TV shows and why people stop watching them when their favorite character dies.
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
on May 2015, Supernatural killed Charlie off.
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
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.
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.