Friday, June 5, 2009


I'm angry. And a little depressed. What's news about that, you say? While it's true that I'm not exactly a stranger to these emotions, I resent the fact that I'm experiencing them as a result of a television show. TV is supposed to be my salvation, my escape from the monotony and drudgery that is my real life. I watch to be entertained. I watch to be swept up by the excitement and adventure (all from the safety of my couch, mind you) which my real life is lacking. I don't watch to have my heart ripped out, which is exactly what Fox has done. I've been pretty busy lately and am just now getting around to watching all the shows stored up on my Tivo which is why this post is coming so long after the fact.

A few days ago I sat down for a Prison Break marathon with the anticipation that my guys would finally win...they'd bring down The Company, clear their names and all live happily ever after. That's what I've been hoping for these past few years, after all. Knowing this was the series finale, that's what I expected. I was partly right. They did bring down The Company and they were all exonerated. Yea! Happy ending, right? Wrong. Apparently the writers decided that a happy ending just wouldn't do so instead they killed Michael Scofield. The star of the show. The guy viewers like me have been heavily invested in and rooting for throughout the series. They killed him. And I'm really angry. I'm angry because I bawled like a baby. I'm angry because, three days later, I'm still a little bit down about this. It feels a lot like someone I knew died.

I know what you're thinking. Yes, I realize I have unhealthy "relationships" with certain TV characters who happen to be Time Lords, but I assure you this was not the case here. Sure, Wentworth Miller is extremely easy on the eyes and Michael Scofield was a very appealing character, but I was in no way fixated. Until they killed him. I now find myself googling Wentworth Miller to see what he'll be doing next, to check out hot photos of him, mostly--I think-- to confirm that, in spite of Michael Scofield's fate, Mr. Miller is still alive and well and (I hope) living happily ever after.

Either the writing and acting on the show were so well done that I completely bought in or this is just another sign that the line between reality and fiction are becoming increasingly blurred for me. Since the latter undoubtedly points to an impending breakdown, I like to think it's the former. And yet, I feel vaguely used and manipulated. Maybe happy endings are trite, but given the state of the world in which we live, I'll take trite. Plus, considering the preposterous premise of Prison Break, the finale was really not the place for the writers to do anything other than tie things up in a neat little package and let Michael, Link, Sara, et al. ride off into the sunset. Sure it's cliche, but that's all I ever wanted or needed from Fox. Just because you can make your viewers sob is no sign you should.


Kate, Dating in LA said...

I didn't watch the show, and I'm angry for you. Showrunners beware, in only extreme cases can you kill off the character your viewers were invested in (Breaking Bad can probably get away with it because the main character was diagnosed with a terminal illness; and I was expecting it with the Sopranos).

Helen said...

Well, Michael did have a brain tumor, but some miracle surgery seemed to have cured him. And when you're writing a show you obviously have a choice to have a miracle cure or not. There have been a number of shows (many of them on Fox as it turns out!) that were just canceled with no chance for a wrap-up. Given this outcome, I'm not feeling as bad about not getting those endings. I'm just not sure what the writers were going for other than the cheap tear-jerker....or perhaps they wanted to make sure Prison Break fans didn't assault Fox with demands they bring the show back. Whatever the reason, I'm still feeling a little blue. Ridiculous, I know...but, still!

Dee Murray said...

I totally know what you mean! I recently was sobbing like a child when one of my favorite tv characters had her memories erased (long story, but trust me) and she was walking around as a shell of her former self. I was inconsolable!!! It seems ridiculously illogical to be so emotionally invested in what is essentially fiction, but there you have it. Just means the writers are succeeding, I guess - we really DO care what happens!