Thursday, July 17, 2014

Life Off the Page

The other day my friend and I were talking about a favorite TV show of ours (as it is neither science fiction nor action oriented, I'm keeping the shows identity under wraps to protect my street cred). Having concluded it's finale several years ago, I wondered aloud where the characters were now. You know, what they were doing. How their lives turned out post credits. 

My friend looked at me with a strange expression on her face. "They're fictional," she said to me. "They don't have lives post credit." And I guess to her they don't. Characters live and die on the screen, and when the picture fades and the words The End are read, they cease to exist. 

But for me it's something else entirely. Characters are real. They exist in a reality different from my own. They age, they change. The hero lives out his time on earth after the villain is slain and the victory celebrated, perhaps a little nostalgic for his battle days. The new bride and groom, having made it through all the rom-com hurdles leading up to their wedding, settle down, buy a house in the suburbs, raise a couple of kids and put away money for their eventual retirement. 

They live. They live off the page and screen. And I wonder about them and their lives in the same way I wonder about that girl I was friends with in high school but lost touch with somewhere along the way. And I hope they're happy, wherever they are. 

Anyone else feel the same way about their favorite characters? Ever wonder how many kids Belle and Beast had? If Luke Skywalker holidays with Leia and Han when they're not rebuilding the Republic? 


  1. Has your friend never heard of fan fiction? The characters can live on forever having adventures.
    And aren't we glad that after Firefly was cancelled we got Serenity?

  2. Your brain is typical of people who read. For those people the characters become as real as actual people. The brain can't tell the difference.
    There have been studies.

  3. Oh I always wish to know what happened and we always want it to be great. The last thing we want to hear is that Han Solo knocked up Leia and then left her for Chewbacca's mate and now Leia is collecting greenstamps. oops I gave away the future plot.hahahahaha. Actually I always like to know about my previous characters on shows I watched. When we think about it that is why, after many years, they did another Gilligan's Island and the TV movie was a hit

  4. Yes, I feel that way about all of my favorite characters. I always want to know how they're doing, what they're doing, and all that kind of stuff.

    I'm really curious about this favorite TV show you do not wish to name.

  5. I feel that way about favorite characters from books and television. It's the mark of an active and engaged mind, I think, and typical especially of writers. In a very disposable world where the minute one thing is over there are 20 other things trying to get one's attention, though, I'm not surprised most people just drop one show or book and move right on to the next, never thinking about the old one.

  6. I agree. When you love the characters they never die. At least for me they stay in my heart forever. That why when I come across a great book, I end up reading it over and over because the characters have real meaning and purpose to me. Great post!

  7. I think that's the appeal of the "Boy Meets World" reunion show and series. It allows fans to pick up with their characters in real-time. Good points.