How do we survive the loss of a character? It hurts so bad!

30 Mar

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Tyler Hoechlin- “Derek” on MTV’s Teen Wolf– would be leaving the show. Now, it makes sense as his character was pushed out of a central role in the last season and half because there are a ton of teens on the show (and the actor reportedly wants freedom to do more movies) but… Derek is one of the reasons I watch the show.

Without him, will I continue to watch?

Honestly, it’s tough to say. When Ziva left NCIS, I stopped watching the show. And I adore Mark Harmon. Adore him. But the relationship of Ziva to the other characters was central for me.

I think I would’ve stopped watching Angel in season 5 with the loss of Cordelia, if not for the wreck that was season 4.

But why is it that a single character can influence whether or not audience members continue to tune in? It comes down to chemistry. I am more willing to stick around for a show if I like the characters, even if there are story issues- look at how I stuck by season 2 of Sleepy Hollow, as an example. Story can be fixed. But actors who can’t bring a character some charisma? I’d rather watch repeats of The Simpsons.

So I fall for characters- they become my favorite. And when they leave… it creates a hole in my show. Sometimes, a series can come back from it. Criminal Minds survived the loss of “Elle” and “Gideon”, by having the story flow smoothly- it made sense that the stress of the job would drive the characters to move on. Will Teen Wolf survive the loss of Derek? Perhaps. But it would be better to decrease the number of annoying teens then lose the adult character who grounds and educates the others.

Also, he’s pretty.

Bones killed off Zack and almost lost me because they did it so badly. Luckily, I’ve enjoyed the squinterns. Of course, I’ve lost interest during the seasons and just marathon the show now. But that’s neither here nor there…

Arrow has killed off a major character each season but it didn’t drive audiences away because they made the loss a turning point for the characters. Sleepy Hollow killed a major character, sort of, and it drove audiences to a tipping point because the season was slip sliding down hill already. However, they were smart and killed off two characters that absolutely needed to go in order to save the show. Personally, I hope the fans who jumped ship will come back in season 3.

I still wonder if I will be able to tolerate season 5 of Teen Wolf without Derek. I love the show, don’t get me wrong, but I need more than a bunch of teenagers to keep me tuning in. Overall, the series has provided solid storylines, but they took a strong main character- Derek- and pushed him to the back of pack. Turned him into that character who appears in the knick of time to provide that one piece of info that is needed to save the day.

I’ll give the season a looksee, but I’m not promising that I’ll stay around though. It’ll be too hard without my favorite character to really dig in though…

I’ll be sure to tell you how we survive as soon as I figure it out. Which isn’t today. Today, I have to go rewatch early Teen Wolf episodes and mourn.

What show were you unable to continue after a character left? What character had a hold on you?

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