‘The Walking Dead’: Danai Gurira, Who Portrays Michonne, Calls Apocalyptic Show Modern Day ‘Family Ties’

Family Ties‘ conservative son Alex P. Keaton might just be aghast to learn that the weekly sitcom dilemmas of his fictional 1980’s family have been compared to the brutal, harsh zombie apocalypse that is The Walking Dead. But that’s just the comparison one of the show’s actors made recently when discussing the dynamics of the hit AMC series.

Danai Gurira, who expertly portrays the kitana-wielding Michonne on The Walking Dead, believes the show brings families together, bonding parents and children in a way that the comedy series Family Ties was able to do, according to The Charlotte Observer.

The report notes that Gurira explained her view on the matter saying,

The Walking Dead is like the new Family Ties, OK? It’s tying families together… The thing that’s touched me the most is when I’ve met mothers of adolescent sons who say, ‘This is how me and my son bond. It’s because we both watch the show.’ And you know those adolescent years are tricky years for parents and I was just so touched by that. I thought it was so beautiful that this show is functioning in that way.”

CBS radio station The Bull 100.3 reports that some people are calling themselves Walking Dead families, as they watch every single episode together and are devoted fans of the show.

Although the subject matter of the show obviously appeals to a vast audience of a multitude of different ages, some may argue that the violence, gore, and brutal subject matter of The Walking Dead is not altogether appropriate for younger family members. But most families that watch the series together don’t appear to see it that way and have adopted the Family Ties view set forth by Gurira.

One set of Michigan parents watch the show with their children, aged 9 and 12, reports The Charlotte Observer. Ericka Calcagno said she and her family have interesting conversations about The Walking Dead episodes “constantly” and that they talk about the show after a viewing.

Calcagno noted that her family members are serious fans of The Walking Dead and have even become proficient in zombie makeup application. The Charlotte Observer reports that the family also likes to converse about what they would do in order to survive an actual zombie apocalypse or a scenario like that depicted on the show.

Michelle Fiala of St. Louis states her family is hooked on the show and has no problem with the violence portrayed. According to The Charlotte Observer, Fiala said both her 14- and 16-year-old daughters watch The Walking Dead and only have an issue if a character vomits.

Fiala noted, “My youngest has a real thing about seeing people vomit… She’s got a real phobia about that. She’s totally fine when they’re stabbing zombies in the head or there’s fake blood flying or the zombies are eating people…” However, when the character Denise (Merritt Wever) threw up, her daughter could not watch.

According to The Charlotte Observer, the Thomas family in Wisconsin also watches The Walking Dead together. However, one member of their unit is not allowed to view the show. Sue Thomas said that although her two older sons, ages 17 and 19, watch the series, she does not let her 15-year-old son do so. Thomas said that she will give him the privilege in a few months, but in the meantime the younger teenager “makes sure we know how annoyed he is that we watch and he can’t yet.”

Earlier this year, one family learned that getting too excited while viewing The Walking Dead may cause alarm among neighbors. According to the Great Falls Tribune, in February 2016, local police surrounded a Montana home after a 911 call came in reporting screaming, loud voices, and a possible gun. Authorities were relieved to find two adults and several children simply watching television with the windows open. It was later determined the family was viewing the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead.

[Photo by AMC]

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