Yep, here we are talking about death again, that’s pretty morbid huh? So why is the topic of death so important that there is another disruption to this intriguing series, of me explaining why non-American shows are just as important and enjoyable as American shows? Doesn’t death happen all the time on TV?
Well let me just break it down to you all as to why I think talking about how we deal with this issue is important. Sure, losing a favourite TV character is not the same and shouldn’t be the same as losing a loved one. The sudden death of Robin Williams rocked the whole world, as millions of fans and celebrities gave their respects to his family, while we at our site wrote four heartfelt and emotional piece about his life, and surely that death will be the one that people remember (aside from the deaths of close loved ones), because of the larger than life person that he was.
But who mourns characters? Really? When a person dies on a popular and well respected TV show, such as Keith and Dan on One Tree Hill, Carter on Person Of Interest, Neal, Graham and Cora on Once Upon A Time and Montgomery on Castle, Angelo on Switched At Birth, to name a few, how should we all react? Should we boycott the show, because ___ isn’t there? Should we cry and cry and cry, like as if we’ve lost a family member?
Considering that someone recently died on Arrow, the producers of Person Of Interest have announced that yet another character death is coming, and the final season of Parenthood involves a character death as well; plus shows like Chasing Life and Red Band Society have dealt with the upcoming notion of death; I’d say that now more than ever, the message of cherishing life on Earth, and knowing what you believe, is important for the viewer to grapple with and fully understand.
To me, I’d say that we all might feel pretty shaken up by a beloved character dying. Maybe if the show is one of our favourites, it forces us to look at our own mortality and whether our life is headed in the right direction or not. I believe deaths on TV are done for many reasons. One is to shake up the plot, another is to grow the characters, but I believe that the other reason is the most important-for the creators of the shows to pose questions, either consciously or subconsciously, to the viewers, about the inescapable thing that we all cannot avoid.
Why is death all around us, even on TV? Guaranteed, over a fall TV season (from September til May) there will be at least 50 deaths or more, of characters on first season shows or more than one season shows, across all cable and broadcast networks. Some will be of main characters, and others will be of characters who never spoke a word up til that point. But I believe that with anything, nothing is a coincidence, and these deaths have prompted me to look at my own mortality, and think to myself ‘what would happen if I died today?’. Now I know what would happen to me, and I’m very secure in that, but let’s step back and let us each ask that question for ourselves. Imagine that you are dead. Where do you see yourself?
There are two things that are certainties in life, they say- which is death and taxes. Have you been looking deep into your own mortality recently, and delving beyond that? No? Then take a quick look back at your favourite shows, and at all of the scenes involving the death of a beloved character. I hope that you take what is being presented and wrestle with it. Ask yourself the truth about what you believe, and know in your heart what happens after death. Because that’s one of life’s questions, right? That even TV shows are trying to understand and put forward a view. But I think that if we truly understand and know what happens after death, then we can truly live this life with no regrets and to the fullest.
What is the death on TV that wrecked you the most? What did you learn out of it? Where do you think you will be going when you die? Honestly? Let us know in the comments, and we can have a healthy discussion!
Til next time!