After last night’s shocking exit from The Good Wife I asked myself the question, Can a TV show survive a Major Exit?
In it’s the fifth season, The Good Wife is at the top of its game. A grand fanbase, beloved by critics and ratings to boot. With a recent renewal, there seems to be no stopping the hit Sunday night drama. However, many fans (myself included) were left gobsmacked with the sudden death of Will Garner in Episode 15 ” Dramatics, Your Honor”. Personally, I have never felt so saddened and shocked by a character’s death in my many hours of TV viewing.
But once I recovered (and wiped away the last tear my dehydrated body could squeeze out) I began to think of the writers. In a show that is not usually one for the “Dramatics” of shootings, explosions and all that comes attached to a Shonda Rhimes show, I had to ask why now? Why kill off the main character mid-season, and why oh why kill the main character’s love interest.
Will and Alicia were the Ross and Rachel of the courtrooms. Over the past few years, I watched them flirt, fight, and…other stuff. So naturally I assumed, like many other fans, they would live happily ever after. Guess fairy-tales don’t apply on Sunday night dramas.
It was in this depressing stupor I found a past example of such a string of upsetting events. Back in 2006, hit show The O.C left my jaw on the floor at the sight of a deceased Marissa Cooper in the streets. My sister cried “But Ryan and Marissa were meant to be together” I share her sentiments today and can’t help but compare the two shows. Marisa’s untimely passing occurred in the Season 3 finale. Viewers clung to hope in Season 4 but alas, without his love Ryan Atwood would find himself on a sinking ship bound for cancellation.
Can the exit of our protagonist’s love interest, and perfectly complex character in their own right, be the end of a TV show? I certainly hope not, I would love to see The Good Wife continue for many years, however without the hope of seeing Alicia and Will surrounded by grandchildren, It may lose its flavor. This is not to say a show is damned if it kills off the sole love interest. Unfortunately, this is all too real in Musical-Comedy GLEE with the tragic passing of Cory Monteith. His character, Finn passed away and we watch his on-screen girlfriend Rachel deal with her loss. Now we see plans to follow our protagonist on her journey of self-discovery, as the show still maintains it’s ratings and fan base.
While I cannot tell what the future holds for The Good Wife I do look forward to seeing how it deals with this risky storyline. Will it continue its rise in popularity, or will it suffer a similar fate as The O.C?