There’s enough drama in the world. I don’t need to watch fictional shows about death and grief and horrific, “I didn’t see THAT coming!” scenarios. This is part of the reason we got rid of cable when the kids were little. But now that we have Netflix, I’m back to binge watching all the things.
I forced myself to quit ‘The Walking Dead.’ It stressed me out and grossed me out. I can’t go into my garage at night now to put a tin in the recycling bin without bracing myself for a zombie attack. Zombies get trapped in garages and you don’t even know they’re there until it’s too late.
No more Walking Dead for me, especially after what happened to poor Glenn. Savage. Apparently they REEAAALY didn’t want to renew his contract.
However I may have caved and watched the rest of the season, peeking through a blanket, because I needed to know if Maggie’s unborn baby was going to be okay. I was emotionally invested.
That’s the problem. Empaths don’t do well with highly emotional or violent television. And we DESPISE conflict. Real or fictional
We absorb and digest the drama until it reeks havoc on our stomachs and tender hearts.
Like when McDreamy was killed off on Grey’s Anatomy in season 11. Although I knew it was coming (I’d heard the collective cry on social media when it first aired), I was still horrified. It took weeks before I could let it go. I played it over and over in my head and grieved hard for a fictional TV character.
It was tragic. Derek and Meredith were finally in a good place. After years of turmoil, they hit their stride. They were happy. Happy and content and normal. So naturally the writers had a big ass semi smash into his car. And of course they let him live just long enough to generate hope. Empaths are always hopeful. Maybe he’d live after all?
They needed to make it just a smidge more unbearable by having the love of his life put the final nail in his coffin by making her take him off life support. And when she had to tell her kids that daddy was on permanent hiatus, I felt an unhealthy amount of empathy for pretend people in a pretend situation and I cried my real eyes out.
Lesson learned—I need to make smarter choices about the shows I watch. My heart can’t handle another McDreamy McDeath.
I’m all about light-hearted comedies now. Haunting dramas like “A Handmaid’s Tale” are a pass. They may be critically acclaimed but too bad, too sad.
So I started watching the light-hearted and musical, Nashville on Netflix. How upsettingly dramatic could the country music scene be? As always, I became emotionally attached. Rayna and Deacon endured so much but finally, FINALLY they made it. They were happy and in love.
Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched Nashville and plan on watching, stop reading here.
Friday night I settled in to watch an episode of Nashville. My husband was out and the kids were in bed. I had a bag of chips and was on the couch with a snoring dog on my lap and cozy blanket.
And then bam! Rayna, my favourite female lead in a long, long time…dead. What in god’s name is with plane crashes and car accidents on TV? Both Greys Anatomy and Nashville have killed off several characters that way. It’s jarring. It also makes me never want to let a loved one drive or fly anywhere, ever again.
Fine, Connie Britton wanted to leave the show. And boy did she ever. But, I wasn’t prepared!! And when the love of her life grieved for her, once again I grieved too, like a weirdo, for pretend people in another pretend situation.
But I’ve learned my lesson. Only happy and uplighting programs from now on.
I just started watching “This Is Us.” That’ll be fine, right?