Vox has has a fascinating piece that counts all the deaths on TV this season, its effect on narratives and what makes a good death. (SPOILER WARNING: TALK OF RECENT CHARACTER DEATHS. Thread carefully.) And, yes Bury Your Gays is not just PC hand-wringing.
The article is long - but well worth the read. I’d quote stuff, but I’d end up c/p in half the thing.
I want to put some of those death numbers in context, which they don’t really do. Now I’m not much of a stat geek, but here are some interesting points:
- Male/female character deaths are somewhat evenly split 56/44, but women are only 42% of the major characters on TV, and overall men outnumber women 2:1 in speaking roles.
- 26% of deaths were non-white characters, somewhere between 20-30% of all characters on TV are POC (a significant increase happened in the last couple of years 1, 2)
- 10% of deaths were LGBT women, but LGBT women are less than 4% of characters on TV.
It’s also interesting that TV deaths seem to have nearly tripled in last two or three years, too. So if you feel like death has become trivial and used for cheap shock value while watching your TV shows, it’s probably because it has.