If you were thinking The Walking Dead has toned down the brutality since the bloody Season 7 premiere, turns out you're right.
Producer Gale Anne Hurd told Variety that the creative team was cognizant of the fan backlash from all the head-bashing (and additional head-bashing) in the season premiere. After hearing that feedback, the producers made a point to tone it down a bit in the episodes still in production for the year. The show was still bloody, sure, but you didn't see any more 30-40-second lingering shots of brain matter.
Here’s an excerpt from Hurd’s comments:
"We were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence. We did tone it down for episodes we were still filming for later on in the season … This is not a show that is torture porn, [we want to make sure] we don't cross that line."
It's an interesting case of reacting to the audience, though in this case it probably wasn't the worst idea. Yes, the zombie apocalypse is a brutal place, but it's hard to argue the premiere wasn't bordering on being needlessly gory. It's a tough tightrope to walk, and sometimes you fall a bit too far.
What do you think? The more violence the better, or has the toned-down approach been a good fit?