Greg Cox wrote:
Kind of disheartening that life just isn't sacred anymore...
life has NEVER been sacred. It's not like this is a new trend in movies or novels or theater. Just ask Old Yeller or Little Nell. At most, it's a departure for American TV dramas as we've known them since the fifties. (Although I seem to recall the body count being pretty high on The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits.)
At the risk of getting pretentious, the Greeks didn't balk at killing off main characters, and neither did Shakespeare, Dickens, etc. And certainly it's nothing new to science fiction: Remember Dr. Morbius in Forbidden Planet? Taylor, Nova, Cornelius, and Zira in the Planet of the Apes movies? And pretty much every single movie version of The Fly or I am Legend?
Writers shouldn't be afraid to kill characters when necessary. We need to be ruthless that way.
I didn't articulate my thoughts well, Greg. Allow me to clarify:
You're right, death has always been a story-telling tool. Heck, I was watching Leave It to Beaver
not long ago, and Ward and June were deciding whether they wanted to go to the movies, or stay home. Ward said something like "Well, we can go to the movies and watch people kill each other, or stay home and watch people kill each other on television!"
Hah! The more things change . . . .
By coincidence, I've been watching lots of vintage shows on MeTV lately: Thriller, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Perry Mason,
etc. Ward and June certainly did have plenty of homicide to choose from back in the day!