The Walking Dead season 4 finale had fans of the comics irked because the TV censors modified a famous line of Rick Grimes in order for it to meet AMC content standards. But some fans are arguing over whether curse words elevate or diminish the art form.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, since Daryl Dixon was left off the AMC promo photo for The Walking Dead season 5, some fans are worried the character played by Norman Reedus might be getting killed off. Although other spoilers have fans wonder if Daryl will end up with either Carol or Beth. But if the show jumps the underwear shark, then they will have to worry about other zombie competition in the form of Bruce Campbell’s Evil Dead TV show.
The DVD and Blu-Ray disc for The Walking Dead season 4 gave us access to the original uncensored scene. In the version that aired, Rick says, “They’re messing with the wrong people.” But in the original version, as created by Robert Kirkman, the character says, “They’re f***ing with the wrong people.” You can check out the original, unedited version below if you so wish.
To some fans, that change was unforgivable:
“[I]f this were a network show or PBS I could understand but we’re talking about a show that has Zombies getting their faces ripped off or people getting gnawed on a weekly basis. If kids are watching a show like this I’m sure they can also handle the F word.”
But other fans point out that having the F-bomb dropped does not necessarily make for a better TV show:
“So adding the F bomb makes the ending better? What is it with some people who think that saying profanity makes you a bad, bad person? Some people just never truly left high school.”
To some, the F-word is used as a method to convey to audiences a heightened sense of emotion, so to use another non-curse word is to lessen the impact of the scene overall. Famous writers have debated the usage of profanity in art over the years. For example, Spencer W. Kimball once said, “Profanity is the effort of a feeble brain to express itself forcibly.” Dick Cavett apparently felt a little different on the matter since he said, “Censorship feeds the dirty mind more than the four-letter word itself.”
David Morrell, writer of The Successful Novelist, once expounded on the subject a little more:
“If the passage absolutely demands cursing, be moderate. A little of it goes a long way. I’ve seen beginning writers pepper curse words through sentence after sentence…. Two things happen when I read this junk: I get bored and I get angry. I didn’t pick up your book to read garbage. If this is as clever as you can be, I don’t want to read your prose. In life if you met someone who spoke like this, you’d want to flee. Then why put this stuff on the page?
“As near as I can determine, this abomination occurs because a writer is corrupted by the awful -blanking- dialog that movies inflict on us these days. It’s also a sign of insecurity. The writer wonders if the dialog is strong enough and decides a lot of -blanking-blank- will do the trick. Someone might object that this kind of dialog is realistic in certain situations–intense scenes involving policemen or soldiers for example. I can only reply that in my research I spend considerable time with policemen and soldiers. Few of them curse any more than a normal person would. This garbage isn’t realistic. It merely draws attention to itself and holds back the story. Use it sparingly.”
Which version of the The Walking Dead season 4 finale do you think is better; the one that curses or the one that does not?
[Image via DeviantArt]