The way I rate entertainment is based on how much I care about the characters. Whether I’m watching a film, series or reading a book, if I care about the characters I will enjoy the reading/watching process. (If the story’s good too that’s an extra bonus). Viewer/reader apathy is a sign of bad entertainment. (Well that and bad writing – but that’s a whole other topic).
With any series I’ve followed for a long time, I get irrationally attached to the characters. So much so that I had to physically stop myself from turning to the last page of Harry Potter. (I just wanted to check they were all ok!)
Two of my favourite things are coming out this month. The 7th Shopaholic book and Season 11 of Grey’s Anatomy (although I don’t actually know when that will be shown in the UK). I’ve googled Grey’s Anatomy a bit … just to break up the work day monotony, you know? Anywho. It’s all pointing to the two central characters splitting up. (Pause for shocked silence).
This news actually upset me. I love Grey’s, it’s just great escapist watching, and after ten years of loyal watching I want my two favourite characters to live happily ever after. Forget this splitting up nonsense. For me, one of the joys about escaping into light fiction of any media is the promise of a happy ending. It’s why I enjoy chick lit and rom coms so much.
I really hope this is just drumming up media attention, because if they do split up (god forbid) it’ll feel like I’ve wasted all those hours of my life caring. I could never re-watch an episode because I know that’s how it ends.
I know, I know, this doesn’t affect real day to day life. But in a way it does. Happy endings give you hope and make you feel good. And when things don’t go how you want them to, well it’s a classic case of pinning life’s disappointments somewhere they don’t necessarily belong.
So here’s my plea to writers and creators, in a universe you can control (i.e. fiction), feel free to create a bit of dramatic conflict but let your romantic leads run off into the sunset in the end. Please?
After all, if I want upset on my screen, I can just turn on the news.