One of my favorite TV shows finally had a grief storyline. But... then the character came back to life. Suddenly, the grief was all gone, even though I was still grieving.
During quarantine, I've spent more time than usual watching TV. A few weeks into the pandemic, I was able to find a great TV show that I got to enjoy for a few seasons. I won't be saying the name of this show and am going to be describing it vaguely so I don't spoil a minor storyline for anyone who wishes to watch it. Don't worry, the show is older so you probably have already seen it or won't discover it until you've forgotten about this article.
The show was sci-fi, so I didn't expect anything really really realistic before I began, but as I watched through the episodes I saw many realistic storylines. Yes, they were surrounded by some very realistic things, but I was still able to enjoy them.
One of my favorite episodes occurred a few seasons in. The characters had done something great and were really happy, and then tragedy struck. The girlfriend of one of the main characters died.
My eyes were glued to the screen as I watched this character find out about the death of his girlfriend. I saw him go through the stages of grief, try to get back to his normal life and fail, and saw his friends step up and be there for him when he needed it.
In all honesty, I was really impressed by that episode. And, the few episodes that came after that. Unlike most shows, who have characters get over grief in about two episodes, this one really focused on the character's grief, made it a storyline, let it affect him for a long time, and had it change him. It was one of the most realistic portrayals of grief I've ever seen on TV from a show not mainly about grief. It almost seemed too good to be true. Because.. it was.
A few episodes later, something amazing happened: She came back to life! The main characters were so happy, especially her boyfriend. I, however, was devastated. For the few prior episodes, I hadn't felt alone. I had connected with this character and felt his pain like it was my own, because I had felt that pain too. Yes, those episodes still existed, but it felt like the grief of the character was gone.
When my dad first died, I had always thought about what would happen if he actually wasn't dead. I thought about what I would say to him, how I would react, and what would happen. I knew that it wouldn't happen, but I still wished that somehow, his death wouldn't be true. But, while thinking about this, I always knew that he was actually gone and that it was just a dream. In many of my shows, however, that's not the case.
I wouldn't be writing this article if this was the only time I had seen someone grieve and then suddenly get their loved back. I've seen it probably about three times in the past year, which is a lot.
Even though I understand why shows do this, it still sucks when watching them. One moment, I felt connected to one of the characters with a grief storyline, and the next he got his dead girlfriend back. Unlike him, though, my dad won't be coming back to life anytime soon. And that's what hurts the most.
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Written by Natalie Adams, the creator or Teenage Grief Sucks. Photo by Sam McGhee.