POLL: Which Type of TV Program “Shocking” Event Do You Prefer?

The Walking Dead, Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawaii Five-0, Grimm

After watching plenty of recent TV ads, I have come to the conclusion that the word “shocking” should be banned from the vocabulary of people that write promotional material for TV shows. Or, if not banned, then at the very least get those folks a thesaurus! Please!

I was recently reading an article about the upcoming season finales on CBS, and several of the shows will apparently have “shocking” events occur during the finale. And, this is not unique to CBS – I am not picking on them – because all of the networks are in a “Who can be the most shocking?” throw down match, or so it seems.

Therefore, as we stand awash in “shocking events” I thought it only appropriate to find out what kind of “shockers” you, the audience, enjoy the most! I mean, seriously, we all know how much the networks listen to the viewers when making programming decisions. I’m looking at you, Fox TV…

Let’s take a look at the categories, and then please vote below. Also be sure to discuss your selection in the comments section. Let the fun begin!

Main Character Does Something Totally Unexpected

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Episode 20 Nothing Personal (8)

Everyone loves a good double cross, right? In particular where one of the main bad guys suddenly becomes good or perhaps one of the main heroes turns bad? And how about a double-double cross? Those keep the audience going, right?

A good recent example of this is Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where Ward was revealed to be working for Hydra. It doesn’t get much worse than that. Or, how about Revolution, where Bass Monroe or Tom Neville change sides so often you need a score card to keep track? Those two are survivors, and will get in bed with whatever side means they will survive until tomorrow, when they are in a better position to strike out on their own.

Main Character Dies

Myka - The Walking Dead

I wrote an article about this topic last week, expressing my disdain for the recent trend to kill off main characters. You can find it here: 8 Recent Shocking TV Main Character Deaths – Is This a Trend? As I said, I am no fan of this tendency, and think it is being overused at this point.

In addition, included in this category would not only be who dies, but also how they die and who kills them. Recent good examples as mentioned last week are Myka and Lizzie from The Walking Dead and Charlotte and Wells from The 100. Not only were their deaths shocking, but the way they died and who killed them really stood out.

Main Characters Finally Resolve the UST (Unresolved Sexual Tension)

Makani 'Olu A Holo Malie (Fair Winds and Following Seas)

I am not a big fan of two main characters getting romantically involved – at least on action adventure shows. That said, I do make exceptions, or have at least softened my stance to allow that some of these romances actually do work and do not detract from the action and adventure, which is my main concern.

For me, the best examples are Castle and Beckett on Castle, Steve and Catherine on Hawaii Five-0 and of course Sean and Juliet on Psych. On the most recent Hawaii Five-0, when Steve and Catherine exchanged “I love yous” over the phone at the end of the episode, I was on the verge of tears. While I know some fans dislike Catherine, I thought she and Steve were a good match and their romance actually enhanced the action of this program. I know she is leaving the show, and I will miss her.

Unexpected Identity Revelation

Grimm Season 3 Episode 19 Nobody Knows the Trubel I've Seen (8)

Under this category would be the revelation of a previously unknown relationship between characters, or the revelation of something key about a character’s activities.

For instance, it was startling when Theresa Rubel was revealed to be a Grimm on the show of the same name. Then on Continuum we had Inspector Dillon planting his daughter to become an undercover operative in Liber8. In fact, Continuum is full of good examples for this category, one of the best being that Escher is Alec Sadler’s dad. Similarly, on Helix – Hatake is Julia’s father, and oh, by the way, they are both immortals, thanks to Hatake tinkering with her DNA or something… I’m a writer, not a microbiologist!

Unexpected Character Entrance

Kelly and Nick - Grimm

In this category I am including the revelation that a character thought to be dead is actually alive. For instance, on Grimm, Nick thought his parents were dead. As it turns out, his mother had gone into hiding, and was not dead. The moment when she appears, and Nick says, “Mom?” was for me very surprising!

Similarly on Hawaii Five-0, Steve’s mother returned from hiding after being thought dead. Hmm… I am seeing a pattern. The fathers of both the characters mentioned above are really dead, but the mothers were in hiding. I’m not sure what conclusion to draw from this, but it seems that moms might have a higher survival rate on TV!

There Is Another

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Did I leave something out? If so, then vote in this category and then tell me about it in the comment section at the end of this article!

None of These, I Don’t Like Twists

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Perhaps you do not care for twists and surprising revelations. If that is so, then vote for this category and do be sure to let me know your preferences in the comments section!


So, now it is time for me to vote! My favorite “shocking moment” on a TV program is the Unexpected Identity Revelation. I really like it when we learn that someone is actually someone’s dad when there appeared to be no previous relationship other than randomly meeting. What is your favorite? Please vote below and then let me know your thoughts.