Saturday, 28 November 2015

Sad Stories

Practically my whole morning has been spent getting wet.  It started with dragon boating training - my bench partner described the boat as 'a freaking water park' which is incredibly accurate - and the rest of it was spent spouting waves of tears while watching the final episodes of the short-lived TV show, Red Band Society.

Being a hospital drama, I should have known there would be crying involved when I began the series on Wednesday.  I got attached to the characters within forty minutes of footage.  Kara, the cold-hearted ex-cheerleader who needed a new heart; Leo, the charismatic superhero who has almost survived cancer; Dash, the hilarious boy with a lung problem who wants to go out with a bang; Emma, the complicated, intelligent girl with anorexia and insecurity issues; Jordi, the cute Mexican boy with family issues and a whole lot of independence; and Charlie, the 9 year old in a coma who knows everything.

I must say, Red Band Society really won the idea of a hospital atmosphere over for me.  It's made me excited for my work experience next week, even though I'm sure I'll end up disappointed.  For some reason this show makes me feel like becoming a Doctor would be worth it, that helping people in serious need would be happiness enough, that hours spent in a hospital doing surgery and putting your brain towards fixing a body would be plausible.  Or maybe I'm just gullible and pathetic, basing real life decisions on some drama ABC concocted up.

The show was full of family drama, romance, love for Nurse Jackson, and then finally there was one scarring death that left me crying over every little thing after.  The saddest thing of all though, is that there is no Season 2.  After 13 episodes of a beautiful show, it's over.  I don't understand how the 'numbers' were apparently too low to save it.  How could people not watch this show!?

You'd think it's stupid to spend your time entertaining yourself by crying unnecessarily over fictional stories depicted by people who understand the medium, so why do we do it?  It's like when Day loses his memory of June in Legend, or Augustus' matter-of-fact death in The Fault in Our Stars, or when Tris dies.  Even the final scene of Mockingjay is melancholy, and neither Peeta nor Katniss died.

I reckon all must be right in the world when your only source of sadness comes from TV shows or books.  I'm currently reading All the Bright Places and I feel like I've spoilt it for myself.  I think I know he dies.  The beautiful, different, deep Theodore Finch is going to kill himself, and I am going to cry.  He's one of the first male characters I've liked more than the female, and one day he will be gone.

These stories feel so heavy, and I wonder why I can feel empathy for these characters but not for real people.  If anyone real were going through the same situations, I would feel awkward or judgmental.  I wouldn't know what to do.  Maybe it's because books and movies show us everything.  In real life it's not possible to know all these personal inner feelings of people, but directors and authors make sure we know when they write it or film it.

Or maybe sad stories are simply inaccurate.  Maybe this utter understanding and empathy doesn't exist in real life because we never really know what a truly real and complicated person is going through.  And maybe it's because sad stories are the only way to expose ourselves to the surrealism of watching sad circumstances in detail from an outside viewpoint.

The thing about sad stories though, is that they're always remembered in this melancholy light.  Every time you hear the name or think about it, every emotion comes back.  They're memorable.  I can't say the same about happy endings.



  1. Sad stories are just so...beautiful. It's hard to explain, but there is such a beauty to them that we fall in love. I think we fall in love with the complexity of the characters, and we see everything that they're feeling. We don't know what people we see every day are going through.
    I love these stories so much.

    1. I love seeing the complexity of characters, even though I know they're completely made up. It's this that makes me wonder whether real people are complicated on so many more different levels, but we just don't know about it. I think sad stories just make these characters more memorable, because of their emotional fate.

  2. I do not judge you one bit from getting super attached to fictional characters. That' my entire life story. Personally, I love sad stories. Something about them is just so much realer than excessively happy ones.

    x x

    1. I know excessively happy stories seem untrue, but unless they're excessively happy there will always be something melancholy about a story. I love it when artists can make you super attached, but sometimes I reckon the emotions over pretend people may not be worth it.

  3. Sad stories are the best ones as they are more realistic and relatable to real life X beautiful post!

    1. I guess life can't always be happy endings. Thanks Roxy.