EW Online has an article that was referred to at Whedonesque with their picks for the top 20 TV Deaths. Obviously, there is a BTVS death included in the list. So I thought I'd take a gander at it and provide a bit of commentary on those I'm familiar with.
There are some comments at Whedonesque complaining that when they clicked on the link, they got spoiled on some shows they're getting caught up on?!! Why in the hell would somebody click through a "MOST ...." list if they didn't want to be possibly spoiled - I mean doesn't the very fact that it is a non-show specific list of a major shocking theme (characters being killed off) sort of heavily imply that there is going to be major plot spoils ahead??
Excuse me, while I roll my eyes until they strain -
So, under the cut are the deaths I'm familiar with, including the Buffy-pick in the list - don't look under cut if you fear spoilage!
Dualla. I didn't watch BSG, but somehow I happened to catch this particular episode. Since I wasn't aware of the characters, this didn't have the emotional kick it would probably have had, if I was a regular fan. However, even with this fact, this suicide still surprised me - it was just so sudden....
Caitlin Todd. This one did shock the crud out of me, though. I don't visit spoiler sites, so I'm not in the know in advance of watching a show what is going to happen, who is going to be written out of a series, etc. 'Kill Ari' is not only a great episode, but Part II is both really funny and heartbreaking as the best episodes should be. I still miss Caitlin....
Dan Conner. The last season of Roseanne was among the worst television viewing I've ever suffered through. Talk about 'jumping the shark'... this show did it when they had Rosie strike it rich and spend the season in goofier and goofier story lines. But the last episode almost redeemed it, when we find out that the whole season had been Roseanne's musings as she struggled to cope with the loss of Dan. He'd had a heart attack at daughter Darlene's wedding, and though we see him recover - in actual fact, we found out at the end, that Roseanne had imagined that, too.
Lucy Knight. ER had a lot of memorable deaths over the years, including a lot of really emotional moments with single episode patients who meet their ends. They've also had a LOT of violence at the hospital. Some of the more shocking moments included Mark Greene being attacked and beaten in the men's room and Dr. Dennis Gant's fall/jump under a train. But a truly horrible moment occurred during Valentine's. While the nurses were playing loud music at their station, Carter goes to check on Lucy and her patient - and gets stabbed from behind with a large carving knife! After he falls to the floor, yelling for help - but unheard, thanks to the loud music, he realizes that Lucy has also been attacked. Both lie bleeding out as the deranged patient makes an escape. Carter makes it, but though Corday and Romano make heroic efforts, Lucy succumbs to a pulmonary embolism.
Mrs. Landingham. She was a giant in the White House, even though she didn't have the political power and her sarcastic, unimpressed with the trappings of power, plain-talking was deeply missed. Another death that didn't have a melodramatic build up or a spectral chorus or big speeches.... She left the office to pick up her new car that she was so proud of purchasing and on her way back to the office to show it off to her boss, and friend, The President - she gets creamed. Mrs. L. was missed throughout the rest of the series - and the actress returned to give us another memorable character in Scrubs, where she refuses JD's attempts to bully her into dialysis to save her life, telling him that she was ready to go and providing the first of many heart touching moments in what was a silly, sitcomy comedy. Great job, Ms. Joosten, great job.
Joyce Summers. Never has a television show made me cry as hard or as long as the episode, The Body, by BTVS maestro Joss Whedon. Joyce was found by Buffy in the closing seconds of the previous episode after a battle with a brain tumor. A brain tumor that she'd had a successful surgery for and was well on her way to mended. Unfortunately, she suffered a rupture of a blood vessel near the tumor removal site, and by the time Buffy came home to find her, she was already gone. The Body spends an entirely music-less episode dealing entirely with the hours afterward as our gang try to come to grips with this sudden and shocking loss by a enemy that no one can overcome - natural death. "Mom? Mom? Mommy?" Excuse me, while I grab some Kleenex and try to get myself under control....
And, even though they're not on the list - I'd also put Jenny Calendar of BTVS, Winifred Burkle and Wesley Wyndam-Pryce on Angel, Lt. Col. Henry Blake on M.A.S.H. and Tosh on Torchwood among the most surprising deaths that took my breath away as well.