Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lesson learned...the hard way.

We all have TV shows we like to watch. Comedies, dramas, reality shows.We get to know and love the characters so well, we would know exactly what to do if they stepped into our front door and asked us to help them out with a difficult crime scene, or give them advice about their secret love. It's...well, addicting, to say the least.

I found just such a TV show not long ago. It's called Bramwell. It's a show about a female doctor in Victorian London. She opens an infirmary in the slums, and along with her father (also a doctor) and her colleague, Dr. Marsham, (who she obviously needs to marry), she treats all sorts of medical ailments. The characters are endearing and the various medical cases riveting and intriguing.

As I neared the end of the third season, things got more and more intense, setting the show up for a big bang ending in season four. I found I just had to keep on watching...and watching...and watching. I was completely sucked in. The hero and heroine both suffer their own heartbreaks, but in the last episode of season three, thanks to a perfectly enchanting proposal from the hero to the heroine, a happy ending seemed in order. I emerged from the depths of the episode beaming--no doubt my husband thought me silly for grinning like an idiot over this fictional engagement.

This afternoon I settled myself down on the couch, ready to savor every bit of the last season (only two episodes), certain all would end well. But before I was halfway through the first one, I couldn't help but burst into tears. My imagined happy ending wasn't happening at all! Instead, dear Miss Bramwell was ruining her life and proving herself unworthy of every happiness she should have had with Dr. Marsham. After enduring fifteen or so minutes of agony, I decided I had had enough. I looked up a synopsis to see if the happy ending might still be salvaged. Nope. Everything they'd been building up to for three full seasons was completely ruined. She ends up making stupid mistakes that lead to horrible consequences which make her marry a despicable man.

I had put so much time and emotion in this show that when things didn't end up right, I felt wounded. I realized how silly it all was. It was only a show, after all. But even after a few hours had passed, I still felt really bothered. I told my husband how I was feeling, and he said something that helped me understand everything: "It was a broken ending. You didn't like it because it was broken." Of course! I loved the show because it wasn't broken. Yes, bad things happened, and the characters made human mistakes. But the characters were still good, and their relationships remained whole and full of love. And the stupid producers thought it was a good idea to break it all into a million pieces!

The moral of this story is: Don't stake your happiness on the whims of TV producers who are just trying to create the most possible drama and make an extra buck. Read a book instead.

"Where'd all the good people go?
I've been changing channels, I don't see them on the TV shows..."
~Jack Johnson, Good People

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