I think I may be watching too much TV. I never thought I would verbalise those words or confirm them in writing but it appears I can’t escape the truth. You see, for a while now, things have been crossing over in the landscape of my TV shows – from actors,characters, to presidents and to settings. At first I revelled in this notion of my TV world taking on some type of David Lynch-esque dream sequence where things don’t need to make sense and it was all a bit fun watching characters played by the same actor/actress appear and drift in and out in a transient fashion, but then I started to ponder on the topic a little bit more and wondered why it bothered me so much.
I am going to call this concept character collision. This concept can be defined ( by me) when actors/actresses from one TV show appear in another TV show. New character, new setting and the genre usually different and even with a different target audience. It would seem the new trend is one of being forced to cope with these actors/actresses playing copious character in many TV shows.
Now I understand that this could be happening because the actors/actresses involved in this crossover are in demand and ‘ hot right now’ and good on them I am all for that, or maybe the casting crowd probably thought that the shows are so different that people wouldn’t pick up on this crossover, maybe the people casting just don’t watch enough TV to know that they are contributing to this crossover?, perhaps the actors/actresses involved really like the shows and want to show their diversity.
Don’t get me wrong, having such a hectic TV schedule is no easy task. Earlier in the year I had to research and detail this in an excel spreadsheet. I have to set reminders in my calendar to ensure I am up to date. So to all those responsible, if you think that someone who watches Sons of Anarchy wouldn’t watch Hart of Dixie you are wrong. If you think that we can’t distinguish that the Rammer Jammer in Hart of Dixie is also the same set for True Blood’s Merlotte’s pub, we do notice. It is disconcerting that in the quaint, southern town of Bluebell I am half expecting Eric Northman just to attack all those in the Rammer Jammer.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that I have 2 fictional presidents of the United States on rotation too with Frank Underwood and Fitz from Scandal!
My main and current character crossover is actress Mircea Monroe. First spotted for me in Sons of Anarchy playing Susie. Bad girl, crow eater, edgey hanging around those biker guys. Jump over to Hart of Dixe and she plays Tansy Truitt – the delight George Tucker’s ex. Tune into the hilarious Episodes and she plays Morning. Whilst I have been able to deal with this relatively well, I know other viewers may not. I think this smooth transition is largely due to how well the actor/actress can make you believe and immerse quickly in their new setting and character and Mircea certainly succeeds. I suspect that some viewers would identify too much with one of her characters and find it hard to adapt (if they were watching all of the shows mentioned) My advice to those struggling with character crossover, go at your own pace I say. You can cope and you can keep them all separate but you have to be strict! I would suggest binge watching a few episodes in a row to keep up the momentum and staying in the zone of the character.
We also have the wildly wonderful Gabby Hoffman being Adam’s interesting sibling in GIRLS and also Ali in Transparent. I don’t find her characters here too hard to adjust too as they are both a bit left of centre but maybe that’s just me. Also because she is more of a guest star in GIRLS I can disengage.
I will say that I am struggling with Revenge and it’s crossovers. Specifically Tommy Flanagan’s character. Chibs from Sons of Anarchy was a main character and I had been with him for the 7 seasons, we had definitely been through a lot together. No denying that I was attached. I think that character cross over so close to one of their shows ending definitely makes it harder to adjust. Sons of Anarchy ended in spectacular fashion and I was still grieving. The next thing I know Chibs, or as he was being introduced to me, Malcolm Black was on the screen as a villain. I don’t think I even paid attention to his dialogue as I was having such a hard time grappling that Chibs was back on my screen but lost in New York somewhere. I texted a friend saying what’s going? He’s meant to be in California right supposedly mourning Jax’s suicide? (should the plot line continue). Next thing you know he is threatening Emily.
I had no choice but to surrender and do my best to get on board but I REALLY did struggle with this one. Main characters inevitably have more weight and empathy attached to them, and it would seem that I was indeed having a hard time understanding that Chibs was now Malcolm. Just as I was coming to terms with this Jessica Pearson from Suits is talking to Victoria Grayson.
Chaos. Chaos. Chaos.Having 2 character crossovers in the one show is tough! Not Jessica Pearson but now Natalie and I am yet to see how her character unfolds but it’s just a double whammy to deal with in one show.
I like to think I have the necessary skills to compartmentalise the shows and shall continue watching them, but it is a skill make no mistake.
Character crossover can happen and if it does you just have to do whatever you can do cope.
You’ve got this!