So The Simpsons are set to kill off one their regulars prompting a spot of ‘who will it be?’ on the internet. Which made us think about those other shocking TV exits that have shaken our screens over the years…
1. Nate Fisher - Six Feet Under
Death was a central figure in Six Feet Under, a show set in funeral home. Following the ending of patriarch Nathaniel, the Fisher siblings were forced the take on the family business. When Season One ended with the shocking twist that flakey oldest brother Nate had an inoperable brain condition, the scene was set for his eventual demise. But when it finally came- in the form of a brain haemorrhage, brief recovery then relapse, it was a pretty shocking turn of events.
2. Rita Morgan - Dexter
Oh Rita, the perky, ever hopeful wife of Dexter. For many seasons she was the ray of sunshine in the bleak thriller about the forensic blood splatter analyst turned vigilante serial killer. Although some viewers accused her of being the squeaky doormat to her husband, Rita's bloody end (at the hands of The Trinity Killer) signalled the end of Dexter’s domestic harmony and his descent into total moral oblivion. Yikes.
3. Mitch Leery - Dawson's Creek
Finally - viewers thought to themselves - Dawson Leery has a real reason for his eternally adolescent, emo-ish behaviour! Dawson’s dad's life was sadly cut short when he was off'd out buying milk (the life lesson- dairy kills!). It was a sign that his days of crying in Katie Holmes’ face were nearing there end and adulthood was fast approaching (well…almost).
4. Gus Fring - Breaking Bad
In a brilliantly orchestrated ending that was worthy of a final series that featured shed loads of brilliantly orchestrated endings, the death of Gus Fring still proved shocking. Of course, we could have predicted that the owner of Los Pollos Hermanos would meet his maker in a nasty way, but this Shakespearian ending? Not in our wildest, fan fiction dreams! (PS we can’t get that sound of a ringing alarm bell out of our heads!)
5. Dan Conner - Roseanne
Season Nine of Roseanne was a good example of a show jumping the shark. It basically subverted everything which made it great in the first place. This included the death of Dan Conner which in cheesy, Dallas-style, belly flopped into view via a late breaking revelation that when he survived a heart attack he hadn't actually survived at all. It was all a dream. Oh, le sigh...