to look at what these shows might be telling us—if we choose to listen.

I’ve never understood the fascination with zombies—I’ll state that right up front. Vampires I get, but not zombies. What kind of life can zombies lead?

‘Once Upon A Time’ I think most of us can understand. Fairy tales and fables are morality stories that have been with us for as long as humanity has been around.

Those of you who’ve read this blog for a while know that I firmly believe that the congregations that grow are the ones that tell a compelling story AND invite those who come to see themselves in the story (or part of the story).

The first question…what are the stories that “The Walking Dead’ and ‘Once Upon A Time’ are telling that makes these shows popular?

The bigger question…what are the stories that UU congregations are telling?

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5 thoughts on “‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Once Upon A Time’ Theology

  1. Kim wrote:

    I’ve never understood the fascination with zombies—I’ll state that right up front. Vampires I get, but not zombies. What kind of life can zombies lead?

    Kim — the fascination with zombie horror stories isn’t one of people wanting to be zombies. It’s much different from vampire stories where folks might fantasize about being a fictional vampire.

    There is a fascination with the special effects blood and guts gore in zombie stories. But that doesn’t explain the hold these stories have on us.

    I found an interesting quote in the NY Daily News about “The Walking Dead” series from the filmmaker John Landis:

    “The thing with zombies is that I really believe they’re so popular because they represent anarchy, the loss of control and the collapse of society.”

    http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/walking-dead-big-nets-running-scared-article-1.1481912

    Given the unknowns that we’re facing (economy, jobs, environmental issues like climate change, disease outbreaks, etc), it’s no wonder the fascination with the zombie stories.

    These stories let us focus on relationship issues, what kinds of communities we form (including polity issues), and how do we apply our ethics in a world where societal collapse happens. And there’s some good stuff for philosophy and theology discussions here.

    • If there isn’t some kind of fascination with being a zombie, then why do so many universities have “Zombie Walk”s? There’s something going on here.

      I’m not saying that you’re wrong, but I think we are looking at this from different vantage points.

  2. While Mary Margaret goes off on her own in an attempt to come to grips with what she did to Cora and how her deed has affected her, she stumbles upon August , who has hidden himself away from the others and is completely made of wood — ashamed at the actions he has taken in life; and Emma is shocked when Neal invites his fiancée, Tamara , to come to Storybrooke . Meanwhile, before the curse was cast, August is introduced to a man of magic who may be able to prevent him from turning back into wood — but at a steep price.

    • This is about ‘Once’, right? I’ve only seen a few minutes of it, but know a few people who are absolutely nuts about the show.

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