just what exactly is sam doing to rosie

TV shows and why people stop watching them when their favorite character dies.

On November 2014, my dad had a heart attack and died. I didn’t take it well. My dad was the person I love the most in the world, he was my best friend and I’m never going to stop missing him. The grieving process really took a toll on me, and during the following year, I retreated inside of myself. I was still functioning, but the truth was I felt empty and I had to debate myself every morning to get out of bed. One of the brightest spots during that time was that I got to see my favorite characters, characters I’ve come to love deeply, having adventures every week.

And then, on May 2015, Supernatural killed Charlie off.

Both of these things, the real loss of my dad and the fictional loss of a character I liked a lot were irredeemably linked in my mind. I wasn’t even sad, really. I was angry. It was as if a close friend, someone who ought to know better, had made an insensitive joke at the expense of my dad’s memory. I calmly turned off my computer while muttering to myself: “I don’t need this shit in my life right now.”

And I stopped watching the show altogether. A show I really loved, a show to this day I write fanfic and blog about, lost me because they killed off a character way too soon after my dad’s passing.

Of course, this wasn’t the writers’ fault. They couldn’t have known what I was going through, they couldn’t have known that I was going to feel like they had personally stabbed me in the gut. They had killed off characters I loved before and I cried and I screamed and wrote angry essays on Tumblr, but this time was different. It was different because I was already dealing with a very real grief and I didn’t want to also add fictional grief on top of it. The fandom’s reaction was pretty much the same as every time a favorite is killed off: they raged, they rolled their eyes, but ultimately they kept watching. Minus me. They’re on Season 12 now. Hope that’s working out great for them.

Recently, a fan favorite character was killed off (in a brutal manner, I’m given to understand) in The Walking Dead. I don’t watch that show. I tried: I made it through season 1 and a bit of 2, but ultimately it failed to grab me. I’ve heard it gets good after season 3. But now this character died, and I happened to be up and on Tumblr when it happened, so my dashboard suddenly was filled with people writing in all caps and swearing at the writers. Cue the gif of a confused Donald Glover walking into the room with pizza to find everything is on fire.

One of the posts I saw was a person calmly saying something along the lines of: “Welp, that’s the last episode of The Walking Dead I’ll ever watch.” And boy, wasn’t that a throwback.

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