Top 10 TV deaths (spoilers)

August 9 2013
by emma

I know talking about TV deaths sounds a bit morbid (eep) and not my usual Happy Friday but here in Australia we’re still sad about Patrick’s death from Offspring.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I tend to become very emotionally invested in TV characters and their lives and deaths so here are the most significant ones to me, starting from my childhood to now:

  1. Molly from A Country Practice – being a schoolgirl I loved the wacky, cute, young wife and mother Molly so watching her death from leukaemia was really hard.  I was heartbroken for days afterwards and remember talking about it to school friends endlessly at recess.
  2. Col. Henry Blake from MASH – my dad loved this show and I remember watching reruns with him when I was a kid.  I burst into tears when Radar, shocked and tearful, reports to the OR team that bumbling but lovable Henry’s plane has been shot down after being honourably discharged.  It was horrible because it was already sad to watch a much loved character leave the show, but then to find out about his shocking death seemed unnecessarily cruel.
  3. Dr Mark Greene from ER – my favourite character from this show, the one who seemed the most like a doctor and the nicest person on TV, died from a brain tumour.  I felt like I’d lost a friend.
  4. Lou from Love my Way – absolutely gut-wrenching.  This beautiful Australian show produced by Claudia Karvan showed her cute and spirited little TV daughter Lou dying suddenly from cardiomyopathy.  It struck me how difficult this would have been to watch if I had children.
  5. Nate from Six Feet Under – showing a haunting and philosophical dream sequence, Nate’s death from a brain tumour was unforgettable to me, notably because Nate was afraid of death yet uncomfortably aware of his own mortality.
  6. Vampire Mitchell from Being Human – Mitchell asks his friend George to kill him so he can’t kill any more innocent humans; I never watched the show after this!  I was devastated but also, as an ensemble cast, it wouldn’t have been the same anyway.
  7. Adele Stackhouse from True Blood – in spectacular gory fashion, Sookie’s nan’s death was shocking and unexpected because it was relatively early on in the show and the character was so lovely and graceful.
  8. Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey – watching this sweet nurse’s heart wrenching death from eclampsia after giving birth was also frustrating to watch because it was from a condition which can now be detected early and prevented.
  9. Cathy from The Big C – although expected, watching Cathy’s inevitable journey from melanoma remission to acceptance of her fate was terribly sad but very well done; it reminded me of family members I’ve lost.  I loved the end because I like to think there’s a magical place we all eventually travel to that’s special to us.
  10. Dr Patrick from Offspring – due to channel 10’s tacky promos of the show, we knew we were going to lose somebody.  Patrick’s death by what seemed initially to be a fairly innocuous head injury was subtle and low-key in it’s delivery, and the grieving by his TV sister and girlfriend was so well executed it actually made me feel uncomfortable to watch.

Apparently, while tweeting about Patrick’s death from Offspring, fans of the show were unknowingly tweeting the handle for the Offspring (band from the 90s) instead and I had to laugh at some of the band’s cheeky responses to people’s sad tweets!

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Yep. I’m a total wreck when a character is topped on TV. I know (and have been shocked, cried, obsessed with…) some of the one’s you list above. Others that had me gutted are Rachel from Cold Feet and Ned Stark from Game of Thrones… I think I might have to go and have a cup of tea and a cupcake just to console myself now.

  2. Oh I do believe in that magical place!
    You’ ve got to read ‘Dying to be me’ by Anita Moorjani.

  3. I don’t watch Offspring, but I have friends who are in deep mourning (and wine-drinking) for Dr Patrick.
    Col Henry and Molly are definitely the ones that stuck with me the most over the years. Even now when I watch M*A*S*H* re-runs I can’t watch Henry’s final episode.

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