The Good Wife is about to mourn the passing of one of its major characters. This TV season has been distinguished by the fact that TV shows have been killing off major and minor characters without reluctance.
Will Gardiner (Josh Charles) has certainly been one of the major characters of The Good Wife and had been involved in most of the major story lines of the last five seasons of the show. He is the man who the show is mourning. He hired the wife to his fictional law firm after her husband had an affair with a prostitute and destroyed his political career. No other law firm would hire her. He had an affair with her when she was separated from her husband. His death at this point in the run of The Good Wife would seem to leave a major hole in the workings of the show.
Helix just ended its first season on the SyFy network. The show killed off most of its major characters in the latest episode. This is not entirely surprising as the show is about a pandemic that is quite efficient in killing off its victims. With so many characters dead, a person has to wonder how the show is going to continue. The Good Wife only has to wonder about the death of one character, not a dozen.
On the same network as The Good Wife, Person of Interest also killed off one of its major characters. This TV show deals with saving people from violent deaths with the help of a supercomputer. From the first season, the main characters had been fighting a group of corrupt cops who relished in killing off people. The group of corrupt cops was called HR. The HR story line ended with one of the foremost characters being killed.
A NBC show called The Blacklist relishes in killing off characters as well.
The Blacklist is about a criminal who is helping the FBI to go after really nasty criminals. His list results from people who are truly despicable, evil criminals. In a way, he is using the FBI to get rid of his competition.
So far, an assistant to the criminal has been killed. The person who allowed the blacklist to happen was actually killed by the criminal. A girlfriend of one of the principal characters was killed. These are marginal characters, but the message is clear that no one on the TV show is safe. A person should not get too attached to any of the characters.
Why TV shows can so easily kill off characters without worrying about its ratings can only be explained by the success of Law and Order.
Law and Order was on for 19 seasons. It was distinguished by the fact that many actors and characters left the show and were replaced. One actor actually left in the middle of a season. Two actors did leave the show because they died. Despite the numerous cast changes, the show was extremely popular. It was so popular that it even had three spin-offs. People seemed to like the concept of the show and as long as the concept was not messed with too much, people stuck with the show.
The Good Wife should learn its lesson from Law and Order and make sure that they don’t mess with the concept of the show too much. It then should not die with one of its main characters.
By Tom Clark