Wednesday, March 13, 2013

In Which They Kill Off My Favorite Character

I don't think its clever when they kill off my favorite characters. I don't think its quirky, or surprising, or entertaining. I just plain don't like it. Okay, my dislike of killing characters isn't so black and white, sometimes I can see a plot will be better for killing off certain people. But when I feel like characters are being killed off willy-nilly? Well, then I am less than impressed.
What brought on this particular rant you might be asking? You see, I've been catching up on season 3 of Pretty Little Liars, so if you haven't seen any of it yet, skip the next few paragraphs coz I'm about to spoiler the heck out of that baby. And I'm so annoyed, I've even made a list of shows that have earned my ire over their character-killing antics

1) Pretty Little Liars
Fine, it makes sense, but does it really have to?
 If you read my top 21 TV kisses post part two, then you'll know that Spencer and Toby on Pretty Little Liars are one of my favorite couples. Spencer and Toby's relationship seemed all roses and chocolates, until in the later half of this season, its revealed that Toby is actually part of the 'A' team who have been blackmailing the girls. On one hand, okay, I could see how it might make sense that secretly all this time, Toby had it in for the girls, since they were partly responsible for him being sent to juvenile detention. But I honestly thought he had grown past that, become a new (dare I say well-adjusted) person and truly loved Spencer. So I refused to believe the revelation. I chose to believe that he had infiltrated the 'A' team to find out who is in charge and who is behind the campaign to torment the girls. I backed this up with a scene earlier in the season where Toby confronts Spencer about her keeping secrets from him, and his threat to "find out for himself."
And then apparently they decided to kill him. But no! I still won't believe it. I'm still in roses and chocolates land, where Toby will return next season, very much alive, to tell Spencer it had all been for her. After the last few episodes, I know enough to realize I'm probably going to need tissues to get through the two final episodes of the season, and will be on the edge of my seat until season 4 starts later in the year.

2) Vampire Diaries
Someone has been killed in some blood-spattering scenario? How un-surprising.
Vampire Diaries gets the award for most characters killed off. Partly I understand that the creators/writers have been (I assume) working toward leaving Elana with no one except the Salvator brothers, especially now that she is also a vampire herself; having a human family just doesn't work. But seriously? Jenna, Ric, and then in the last 2 episodes, Jeremy dying really was the last straw. Not to mention the other who-knows-how many minor characters they've slaughtered over the years. When it became clear that Jeremy was well and truly dead, and that the supernatural ring wasn't going to revive him, I was more angry and incredulous than upset. I may have yelled at the TV screen something along the lines of "are you serious?" Yet, no matter how annoyed I am at the Vampire Diaries record-breaking murder spree, I have to say I'm extremely intrigued as to where things will go from here, especially since Damon used the sire-bond to get Elana to turn off her humanity.
Dare I say she's going to become Katherine version 2.0?

3) Firefly/Serenity
Someone has to die, and it might as well be you.
Do I criticize the master himself, Mr Whedon? Okay, it was inconceivable that the entire Serenity crew would make it through the movie without anyone dying. When Shepard Book was killed, I was kind of annoyed because now we wouldn't find out exactly who/what the man was and why. But I accepted that some storylines had to be let go. The movie was nearly finished, and we had developed a false sense of security that everyone else would come out of that mess in one piece. The way in which Wash died was sudden and totally unexpected. For that, Mr. Whedon is brilliant. If someone had to die, then I commend that it happened the way it did. But you know what? Killing Serenity's pilot only made me more wistful that there is no more Firefly. The crew dynamics would have been totally altered by Wash's death, and I would love to see what became of them later for this. Alas, it will never be, I'm left only with my imagination.

4) Rush
Beginning of the end.
If you don't live in Australia, then you won't have seen this series. I've always loved a good Aussie cop drama, starting with Blue Heelers when I was a teenager. Blue Heelers had a great run of 13 seasons over 12 years, many characters came and went, though a couple were there for the duration. When it was cancelled in 2006, for the first time in a long time, there was no Australian police drama on TV any longer. So when Rush appeared in 2008, I was over the moon. It wasn't just a cop drama, it was based on a team of specially trained officers, Tactical Response, who dealt with dangerous and unusual situations. And from the very first episode, I wasn't disappointed. Rush ended up with a four season run, though I felt ripped off that the last season was only 12 episodes long. I'm not sure why this show was cancelled, I assume due to the usual problem -- lack of ratings. Yet I thought this show was doing things police dramas hadn't done before. And it was all fine and dandy until they killed off the rookie, Michael. In the beginning, his character was easy to dislike. He was young, cocky, and a bit of an idiot at times. But over the seasons, he grew, experienced things that darkened and toughened his character, until he became one of my favorites on the show. And then they had to kill him. It was the beginning of the end, and the show just wasn't the same once he was gone.

5) Supernatural
Don't hang out with the Winchester brothers unless you want to die.
Is it just me, or is anyone Sam and Dean were ever the least bit close to dead? Seriously, no one has a blackhole of certain death surrounding them like the Winchesters.
First their mom, then Sam's girlfriend, then their Dad, then a half brother they didn't know about, then Ellen and Jo, then the grandparents on their mom's side and some random cousins. After that, they finally killed Bobby. And when there was no one else to kill off in season 8? They brought the grandfather from their dad's side to the future to kill him as well. Lisa and Ben should count themselves lucky that they only had their memories erased. Have I forgotten anyone? Probably, because I've become immune to people dying on this show. For a minute there, I really couldn't believe the writers were killing off Bobby, the last person the boys had besides each other. Their isolation and dependance on one another is now complete, which the Wincest fans probably just love. Apparently this show has been given another go around for a season 9, and I'm wondering if the show has gotten to the point where they really do need some fresh blood (that ironically won't be spilled), a new permanent character or two to liven things up a little.

6) Grey's Anatomy
Killing off the innocent for ratings gold.
I'm not saying that anyone in this show deserves to die, but if I had to pick people who didn't deserve to die, George would have been on top of my list, followed closely by Lexie.
I always thought George was so great because he wasn't like the other characters, there was something about him that always stayed good-hearted and almost innocent, no matter what happened to him. And in actual fact, the way he died, trying to save a woman he didn't even know, was a fabulous reflection of his character. It still sucked though.
And then how can we forget last season's massacre of a plane crash. Okay, it wasn't really a massacre, but they killed off Lexie just when I had hopes that she and Mark were finally going to get their act together. That they then killed off Mark spoke of poetic justice to me, or maybe more like grand romance. It wasn't until Lexie died that Mark realized he couldn't live without her, so gave up fighting his own injures. He might have made it back to civilization, but can I be cliche and say he never really left Lexie's side. 

7) Battlestar Galactica
I'm confused, who exactly is dead again?
This show has the monopoly on characters not really being dead. Considering half of them were robot clones, they could die as many times as they wanted, and technically should come back the same. Except the character of Sharon/Boomer proved that there could be different personalities residing in different versions of the same body. And if that wasn't confusing enough, we got to watch Kara fly herself into an explosion, and then randomly turn up later, whole and well, not realizing that she'd died. And with the map to Earth to boot. She wasn't a cylon, but she wasn't human either. So what exactly was she? And why did she just disappear at the end of the final episode? I've never watched a show that left me with more questions than answers. And let's not forget all the other characters who died over the seasons. Yes, fighting a war in space against robots is dangerous, but the creators on this show came up with a lot of creative ways to kill people, including cancer and suicide.

8) Once Upon a Time
Just when I had started to have hope, it was crushed into dust. Literally.
I really liked Once Upon a Time from the very first episode. Though I had a few WTF moments, and really wondered if it was going to work, I still enjoyed every second of viewing. And when Emma and Sheriff Graham became a possibility, I enjoyed it even more. From her kiss, the Sheriff remembered who he really was and I was like "awesome!" Until they went and killed him. Seriously, did not see that one coming. Which left my crying "why doesn't Emma get to have a love interest?" I suppose the whole kissing-and-remembering-the-truth thing was a problem, and obviously the writers weren't ready for any of that truth to escape just yet, so Graham had to go... by way of the Queen/Mayor crushing his beating (albeit magical) heart in her fist. I still have a small spark of hope that somehow Graham will return from the dead at some point, but over half way through season 2, it looks like everyone has forgotten about him.

9) Downton Abbey
Well, it was historically correct, I suppose.
Okay, so this show doesn't exactly have a high body count. But the characters they did decide to kill off? Well I didn't like those storylines one little bit.
First off, it looked like for a while that Thomas was going to get a legitimate love interest while helping nurse back to health a wounded soldier. Except it wasn't to be, with this admittedly very minor character committing suicide when he found out he was going to be discharged from the hospital. Disappointing, but not devastating. You want to see devastating? Try the fact that Cybil died after giving birth. Not during the birth. No, she made it through that. But after, just when we started thinking she'd be okay after all, the writers decided to twist the knife they'd already stabbed into our hearts. Leave a newborn baby without a mother? Thanks for the depressing viewing.
Now, I haven't seen season 3 of Downton Abbey yet, but I would have had to be dead myself or living in a cave with no internet, television or radio to avoid the furor over the fact Matthew dies in the final episode. Looking forward to watching season 3? I most certainly am not! ...But I will anyway.

10) True Blood
Could it get any bloodier? Oh look, it just did.
Ah yes, how could we not mention the blood-spatter-fest that is True Blood? This show gets the award for bloodiest viewing. Seriously, there have been scenes where characters on this show have literally been covered from head to toe in blood.
But let's get to specifics. First off, yes, it was sad when Sookie's grandmother was killed, and yes, I may have shed a few tears, but I knew that was in keeping with the books. This show has also had more than its fair share of minor characters who've come and gone via a bloody death, with season 5 in particular seeing a lot of (not so random) death. The character I was extremely unimpressed about them killing off? Lafayette's boyfriend, Jesus. I mean, can't just one of these people have some happiness for more than five minutes, without some supernatural freak-show killing them off in some gruesomely bloody manner? No, apparently not. Like with some other shows, I have hope that Lafayette will find a way to bring Jesus back, especially considering the writer's have kind of kept his character going, with the possibility that his ghost at least is still around. Season 6 is shaping up to be really great, especially with super-evil-Bill about to go all primordial-vampire on everyone. I'm personally hoping the writers will bring Eric and Sookie back together this season, as they spend quite a bit of time together in the books, and even have some sort of vampire marriage. Yet these story lines are so far removed from the books now, it's impossible to guess where the writers will take us. One thing is for certain, the blood-spatter-fest is sure to continue. 

Thanks for joining me while I ranted. I'm giving some thought to doing a list of characters I think should be killed off... but haven't decided yet if I'm really that blood-thirsty after re-visiting all of the above death scenes.


Kez said...

I haven't forgotten about Sheriff Graham from Once Upon a Time! I was extremely narked when they killed him off.

Worst one ever for me - back in the 90s, a show called Ballykissangel and they killed off Assumpta, the main character. I bawled my eyes out over that one!

Jess Anastasi said...

Hi Kez,
thanks for stopping by. And I'm so glad someone else hasn't forgotten Sheriff Graham! He was a great character.
I remember hearing about Ballykissangel, but never watched it.
One I left off, since I already had Rush on there (which was more recent) was when they killed off Maggie in Blue Heelers. Poor PJ! They took so many years to get their act together and when they finally did? They killed the poor woman! Oh, and I also should have mentioned Sea Patrol... see? I could go on about this forever!

D. D. Line said...

They're bringing the sheriff back for an episode (which I hope turns into something more) and I have no problem with seeing more of Hook either (re comments for another of your posts). Love the whole idea of your 'grey'characters. :)

Sophie said...

Oh I agree with so many of these! Especially Sybil, that broke my heart! Plus Wash, oh my days did I cry. 'I am a leaf on the wind'. But then I guess Whedon has a track record of killing the people I love best :P Really great list!

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