Do you watch many British TV programs?

I watch quite a few, on the PBS and Knowledge networks. But after being left in tears with yet another dark, dark ending to a show, I’m thinking I may steer clear of British programs for a while.

Tonight, on the Lynley Mysteries, the inspector’s significant other gets in the way of a bullet at the end of the show and dies.

The Frost series ended on a similar note, with one of the beloved detectives dying at the hands of a criminal — at the end of the show. And, yes, I cried.

Then there was the episode of Heartbeat a few weeks ago, in which a young copper gets in the way of a bullet and dies — at the end of the show. Yes, I was in tears.

And the worst example of all for me was the series One Foot in the Grave, a comedy about a grumpy retired guy and his wife. Yes, the Brits felt they needed to kill him off, too, at the end of the series — this time in a hit and run accident that leaves his wife committing what seemed like an act of revenge.

The thing about One Foot in the Grave is that it was one of my late partner Rick’s favourite shows, and he died just a few weeks before that final episode was aired.

As I watched the final episodes of that show, I had Rick’s picture beside me (crying now) on the sofa, like when we used to watch it together. When they killed off the main character — who was not unlike Rick — I was devastated. Yes, rivers of tears, because it was like Rick had died all over again.

Now, I know it is just TV, make-believe, and the fact I am moved to tears is a testament to the skill of the actors and writers. And I know that actors need to leave TV series and have to be written out of the storylines.

But why such dark endings? Don’t the producers understand the ripple effects?


— Jillian