TVs Lamest Deaths
1. Ryan Nichols, V- Poor, lovable Ryan was sent to early grave in this season’s final episode courtesy of his own daughter who had been brainwashed by that pesky lizard queen, Anna. Normally this kind of send-off wouldn’t be all that embarrassing, except in this case, Ryan somehow became overpowered by a friggin’ five year old little girl who continued to strangle him and snap his neck with her lizard tail. Girlfriend must have been eating her Wheaties that day because this death was inexcusably weak.
2. James Dempsey, The Event- God bless Dempsey, he certainly was a crazy old coot. I guess the writers finally decided to throw viewers a bone and explain how Dempsey had any relevance at all to the show’s plot (really, I was beginning to wonder…). He finally explains to our hero Sean that they are both “Sentinels” designed to protect the human race from Sophia’s future plot to invade earth. Sean, however, is still bitter at Dempsey for attempting to repeatedly kill him (what a baby) so in order to prove he’s telling the truth, Dempsey decides his best option is to shoot himself in the head because you know, nothing proves you’re NOT crazy more than committing public suicide. LoLz Dempsey!
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3. Marissa Cooper, The OC- Marissa was undoubetdly The OC’s most annoying character, but even at her worst, she was a critical component to the show’s success (need I mention the mess that was season 4?). Killing her character off was a poor idea from the start, but how the writers chose to do it was laughable. After a night of drinking, bad boy Volchok decides to chase after Marissa and Ryan in a minivan that can’t possibly go faster than 60 mph. He gently side swipes their car and Ryan screams there’s no room for him to pull over, even though it’s blatantly obvious there’s PLENTY of room to pull over. So rather than stop or slow down, Ryan speeds up to Volchok… just in time to drive his car off a cliff and send Marissa (and the show) to an early grave.
4. Mitch Leery, Dawson’s Creek- Dawson’s dad Mitch, quite possibly the world’s worst multi-tasker, delivered an unintentionally hilarious performance in his last few minutes of screen time. As Mitch is driving his car, humming merrily along to “Give Me the Beat Boys” eating an ice cream cone, it suddenly slides onto the floor. Mitch, who is clearly an advocate of the “Five Second Rule,” leans over to pick his beloved dessert from off the floor. As he sits upright, he proceeds to stare blankly ahead for several seconds as headlights come gleaming into his view, a horn wails, and the screen fades to black.
Clearly the writers just wanted to kill Mitch off so they could see James van der Beek cry.
5. Lawrence Kutner, House- When Kal Penn decided he was leaving House to go make a difference in the world with Obama or something, I guess the writers thought the best way to honor his typically cheery character was by having him blow his brains out (they must have been Republicans). If the writers had just taken the effort to foreshadow Kutner’s depression in previous episodes, then maybe it would have made some amount of sense. Instead Kutner’s death felt completely random, and mainly like a big, fat “F you” to Kal Penn.
6. Anya, Buffy the Vampire Slayer- Okay, okay, so the vengeance-demon-turned-human-girl-with-a-fear-of-bunnies died a really heroic death in the end, saving super-nerd Andrew and the world from an angry hoard of uber-vampires who sliced her straight down the torso. However, it all happened so fast that if you literally blinked, you would have missed Anya’s entire death sequence. Seriously, it lasted like two seconds and the Scooby gang certainly wasn’t choked up about the loss of their friend of the past four years, with ex-fiance Xander barely shedding a tear. As a series regular, poor little Anya’s death deserved just a little more sympathy than that.
7. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, Battlestar Galactica- Starbuck was one of television’s most fascinating, kick-ass heroines and deserved a far better send-off than what she ultimately got. The Viper pilot (who was never the sharpest crayon in the box) died near the end of the third season when she got distracted by some pretty colors and flew her ship directly into a storm system. As if that death wasn’t lame enough, Starbuck was mysteriously resurrected a few episodes later only to be “killed” off in the series finale in a far lamer way. Looking off into the distance, Lee explains to Starbuck that he plans to travel the world or something equally dumb like that, then turns to face her only to find she has vanished into thin air. So not finding it weird, or you know, caring that his best friend is gone forever, Lee just looks into the distance and smiles. Ugh.
8. JT Yorke, Degrassi- As if Degrassi High wasn’t officially the single most emotionally disturbed high school in existence, the writers of everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure decided to pump up the drama by killing off lovable class clown JT Yorke in an act of violence that was like a Mothers Against Drunk Driving commercial gone horribly wrong. As a sober JT heads back to his car from what must have been the lamest party ever, he spots a grungy looking guy from his rival school urinating. They calmly exchange a few words and JT sarcastically says to himself, “Your sense of humor slays me.” So, in the furthest jump of logic imaginable, the grungy tween pulls out a six-inch switchblade (totally legal in Canada apparently) and stabs JT in the gut, as JT simultaneously dies and sets a new world record for “TV’s longest dramatic slouch.”
9. Nikki and Paulo, Lost- I stopped watching “Lost” when it really started to suck, which was conveniently right around the time these two goons appeared on the series. And because show runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse knew they royally screwed the pooch after receiving mounds of hate mail regarding these two characters, they decided the best way to redeem the series was to kill them off in a manner that I can only assume they came up with after browsing Lost fan fiction written by five year olds. So when forced to choose between killing Nikki and Paulo by way of auto-erotic boa constrictor strangulation, accidental ingestion of polar bear whiskers or super paralytic spider venom, writers went with the latter. Finally, in a hilarious misunderstanding our Losties unwittingly buried the gruesome twosome alive, but don’t worry, I’m sure they totally had a good laugh about it together in purgatory!
10. Niki Sanders, Heroes- Better known to many as that chick played by Ali Larter who had a split personality/evil twin, Heroes scribes quickly grew bored with her character and decided to hastily kill her off during the second season by forcing Niki to run into a burning warehouse, get stuck underneath debris, oh yeah, and totally forget about the fact she could simply lift up the debris and escape before the building explodes because she has SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH. Niki dies and the writers decide to create a plot twist straight out of the handbook of “#1 Thing Not to Do” the next season and reintroduce Larter as the triplet sister nobody knew nor cared about.
11. Jimmy Olsen, Smallville- Sweet little Jimmy Olsen was introduced to the Smallville universe during its eighth season. Everyone was certain that this was the Jimmy Olsen we all know and love from the comic books… that is of course, until the writers brutally impaled poor Jimmy in the season finale sending him off and on his merry way into the Great Beyond. So… huh? I’m pretty sure the writers were screaming at their TV screens, “You guys just got Punk’d BAD” as the final episode cuts away to “James Olsen’s” funeral, revealing that his younger brother “Jimmy” is actually the Jimmy Olsen from the comics, and that major plot inconsistencies can be completely dismissed by a single line of dialogue.
12. Paul Ballard, Dollhouse- Dollhouse proved that Joss Whedon was eager yet again to torture legions of his devoted fans by killing off their favorite characters in incredibly fleeting moments. However, I’m not so sure he hit the mark with the literal blink-and-you’ll-miss-it climactic moment of the entire series when Paul Ballard is randomly shot in the head as he goes to aid a wounded comrade. It wasn’t so much shocking as it was super random and bizarre, made ten times more bizarre by the fact that the series ends with Echo downloading and merging consciousness with the dead Ballard.
13. The entire cast of Dinosaurs- In probably the most depressing series finale ever for a sitcom, stuff gets real when our family of dinosaurs inadvertently causes a nuclear winter and oh yeah, the mass extinction of their entire species. It ends as Howard the dino signs off from his news broadcast saying one final “Goodbye” and “Goodnight” to his reptilian brethren. Technically, viewers probably should have seen this ending coming, but wow. Talk about a total buzzkill. Kind of makes Revolutionary Road sound like a light-hearted romp in comparison.
14. Dr. Romano, ER- Dr. Romano had a rough go of things for most of his time spent working for Chicago’s ER, infamously losing his arm in a tragic helicopter accident that emotionally scarred him for life. By the show’s tenth season, the decision was made to kill off Dr. Crankypants at what seemed to be the writers either blatantly recycling entire plots or genuinely attempting to send Romano’s character off in the most profound way they could think of: by sending a helicopter plummeting from the ER’s rooftop and having it crash directly onto Romano as he walked out the hospital’s front door. Totally deep, bro.
15. Dan Conner, Roseanne-In a bizarre curveball during the series finale, the entire show is revealed to really be a work of Roseanne’s fictitious writings. Apparently her book was a way for her to cope with the death of her husband, Dan, who had actually died from the heart attack he suffered previously that season. While some found the ending thought provoking, others thought this was a totally lame death for an otherwise great sitcom character.
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