Thursday, October 16, 2014

"I Have Become Death"

C in DC recently posted to my FB wall regarding a list that was out there on "13 TV Character Deaths That We Never Got Over."  The list was pitiful.  If you really want to see it - you can click on the link.  But it was suggested that I come up with my own list of TV Deaths that had major impact.  (Bonus points for the one who identifies the title quote and where it was used in a movie)

So here goes, in no particular order:
  • Edith Bunker on All in the Family - She was missing from the above list, and it is possibly one of the most poignant episodes of the entire series.  I still get choked up when I think about that scene where Archie is talking to her slipper.
  • Henry Blake on M*A*S*H - Henry's tragic departure was on the above list, but that was not enough to save the list's credibility.  I think that one of the reasons this has such an impact was that the cast was not told of this plot twist until the moment of the filming - which is why Radar's delivery is so moving.
  • Dolores Landingham on The West Wing - As many viewers never saw this coming - it hit hard.  It, of course, set the stage for the series to hit the gas and blaze forward and her later appearances in Jed's memory were helpful to series watchers find closure.  Honorable mention here - Leo McGarry, though we all knew this was coming following the death of John Spencer.
  • Gary Shepard on thirtysomething - in one of life's great ironies, Gary, who didn't drive a car, rode his bike everywhere, is killed in an auto accident.
  • Coach on Cheers - Due to the untimely death of actor Nick Colasanto, we we forced to say goodbye to Sam Malone's greatest foil.  We liked you Woody, but you were no coach.
  • Mr. Hooper on Sesame Street - On a show aimed at kids, it forced parents everywhere to take a crash course on explaining death to their children - and luckily the gang at Sesame Street were there to help.
  • Zoe Barnes on House of Cards - Mrs. BA and I came late to the House of Cards bandwagon, so we knew this was coming.  But the violence of the moment still made us both gasp and showed us the ruthlessness of Frank.
  • Rosalind Shays on L.A. Law - I never, ever, step blindly onto an elevator.  Not after seeing this untimely end of the evil Rosalind.
  • Nate Fisher on Six Feet Under - For a show that started every episode with a death, the death of Nate as the show was concluding was still very painful. 
  • Lane Pryce on Mad Men - Lane got himself in a little bit of trouble and took the easy way out, leaving the other partners of SCDP to clean things up and move on.  When viewers found out (and saw it) it stunned us.

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