The oldest kid and I watched a couple of TV shows last night. We flipped back and forth between Chuck and How I met your Mother. Love the latter show and if I'm inclined to watch TV at night, and this show is on, I make a point of watching it. Funny writing, good acting and it always makes me smile. Chuck, on the other hand, I watch only every once in a while. It is a cute show, seems to have good writing and decent plots.
Last night, the kid made a good observation. Chuck's brother in law seemed to be in danger of dying at the close of the show. We both thought for sure he was a goner at the hands of an evil assassin, but the previews for next week reveal he is still alive and kicking, although a hostage to no less than Angie Harmon, the celebrity guest sure to make all the men drool. She then turned to me and said, "If this was a BBC America show, he'd be soooo dead already. They kill people off without flinching and it works."
Why yes they do. They killed off Maid Marian and then Robin Hood in the Robin Hood series. They, on a regular basis, change the actor who portrays Dr. Who. They killed off almost all of the characters in Torchwood. They aren't afraid to really mix things up and hurt their little darlings.
Remember the high drama when a loved character died on Hills Street Blues or Mash or any other American TV show of the last three decades. It is a MAJOR event. It makes the papers. It is called daring, risky etc.
In British TV it is just good writing and good storytelling. The little darlings get hurt, sometimes they die and the other characters have to pick up the pieces and move on. Now that is DRAMA. And that is why we watch a lot of BBCA in our house.