Are we too attached to T.V. characters?

Why do we get so involved in the plots of television shows and movies? With so many television shows out there, we are able to easily get caught up in the many different plots and characters’ lives without even realizing it.

Last week, I was making dinner while my roommate was watching television. I wasn’t paying attention to what she was watching when all of a sudden she started freaking out — I turned around and she was yelling at the television. Apparently, a beloved character on a certain show about zombies had just been killed. I was confused why she was so sad about a fictional character’s death. I muttered a quick “oh, sorry” before walking away.

I was reminded of it the next day when some students in one of my classes were talking about it. I was confused why all these people liked this show; however, I then realized that I get attached to the characters of shows too. I’m not going to lie, I shed a tear or two when Derek Shepherd’s character passed away on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and I might have cried in the series finale of “Gossip Girl.”

We all get attached without realizing it. We spend 10 or 12 hours watching a show and following a plot, only to be let down when one of our favorite characters gets killed off.

The writers in these shows make the characters seem so real; they make us want to be their best friends or be just like them. And then we talk with our friends and realize that we aren’t the only ones. There have been many times where I have wished that I had a group of friends like the characters on “Friends” or “How I Met Your Mother.” I also wish that I was able to afford a big apartment with my best friends in the middle of the city, but that’s a whole different story.

A lot of times without even realizing it, we put ourselves in the character’s place. We imagine, what if this happened to me, what if this was real life? Putting ourselves in these characters’ places it can be a way to help us not think about our own personal problems. Watching these shows for hours and hours at a time it sometimes allows us to not think about what issues we may have in real life.

On the other hand, these shows do have some benefits in our lives. We can use situations in these television shows to relate to our own problems, and even maybe help solve them. We can also bond with others over these shows too.

If you think about it, we spend hours and hours watching television shows that cause us to want to be like these characters. Netflix and Hulu give us easier access to these shows. There have even been theme parks (like the Harry Potter park at Universal Studios) created based on movies and their characters. These stories that people thought up have become big parts of people’s lives.

It is weird to think about how much a television show can affect people’s emotions. It is easy to forget that they are just television characters sometimes; but they do show different perspectives that we might not otherwise see in our daily lives.