There’s a strange phenomenon that can happen in TV that a lot of people notice but few ever talk about after a while, largely because life moves on and no one really wants to spend that much time pining for characters that might not have completely meshed with the whole idea of the show. However the idea that they could be axed so easily from the show is kind of a hard pill to swallow largely because it has very serious implications that actors either have to play ball and do as they’re told and quite possibly still run the chance of being taken off if they don’t conform, or they can take their chances and see what might happen. Some actors have enough clout to put in their two cents and expect to be listened to, but others might think that they have this kind of authority when in truth they’re only on the show or have been mentioned as a kind of mistake that wasn’t well thought out beforehand. Overall the idea of taking a character from a show is kind of a troubling matter since it would mean that the writers are allowed to go off half-cocked at times in order to simply get the show underway, meaning that ideas that they’re not entirely certain of might get cleared before they’re fully refined. Looking at how many shows have canceled certain characters that’s not hard to believe.
Here are just a few shows that have lost a character without a solid explanation.
5. Married With Children – Seven
This character never really worked to begin with since bringing a kid onto a show like this meant a lot of things had to be toned down and altered so as to present itself as more of a family show, which it rarely ever was. But the manner in which Seven was taken out of the show was a little problematic since the Bundy’s had no idea that he was gone, and his picture even showed up on a milk carton at one point, which might be seen as a little problematic in this day and age since that kind of neglect has been a problem in society that many people don’t find too funny. But the show was definitely a little better once he was gone.
4. M*A*S*H – Spearchucker Jones
The name alone should have tipped people off to just how troubling this character was going to be, and it would be a sure call to arms for activists in this day and age if they ever got a hold of it or managed to care. But the whole concept was blown up anyway since apparently there’s a misconception that there were no black surgeons in the Korean war. On top of that, his character might not have made as much sense in the grand scheme of things, as he might not have meshed with the entire unit for one reason or another. But if one is being honest, there were black surgeons in the Korean war, like it or not.
3. The Golden Girls – Coco
There’s something odd about having an openly gay houseboy in a show that focuses on four elderly women that are supposed to be the main focus, though it wasn’t problematic unless there were people that had an issue with the character due to their own hangups. But ignoring his character arc would have been too easy since any actor on the show had to contend with the fact that the four women were, simply put, the main act and thereby the funniest and most dominant aspect of the show. That’s likely why Coco’s character wasn’t seen as something that people would be bound to remember that easily.
2. Bonanza – Adam Cartwright
Anyone notice how the older Cartwright brother just up and moved to France, as the explanation went? There’s been a good bit of contention about this over the years, not recently mind you but definitely over the years since the show ended. In truth the actor’s contract was up and he wanted to go back to theater, but it was still kind of a slapdash way to end the character on the show, when there were likely so many other ways it could have happened and explanations that might have made a lot more sense, or possibly opened up a brief cameo or limited return if the actor wanted it.
1. Richie’s brother – Happy Days
This is when the director and the writers really need to get in sync since even the mention of a character can sometimes end up confusing people if they never see that person or don’t hear any mention of them again. Obviously mistakes get made now and again and what sounded like a good idea at one point might not be later on in the show, but there needs to be some sort of continuity.
Hey, things happen.