Most of these are old but for those who haven’t seen them yet: SPOILER ALERT.
Resurrections; Because you know you messed up by killing a great character and now the fans hate you so you bring them back to life in a weird manner and pretend nothing ever changed. Yeah. Resurrections are sloppy and frankly, they are one of the worst kinds of TV and cinema tropes that exist. Our very own Bollywood has taken resurrections to the next level with stuff like punar janam (reincarnation) and doppelgangers, and long lost twins. But let us look at resurrection in the purest form.
You know the character has died and you have dealt with the torment and even achieved a level of acceptance. And then out of the blue – BAM – they are back. It’s unsettling, bittersweet and above all just a roller coaster of emotions that the show-maker should not be allowed to operate.
Here are some famous resurrections from the world of TV and Cinema:
1. Jon Snow – Game of Thrones
Of course, he makes to this list because he is by far, the most recent and the most newsworthy. Yes. Jon is alive after a year’s worth of mourning. By now hopefully everyone has seen the episode, but we apologize for the spoiler anyway.
2. Sherlock – Sherlock
Benedict Cumberbatch broke the world’s heart collectively when he jumped off of the building at the end of season two and then made us go ‘wait what’ when we saw him looking at Watson looking at his grave (which was empty I suppose).
3. Mihir Virani – Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi
The ultimate Indian resurrection story. Ekta Kapoor’s cult (at one point of time)TV show ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ saw the most upsetting death in TV history (other than Jon Snow). It was of Mihir Virani's. Amar Upadhyay’s character Mihir died and the whole of India went into a mourning spree. People cried foul and Ekta Kapoor decided that she was better off with Mihir in the story. And lo comes back Mihir with amnesia (a trope that has a whole list to itself)
4. Dr Drake Ramoray – Friends
This one is pretty meta. It is the resurrection of a character in a TV show inside a sitcom. Joey Tribbiani of ‘Friends’, who was a TV actor in the show as well, was a part of a soap opera called ‘Days of Our Lives’ where he plays the role of Dr Drake Ramoray. His character in the show gets killed off because he managed to insult the writers. After a lot of begging and cajoling, he does get the role back. But they keep him comatose. Still counts though.
5. Kenny McCormick - South Park
“OH MY GOD, THEY KILLED KENNY” “YOU BASTARDS”.
And this is line that you keep on hearing in for every episode in the first five seasons before poor Kenny was finally killed off. His is a character that has been killed and resurrected the most number of times. So much so, that it became a prop for the show.
6. Gandalf the Grey – Lord of the Rings
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And no one is a bigger proof of that that Gandalf the Grey, the wizard from ‘Lord of the Rings’. He dies in ‘the Fellowship of the Ring’ as he protects his companions from a fiery creature called the Balrog. But the fans of the movie see him return back as Gandalf the White in ‘Two Towers’. And it’s not just a mere fashion makeover for this wizard. He comes back more powerful than ever.
7. Agent Smith – The Matrix
The same principle applies to Hugo Weaving’s character in the Matrix trilogy. Killed by Neo at the end of the first movie, he comes back as a stronger, more evil, and a fast spreading computer virus that is trying to take over the Matrix.
8. Brian Griffin – Family Guy
The famous talking dog from Seth McFarlane’s animated series ‘Family Guy’ was killed off in the twelfth season of the show. The decision received so many backlashes from fans that McFarlane decided to bring him back two episodes later. How? Stewie Griffin goes back in time and saves him. I guess it works for a show as absurd as ‘Family Guy’ but still, pretty weak I’d say.
9. Captain Jack Sparrow – Pirates of the Caribbean
At the end of ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ we see the beloved drunk pirate get eaten alive by the ‘Kraken’ (a giant squid) and everyone mourns him. But the next movie shows Will Turner and his pals go to the literal world’s end and bring him back. I guess It’s really difficult to kill off Johnny Depp.
10. Rishabh Bajaj – Kasautii Zindagii Kay
Yes. Another Ekta Kapoor soap that uses this trope (I’m sure there are many more). Rishabh Bajaj (Ronit Roy) gets murdered by his ex-wife. No surprises there, am I right? Anyway, but it later turns out that he had not died and comes back to create drama in an already over-dramatized soap.