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So last week, I experienced the loss of yet another favorite character. There was no warning. Just happy ending of season 2 and bam, dead character in the first episode of season 3. Yes, I whined a bit about it on Facebook. With some encouragement from a friend, I pressed forward in season 3, but now that I know the writers can’t be trusted not to break my heart, I’m holding back from bonding with the new guy.

This got me thinking about my favorite shows and why I like them, as opposed to the piles of shows I either never start watching, or watch once (maybe all the way through) and move on. I usually start watching because the premise intrigues me. Or, honestly? The show gets shoved in my face so much, or it’s the only thing on, I’m like, fine, I’ll watch it.

The other thing that can sometimes get me watching a show. I’m not sure what to call this particular phenomenon, but here is how it manifests. I tune in past the hour or half hour, so I only see part of a show. Maybe I’m waiting for what comes on next, so I watch it. Then—if I ever happen onto that show again—I see almost the same part of the show. Always. The only way to break the curse, or whatever it is, is to track down that episode and watch it from the beginning.

But I digress. Sorry about that. Where was I? Oh right.

So here I am, now watching a show. At this point, a show needs more than an intriguing premise. I like good writing, great dialogue and—here’s the key part—characters I like spending time with.

In the end, it is ALWAYS about the characters, the people, in my TV shows, movies and yes, books. So when I lose them…

This isn’t the first character loss, I’ve experienced. I’m not a rookie who doesn’t realize that character loss happens. I do realize there are real actors behind the characters, real people with lives, careers, ambitions beyond a single part. But I sometimes forget that while watching. And I’m not someone who tracks entertainment news. I have a friend who warns me about shows we both like and sometimes I look things up to see if there will be more seasons coming if I’m really loving a show.

I was sad when Foyle’s War ended before the war and glad they came back and kind of finished it, though I was not thrilled his son was gone. Yeah, I’m still about the romance…

So sometimes I get surprised. I was a latecomer to NCIS and got whopped upside the head when Kate died. I had a really hard time bonding with Ziva and then finally I did and yeah. Gone, too, though we think she’s still alive out there somewhere. There’s hope. But don’t get me started on that version of Robin Hood where they killed off Maid Marion (who DOES that?)…

Maybe its a function of glomming (the act of consuming a whole season of a show over a weekend), that ups the emotional stakes?

What do you think? What gets you started on a television show? What keeps you watching? What are your favorites and where do you watch them? You know I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value).  Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.

Perilously yours,

Pauline

P.S. I have killed off a few characters and made some readers sad doing it, in The KeyYou can buy the book, or read the first part for free.

cover for The Key

When Characters Die #sadface
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7 thoughts on “When Characters Die #sadface

  • July 7, 2015 at 1:38 pm
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    These days with the wonders of Netflix, etc, I tend to wait for a couple of episodes before I commit to a new show and see how my favourite review blogs break them down. I don’t have the free time to invest in something that’s not going to go the distance – at least for a season or two.
    Widdershins recently posted…Road TripMy Profile

  • July 6, 2015 at 12:16 pm
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    Take heart, Pauline. The guy who replaced the dead character has moved his whole family to Guadaloupe so I don’t think he’ll be killed off anytime soon. The problem with the first guy is that he didn’t do that and wound up missing his family a lot. This guy lined up his ducks.

    • July 6, 2015 at 4:59 pm
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      LOL But I don’t like him as much. Don’t ask me why, but I want the dead guy back. lol

  • July 6, 2015 at 8:30 am
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    Love NCIS, still. I’ve been watching it for years. Leverage is a great one, too. Thinking about your post, it really does come back to the characters. I watched Heroes and was enjoying it, until the writers betrayed one of the characters. They made him do something so totally out of character they killed the show for me. I couldn’t watch it anymore. Bones is another one where the writers screwed up the characters so badly, I quit watching. I get attached to these people. If I can’t find someone in the series I relate to, I have a very hard time caring about it enough to keep watching.
    Jaleta Clegg recently posted…Bargain CheeseMy Profile

    • July 6, 2015 at 9:22 am
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      Leverage is so fun, too, I agree. Yeah, once they make the characters do something they wouldn’t, I’m gone. I want to love the characters but now I need to not love them. lol

    • July 7, 2015 at 1:34 pm
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      Yep, I gave up on Bones when the geeky dude went all Hannibal Lecter-y – or whatever happened to him, can’t remember now – it was just bad writing.
      Widdershins recently posted…Road TripMy Profile

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