TV finales have always been a time for heightened drama. The cliffhanger, the plot twist: These are longstanding tools. But is it just us, or is the death of a major, beloved character becoming increasingly common, to the point of getting old?
Looking at some of our favorite shows' finales in the last year alone, we have Grey's Anatomy offing Lexie (Chyler Leigh), a well liked character and half of a popular ‘ship. Pretty Little Liars revealed the answer to its biggest mystery and still killed Maya (Bianca Lawson). The Vampire Diaries killed Alaric (Matt Davis). True Blood ended last summer with something akin to a massacre. Etc, etc, etc. We think our point is made.
But is the oversaturation of dramatic finale deaths actually hurting the emotional impact of each individual instance? At this point, even people who only follow one or two shows at a time have likely been bombarded with at least a few tragic departures. How many main and/or well liked characters have died on Grey's Anatomy over the years? Yeah, a ton.
Maybe we're just cynical and jaded people, but at this point, if the character doesn't happen to be our very, very favorite, we find that we just can't work up the energy to care as much as we should when someone dies. We've started anticipating and dissecting deaths, spending more time poking holes in plot holes than allowing ourselves to be swept up in the moment.
These days, sometimes the most surprising finales are the ones where everyone gets a happy ending, at least for that episode.
Do you agree, or do we just watch way too much TV? Vote in our poll, and let us know in the comments below.