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July 09 2008

Joyce Makes EW's Top 25 New Classic Farewells. EW lists the top 25 New Classic Farewells in TV for the last 25 years. Joyce Summers makes the list.

Sara Sidle will be back at the beginning of the new seaosn of CSI, if onloy for 2 episodes- so she is gone, but not gone.
I was actually glad Sara left CSI. Her character storyline was done ages ago, and i felt they just kept her in there as a filler. What really sucks is that they are bringing her back which to me I think that it will take away from Worrick's death.

Anyways, I'm glad Joyce made the list. 'The Body' is the most heart wrenching hour of television ever.
Warrick. But think about this- Warrick and Sara were friends for more than 6 years, so would it not make sense that she would come back to provide emotional support for Grissom- to whom Warrick was like a son- for the aftemath of the shooting and the likely funeral, and as support for the loss of her friend?

And as for the rest of your comment- them's fighting words, matey! :-) Sara is nearly as dear to me as Tara is, and her story is not nearly told, not why she left, etc. And she ain't dead, neither, so she can come back and via realistic means. Wait, Sara and Tara! Huh, it rhymes! But then, my third near and dear is Sophie from In Treatment, so there goes the rhyme game.
While I was moved by Joyce's death, Tara's death broke my heart. I suppose I identified with Amber's portrayal much more, seeing a person who was soft-spoken, a bit of an outcast, but deeply concerned about the lives around her.

Of course, Tara is rarely mentioned in lists like this. Sad but true.
Rosalind Shays, L.A. Law (1991)

She was the one that fell down the elevator shaft, right?
Yeah, I agree QM.
I suspect that the deaths that usually moved people the most were ones where the person's death was grieved by the survivors. I know I was devastated by Jenny and Joyce's deaths primarily because of the effect it had on the scoobs. For Tara I felt it most when Willow was cradling her in her arms, and when Dawn was discovered by Buffy next to Tara's body. I didn't feel much grief when Anys died, even though I loved her character, because Joss didn't want to end the show on a down note, and didn't show Xander's pain except briefly.

The one exception to that for me was Wash's death, which gutted me, even though there wasn't much time spent on people's reactions. So I recognize that a character's death can be sufficient unto itself to cause major pain, but I still think that that's a rarer case.
Well, if I had to break it down, I, too, love the character of Tara more than Joyce.

But, this list is about the depictions of farewells. And, while Tara's death was realistically brutal, and there was more time to grieve (albeit in "Villains", not "Seeing Red") than I originally recognized, "The Body" is simply the truest, most powerful depiction of death and its aftermath I've ever seen.

Though, Angel deserves a shout-out for several of its own farewell episodes...

(Edited for typos)

[ edited by LKW on 2008-07-09 23:40 ]

[ edited by LKW on 2008-07-09 23:46 ]
No argument there.
Ah, yes, Mrs. Landingham in The West Wing! That was a definate tear-in-the-eye moment. I really need to start rewatching The West Wing again.

While I was moved by Joyce's death, Tara's death broke my heart.


I can see why people would be moved more by Tara's death, because she was a character one might feel more connected to, but 'The Body' as an episode of television was one of the most painfull viewing experiences ever. To this day, I usually skip it in rewatches (I've seen the episode twice, including the first airing) because it's simply too powerfull. It inevitably reminds me of how it (would) feel(s) to lose certain loved ones. I've never seen a more realistic portrayal of those emotions in any other television series, ever.

As far as deaths on Angel, the one that still gets me is Fred's in season five. 'A Hole in the World' is an amazing piece of television with two of the Buffyverse's best actors giving some of their best performances ever. The painfull inevitability and grieving beforehand are powerfull concepts used very effectively in that episode. It still manages to put a big old lump in my throat, even just thinking about it now. But then, Fred was my favorite character on Angel, so it was bound to impact me more because of that.

The one exception to that for me was Wash's death, which gutted me, even though there wasn't much time spent on people's reactions.


Same here. But there the emotional impact was due to the fact it was featured in a movie that everyone was looking forward to a lot, that we promoted to our friends and loved ones, discussed and anticipated for what sometimes felt like centuries and felt very connected to because of that. As a result, the main characters had become closer parts of most of our lives than even the Buffy and Angel characters had during their respective runs (and that was no small feat). These were people who we'd fought for to see on the screen again. We were just as much a part of Joss' world as the characters that actually lived in it, because the story of Firefly was such a perfect metaphor for the way the fans felt about their fight to get the show back (a feeling that Joss himself stimulated in many messages to the fans, making everyone feel like part of something bigger-than-just-a-show-or-movie).

And then Wash's death, during this happy-occurence-of-finally-seeing-these-characters-again was so unexpected and shocking and the final scenes of Serenity such a scary rollercoaster ride for the browncoat who was so involved with what was happening on screen (would we lose more? Would Joss really let them all die?), that the experience was an incredibly intensive one. I've not felt so physically gutted and tired after a movie, as the first time I saw Serenity with my fellow Dutch browncoats in a private pre-screening (having people around you who shared in said experience only intensified it), almost feeling like I myself had actually lived through these intensive events depicted on screen. And I was not the only one who felt that way, at the time.

But, to be fair: all that was part of (and partly due to) that experience as a browncoat entrenched in a very enthusiastic and dedicated slice of Whedon fandom. In subsequent viewings, Wash' death has lost some of its power in the movie, because there's so little time to actually deal with it onscreen (all the healing was done on discussion boards with other fans ;)), while the other 'deaths' still get me to this day. I've had people who saw 'The Body' on television come up to me to comment on how impressed they were with 'that television show I loved' (okay, that happened only once, but still) and the casual viewer would still take home most of the drama of Fred's death (even if it meant less to them because they didn't know the character) or to some lesser extent Tara's (because that's mostly dealt with after-the-fact), but Wash's death would hardly impact them at all. That difference is one of the reasons why 'The Body' is such an incredibly effective and impressive piece of television.

ETA: yikes, that certainly became a pretty sizeable comment ;)

[ edited by GVH on 2008-07-10 02:00 ]
I have to take ergonomic breaks just to finish reading it.
Haven't looked at the list, but...Cassidy Bridges' "death" in "Resurrection" still chokes me up every.single.time. From Nash (Don Johnson) being told by the doctor what had happened and all sound leaving as he hears those words - "We did everything we could, but...", to watching him pouring his heart out to Joe (Cheech Marin) on the roof, talking about all the hopes and plans and dreams he'd had for Cass's future to seeing Caitlin (Yasmine Blech Bleeth) come out to say something to him, but seeing the two friends together and realizing she would be intruding...it gets to me.

As for Wash's death - they were in the middle of a fight for their lives. They couldn't exactly take the time to grieve. That's why I love the exchanges between Mal & Zoe - is he talking about Serenity, or her? Or both?

Tara's death was jarring because it was so unexpected. Joyce's was a bit more...anticipated, due to the nature of her illness. Not that it lessens the impact any (I still can't watch that whole first scene with Buffy finding her on the couch, calling the medics and then calling Giles.) but it was sort of...inevitable.

Hmm. Jenny - snapped neck, sudden, unexpected death
Joyce - aneurism, more-or-less expected death
Tara - struck by a stray bullet, totally not expected
Anya - cut down in battle, almost expected

Can't speak to Fred's death, since I haven't seen "Angel."

Wash and Book - deaths in battle

Mean rotten Joss.
Strictly speaking Joyce's death wasn't inevitable;the cancer was "low-grade" and had responded to the surgery. It wa s side-effect of the oepration; a classic "the operation was a success but the patient died" scenario, as I called it elsewhere.

Wish I jumped into this thread earlier; I'm reminded what a cyberfriend of mine said on another board about "The Body."
One thing he objected to was how the reactions of the scoobs were shown. He said she'd never been depicted as that close, practically a second mother, to them. He felt the Xmas Eve dinenr scene rang false as justification. I pointed out that it could veyr easily have been such a relationship off-camera, to which he replied that it should have been shown before.
He also disliked the vampire at the end. I reminded him it was sunnydale's version of "the world keeps turning" but he felt that if the supernatural was kept out of the episode it should be kept out completely.

Reasons I can't agree with but certainly see as reasonable. . .unlike one thing said in the book Dusted, which said going to the closing credits before Dawn touched the body denied us closure.

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