Why Has ‘The Walking Dead’ Midseason Premiere Received A Rare Sexual Content Rating?

The Walking Dead has a history of running afoul of certain groups over the level of violence in the series. Early on the series came under fire for its TV-14 rating because some believed that 14 was too young to be watching violence as intense and brutal as on the The Walking Dead. Content ratings for the episodes were raised to TV-MA — for mature audiences — but even that wasn’t enough for many after the season seven premiere, which saw the brutal deaths of Glenn and Abraham and calls from Parent Groups arguing that The Walking Dead needed a higher rating than even TV-MA.

The AMC series, however, has never generated much attention for its sexual content. There is very little sex or nudity on the series, and only brief sexual situations. That will apparently change on the midseason premiere, which has received a rare SVL rating, indicating not only violence and language, but “sexual situations” graphic enough to warrant this warning.

I have not yet seen the midseason premiere, but I do know that there are only two storylines in it. The episode, called “Squeeze,” focuses largely on the situation in the cave, as Daryl, Carol, Jerry, Connie, Aaron, Kelly, and Magna try to escape a precarious situation surrounded by zombies (there is some concern that a fan favorite may be killed off).

I don’t see how “sexual situations” could enter into that storyline, which means it must pertain to the other storyline, which involves Negan and Alpha. I have no idea what happens between the two — except that the big comic-book moment does not happen yet — but I am guessing that Angela Kang is going to throw us a curveball and feature a “sexual situation” between the series’ last two main protagonists. In fact, even before the sexual content rating was released, some folks online joked that the header image above involved a “sexual situation,” and it appears that it could very well be the case. If so, viewers will likely have some very mixed feelings about Negan hooking up with the leader of the Whisperers.

We’ll know for sure on Sunday, February 23rd, when the series returns with its 10th midseason premiere.