Things I Don’t Like About Television, Episode 6: Life and Death

In certain dramas, life and death can oft be treated with a general carelessness. One character may be killed off for flimsy reasons or another may be brought back from the afterlife. In either case, their death (and life) are being cheapened. It takes away the impact of the moment and ruins the suspension of disbelief moving forward.

Heartless Deaths

When I use the term, “heartless death,” there are at least three scenarios I’m referring to. There might be more, but these

Scenario 1

An actor might clash with another actor, a writer, or a producer. As a result, that first actor’s character is written off the show (and most likely killed off). That character’s death may be announced in passing or happen in a quick, unemotional way. This is an outgrowth of awful writing and/or pettiness.

The first scenario was the case with Valerie Harper, the star of Valerie’s Family. She wanted more money and as a result, the titular character was killed offscreen. The show became The Hogan Family, and it sucked so bad imo, that I refused to watch any of those reruns.

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