Thursday, May 17

Spoiling the Surprise

For the past couple of weeks, there's been buzz--started by creator/writer Shonda Rhimes--that Grey's Anatomy is going to suffer a sad, emotional loss. A major, beloved character will die.

Well, due to news last week, we now know who it won't be: Derek, Merideth, Christina, Alex, Dr. Webber, or Bailey. As all of the original characters have signed on for an additional couple of years.

Do you remember in the old days--before the internet mass media machine? When you were honestly surprised by what happened on a t.v. show? 

In 1975, M*A*S*H, shocked the heck out of everyone when the helicopter carrying Col. Henry Black went down. According to wikipedia, it was the first time a major character was killed off in a television show.
A few years later, 1980 to be exact, Dallas captivated a nation when JR was shot. Not that any of us believed he would die--after all, what would Dallas be without JR? Inconceivable. But who shot him? 

That summer there were several magazines devoted to the mystery surrounding who shot him and it was the water-cooler talk for weeks.And when Dallas premiered in the fall, almost everyone had at least one t.v. tuned in to see who shot JR.

My question to you. Could those two events happen in today's hyperactive media machine? Can a major character die or be shot without anyone leaking the incident? Can we be still be surprised or shocked? 

Back to Grey's Anatomy. My money is on Little Grey to bite the dust. She's had a lack-luster year, like the writers don't know exactly what to do with her. Basically, she's pined after Mark all season and whined to Derek in x-ray view rooms.

Plus, her death affects many of the other players, opening up storylines. So, from a writing standpoint, that's what I'd do.

But--BUT---wouldn't her death or any other death--have been more shocking and emotional, had we not been warned it was coming? 

PS> thank you, Patrick Dempsey for signing on for a couple more years.


  1. I remember when Henry Blake died--I still cry when I see that episode!

    1. Totally. And at the time, it was just so damned unexpected.

  2. I love the TV show Justified. But shock, shock, shock, I don't have cable or dish or any other device. SO I get my shows on DVD a season late. If anyone ruins this next year for me, I may shoot them.

    1. I've never watched Justified but I know what you mean. Sometimes my sister and I begin phone conversations with "Don't talk about ______, I haven't watched it yet."

  3. NCIS is my show, and it shocked the bejesus out of me this year - there was a bomb and unknown casualties and then (SPOILER!!!) as Duckie got the news he had a heart we don't know who is gone and who isn't and the Duckie thing they didn't even hint at - at least not that I've been able to find. So I think those complete surprises can be done - but the whole cast, crew and leadership has to buy in that they can't talk about it. And that's hard - because we all want to tell a secret!!