As we approach this year's fall primetime lineup, I find myself thinking less about the new shows about to launch and more about the shows that aren't returning. There are a whole slew of characters and plot lines that will never again be enjoyed by all of us that invested so much time into them over the years.
It's strange how television has this tendency to suck you into it. I guess it's much the same with movies and books, but I think the nature of television programing gives it a unique ability to draw you in and keep you coming back. I assume it has to do with the fact that television is episodic. We tune in each week for the next installment and over time we begin to genuinely care about the characters.
Whether we simply like one of the characters, have a crush on an actor/actress, know someone who reminds us of someone in the cast, or feel like the story mirrors our own lives, we invest a little part of ourselves in the show as we watch. The characters become almost real and we actually legitimately care about them. We laugh, we cry, we love, and we hate. While none of it's real, we treat it as if the situations and relationships are.
The problem is that it isn't real. Furthermore, their existence depends on the amount of people that tune in every week and if the studio execs decide that a show has run it's course, it gets pulled. Along with the shows death goes all the time we've put into watching. What's going to happen to John and Susie (two completely arbitrary names)? We'll never know. We'll just have to live on without them and replace them with the next series to come along. But I guess all things come to an end.
posted by Christopher Schnese