The good ones always go

20 Aug

Why?? Without fail at the end of every season, we always ask the question in some way or another "Why do all the good ones go?" when a favourite character or show comes to an end. This is a testament to the quality of an actors skill in the role as well as the quality of the writers script.

I for one love to hear the shock every single time it happens from people who genuinely don't see it coming (sometimes it even happens to me). The only thing that comes close to the flurry of water cooler talk at the end of a season or a characters life span is probably when someone suddenly leaves for another job. People can't help but talk about it.

But it's usually only the good ones that go who get talked about. In life and in shows. No one ever remembers the mediocre or the bad. However there is a special exception made for those who are spectacularly bad at what they do.

I'm talking about your Jar Jar Binks type characters.

The ones that make you question life itself and what you did wrong to be stuck with/watching them.

It's kind of a skill if you're that much of an epic failure that you can get noticed that way. Probably not what you aim for in life but at least you're remembered.

However characters like this are rare. You're more likely to find the ones who literally just vanish from a series silently written out only to be remembered if you go and rewatch the series. Like the black guy from Glee series 1...yeah that one (admit you watched Glee dammit!).

So why do we remember only the good ones going?

In my opinion we all have this idealised vision of what a show, a movie, a cartoon or our lives should be. This is created when a situation is put in front of us. When things are taken out of this situation that have made an impression on us we have a reaction. If it was a good thing then it's an intense feeling of loss especially if the circumstances of the loss aren't softened. If it's a bad thing then we get a mixed bag of emotions which we delve into when we need to thing of how much worse a show or a situation could be.

Great writers (I'm looking at you George R. R. Martin) know how to give us great characters and take them away. Just like life they love to be generous and ruthless at the same time.

What we need to do is to accept the loss of the character (as hard as it is) and enjoy the show for what it is, not what it could have been.


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Trevor Price

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