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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"2010, I think. We don't know how long we've been off the air."
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July 15 2011

15 shocking deaths from TV history. Imagine if this DIDN'T contain any Whedon references. I know. Surely the end of the world. But everybody can relax and enjoy.

Bit old but I don't think it's been posted.

I agree, Wash's and Joyce's deaths were really shocking. I hope Joss will find a way to bring Wash back when he makes Serenity 2 afer the huge success of "The Avengers". (Wishful thinking, never a bad thing)He is my favorite crew member.

I think we can add Melle to the list. I could imagine Paul getting killed but Melle took me by surprise.

-spoiler for Damages Season 3-

And one of the most shocking deaths for me was Tom Shayes' death on Damages. They revealed it in such a way, it made me scream in front of the screen. And they made a really good season out of the fact.
I'm going to read the linked feature despite the danger of learning about someone's death on some show I haven't yet seen. Risky!

Later: OK, read through it. Never watched ROSEANNE so that was about the only one that was a surprise. I've thought about watching it for Joss's episodes, and maybe for Amy Sherman's (before she added Palladino to her name). Also, someone told me that one of the guys on THE BIG BANG THEORY had a role on it. But not a high priority.
Fred should be on there.
Wash is one of the rare few I had no idea was coming.

And the Locke "he really is dead!" reveal was a fine example of how weird and brilliant Lost can be.
Tara should have been on there.
I guess the list is for folks who didn't watch TV before the mid-90's. To not include Henry Blake on this list makes it pretty much pointless IMO.
I'm happy to see Dualla on there. That was the most gasp-wrenching moment in my television watching career!
@Njal
Yes, I love Johnny Galecki from BBT and he played David Healy- friend/lover to one of Roseanne's daughters, and brother to Mark Healy (husband to the other daughter) played by Glenn Quinn. Yet another shocking Whedon death- he played Doyle in Angel, and his own death being a shock a few years later.
Why wasn't Tara Maclay on the list? I had been spoilered before I saw the episode "Seeing Red", but still it was shocking when I actually saw her death.
There's at least one pretty recent spoiler on there, by the way.
To me, "shocking" is out-of-nowhere, no build up. So I wouldn't include Fred, or Nate Fisher from Six Feet Under. But, Tara? Yes.

Dee on BSG was probably most shocking of the ones I've seen. Especially since I was a spoiler-whore when Buffy was on.
Okay, I thought Wash's death was an accident,a stray piece of metal left over from the ccrash that was still moving. Guess I'll have to rewatch the movie, and I *really* don't want to.

Tara seems to be regarded as more of a cult character, and gets left off general lists like this or most other topics.
I've always viewed Tara is a cult character. No offense to anyone who loves her (I think she's great too, but not to the degree of some) but she was never a major focal point of the show. Why that doesn't qualify as shocking to me, is that non-primary characters tend to be killed with alacrity in TV land.

Fred shocked me. Nate doesn't only from the perspective that I think I knew that was going to be the last season. But to me, deaths like Doyle, Daniel Jackson, etc. always qualify for me because I just don't expect to see main characters killed as long as I'm oblivious to source material (GoT) or contract situations.

Joyce ends up on here (to me) not because her death was shocking, but because of the episode Joss produced was shocking.

[ edited by azzers on 2011-07-17 00:40 ]
I knew long before I watched A Hole in the World that Fred would die, as I actually only watched it a couple of years ago. In fact, the whole episode seemed quite underwhelming to me; still great, just not the emotional ride I was expecting.

Joyce is obviously a good pick, but I would have also included Jenny Calender in there too. That was the point I really noticed how different this show (although, re-watching episodes like Prophecy Girl, I have no idea how I didn't spot it sooner.)

You also can't have a list like this without including Wash. I think my mouth was on the floor throughout the final battle sequence and it really did make you fear for everyones' lives.

Having just completed watching The Sopranos for the first time a few days ago (now one of my favourite shows of all time) I can totally agree with Adriana. In reality, you always knew it was coming the second she was talking with the FBI. However, there was always this sense that Chris was the one that might get away, what with his interests outside the mob with his script writing. This seemed quite a foolish belief, with hindsight.

This also makes his death all the more shocking. Much in the same way you expect Nate to last to the final episode of Six Feet Under, Chris had been so influential and important to Tony that killing him off before the final episode came completely out of the blue for me. From the very start of the series,I expect Chris to be killed or escape in the final episode. It is also shocking the way he is death is handled so insignificantly, essential happening to keep police off Tony's back. The author of this piece says they hated this ending to Chris's arc, which I see as the reaction you are meant to have. This is a turning point for the viewer's relationship with Tony, as we see that he really does not have any chance of the redemption we are suggested at the start of the season.
I knew long before I watched A Hole in the World that Fred would die


The spoilers for Fred and Cordy's deaths came out in the space of a day from what I recall. It was quite the double punch for the fandom.

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