Remember Charlie Sheen? Old Tiger Blood is in the news again this week, as the esteemed writers of Two and a Half Men have found a solid gold way to phase Sheen out of the show and seamlessly shove Ashton Kutcher in – kill the bastard off!
Killing off a major character is a tried and tested plot device in TV land, and can be utilised for several functions: a) to boost flagging ratings (why do you think Grey's Anatomy has someone dying tragically every five minutes?) b) explain absences (when the actor who played Coach in Cheers died, they made his character die too) or c) get rid of actors who scriptwriters/co-stars/audiences hate (sorry Shannon Doherty, no more Charmed powers for you).
We thought we'd give you our list of the best and most interesting deaths on TV, but it goes without saying that this post deserves a massive SPOILER ALERT
for it contains many SPOILERS
about TV deaths that you may want to be ALERTED
to. Alright then.
Now don't get us wrong, we don't take some sick pleasure in watching fictional characters perish (well, most of the time). By 'best' we mean the funniest, most tragic, most eye opening, and of course, most gross-est. Here is the Lifelounge guide to TV deaths:
Dan Connor – Roseanne
Tragic, but in a highly confusing way, Dan Connor suffers from a heart attack at Darlene's wedding (probably at shock that someone is willing to marry Darlene) in season eight. Although he is seen to have survived it in the following season, in the final episode of the show it reveals that the whole series was in fact a story written by Roseanne based on her life, and in reality Dan is actually DEAD. And Jackie is a lesbian. But Dan is DEAD.
Maude Flanders – The Simpsons
Weird, right? Maude Flanders, good Christian wife of Ned and friend to all, meets her maker at the hands of a tee-shirt cannon. It happens.
Buffy's mum – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy may kill about a zillion demons per episode, but there was something very creepy about her mother Joyce dying. Maybe because when Buffy found her, it was filmed in one continuous scene with no music, or because Joss Whedon's mum had actually died the same way. Or maybe it was creepy because in a wacky, supernatural show like Buffy, it was a rare moment of not so great reality.
Susan – Seinfeld
Death isn't supposed to be funny, but somehow Seinfeld made it really, really funny. Even when George has to tell his friends that his fiance Susan, who he never particularly liked, is gone it's still
funny. "That's awful, George" – Elaine. "Poor Lily" – Kramer.
Gran – True Blood
But, wait! We've only known you for like five episodes! True Blood has gotten very good at the shock deaths, and this one was definitely a doozie. Killing off the most sympathetic and morally upright character is always a way to keep fans guessing, so in True Blood there is always a nice smattering of main character murders between all the vampire sex.
Everybody in the last six minutes – Six Feet Under
Cannot. Even. Handle. Is this some kind of record for number of significant deaths in one sequence? Even if you don't watch Six Feet Under, this video will make you emote, hard.
Henry Blake – M*A*S*H
M*A*S*H was so unique in its seamless meshing of comedy and drama that it's a wonder that no TV show since has come close to combining these elements so successfully. Hawkeye pulls a funny, then BAM! You find out that beloved leader Henry Blake is dead.
Bill – Big Love
The polygamist son of a gun eventually gets shot (sorry, bad pun) and his three beautiful wives have to live in that big ol' house without him. How ever will they fend for themselves, given they did all the cooking, cleaning and raising of the 56789 children themselves? Oh, wait.
Lucy – ER
ER was doing tragic main character deaths waaay before Grey's Anatomy, OK? Don't you go thinking otherwise. One of the many deaths in this show was the stabbing of Dr Lucy Knight by an escaped mental patient. Apparently the actress who played Lucy thought the character wasn't working, so why not kill her off in a gruesome and memorable way?
Adriana – The Sopranos
Lesson: if you are going to rat on Tony Soprano, there will be consequences. Soz Adriana.