You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV’s Disposable Spring Makes Westeros’ Winter Seem Tame

This spring is certainly one of the weirdest TV eras I’ve ever lived through, and I’ve written about TV for a long time. Spoilers about recent TV dramas follow.

Megan Boone’s character was apparently killed off on “The Blacklist” on Friday. Stana Katic is being written out of the long-running ABC show “Castle” — the show in which she was the co-lead. Many TV viewers are still reeling from the way that Nicole Beharie’s character was killed off on “Sleepy Hollow” just over a week ago. Both “Castle” and “Sleepy Hollow” depended, in large part, on the chemistry between the show’s male and female leads. But apparently those programs might come back without the lady halves of those couples. Why?

What is going on here? These women are key characters on these shows. They are not day players on “Dexter,” for heaven’s sake.

I got into the reasons behind TV’s odd and unsettling spring in this recent post, which delved into why some characters — namely, characters of color and LGBT and female characters — are seen as more expendable than others (and with the departure of Katic’s fellow cast member, Tamala Jones, yet another African-American woman is exiting prime-time TV this season). Given the makeup of most writers’ rooms and executive suites, the reasons “certain characters have targets on their backs while others often appear to be bulletproof” aren’t necessarily that difficult to discern.  

So on one level, I’m cognizant of the reasons why these things happen. And death can have certainly have a poignant and well-earned impact, as it recently did on “The Americans.” I’m in no way arguing that it should be banned as a narrative tool. Even if I am still wrestling with some aspects of Laurel’s exit on “Arrow,” for example, I think the character had been extraneous to the narrative for a while. 

Even so, seeing so many prominent female characters exit at once is strange. Adding to that strangeness is the fact that now series leads are fair game… well, it’s very odd, to say the least. Not to mention disturbing. I’m finding it difficult to think of a heterosexual white male lead character in a drama who was written off his show or killed off in the last few months. I’m having trouble coming up with many instances of that scenario this spring — if any.

Perhaps the death of Boone’s character was a fake-out, and she’ll be back in Red’s orbit soon. Maybe Katic and Beharie will get new shows. Maybe TV will take a break from writing out and killing off women, gay and lesbian characters and non-white characters. Maybe TV’s Disposable Spring will finally come to an end.

This is how odd and, at times, dispiriting things are at the moment: I’m actively rooting for winter to come, in the form of “Game of Thrones.” Though the HBO show has its share of race and gender problems, in the first five seasons of the Westeros saga, death wielded an equal-opportunity scythe. 

More TV

  • Zachary LeviMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    MTV Movie & TV Awards Winners: The Complete List

    The MTV Movie & TV Awards are returning to television Monday, with host Zachary Levi and a number of pop culture favorites. Dominating this year’s nominations are front runners “Avengers: Endgame” and “Game of Thrones” with four nominations apiece, as well as the Oscar-nominated documentary “RBG,” which scored another four nods. This year’s show also [...]

  • GLOW season 3

    TV News Roundup: 'GLOW' Season 3 Trailer Drops (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Netflix releases the trailer for season three of “GLOW” and Joel McHale gets a date for his first ever stand-up special.  DATES Joel McHale will release his first ever stand-up special “Joel McHale: Live from Pyongyang” on August 19 through the Comedy Dynamics Network via Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, [...]

  • Alternatino With Arturo Castro

    Arturo Castro on 'Leaving a Little Blood in the Water' for 'Alternatino'

    In some circles, Arturo Castro is best known for his role as the colorfully comedic Jaime on Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer’s “Broad City,” while others recognize him most as the much more serious and dramatic David on Netflix’s “Narcos.” But the writer, producer and performer doesn’t want to be put in a box. That’s [...]

  • GRAND HOTEL - "Pilot" - Eva

    TV Review: 'Grand Hotel'

    There’s hardly a better setting for a summer drama than a swanky Miami hotel overflowing with champagne and secrets. Enter ABC’s “Grand Hotel,” based on a Spanish series and developed by Brian Tanen (“Devious Maids,” “Desperate Housewives”). It wastes no time diving straight into a tangled mess of melodrama, ranging from missing people to secret [...]

  • POSE -- Pictured: Billy Porter as

    ‘Pose’ Renewed for Season 3 at FX

    “Pose” fans will be having a ball. FX has renewed the Ryan Murphy-created show, which is swiftly emerging as an awards contender, for a third season after only one episode of season 2 has aired. “Pose,” is a dance musical that explores the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the [...]

  • CW Sets Premiere Dates for 'Batwoman,'

    CW Announces Fall Premiere Dates for 'Batwoman,' Final Seasons of 'Supernatural' and 'Arrow'

    The CW has announced its fall 2019 television season premiere dates, including the launch of two new series “Batwoman” and “Nancy Drew,” as well as the final season premieres for “Arrow” and “Supernatural.” As previously announced at the network’s upfront ceremony in May, “Batwoman” will lead the new superhero Sunday nights, paired with “Supergirl.” That [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content