Sometimes in life you just need a good cry and there are many ways you can go about squeezing out a tear. You can cut onions, punch yourself in the face or even just think about politics for a second. Of course none of those are as fun as putting on a great TV show, delving into another universe for half an hour and releasing all your problems through your tear ducts. This week I have decided to compile a list of the best TV tearjerkers so girls, grab a box of tissues and guys, use those tissues for their intended purpose for once.
It was inevitable wasn’t it? Ever since its revival, Doctor Who has been a lot heavier on the emotional side. That’s not to say the classic series didn’t have sad episodes and almost every assistant’s (that’s classic for companion) exit would bring a tear to your eye, especially Susan and Romana. Although as Doctor Who grew up, the world of television writing did as well and nowadays the trend for the lack of a better word, is to write stories with a much heavier emphasis on that little emotion box we call a heart. Considering The Doctor has two hearts, this show has a lot of it to give and in the ten short years that the show has been back it has provided us with a myriad of sad things and happy things to pick and choose from.
Jumping around the series, a couple of examples include; The End Of Time, Father’s Day, Last Of The Time Lords, A Christmas Carol, Deep Breath (speaking of, let’s just pause for breath here, aaaahhh) The Parting Of The Ways, The Family Of Blood, Forest Of The Dead, The Girl Who Waited and Doomsday, ahhh Doomsday. People often write off Doctor Who as a stupid sci-fi show for kids but when you actually watch an episode you understand that it so much more than that. See exhibit A, Vincent And The Doctor, the one episode I left of my list because it deserves special mention. Vincent And The Doctor is often touted as the saddest episode of Doctor Who and while I don’t know if I could exactly state that as fact, it is definitely a worthy contender. The other thing this episode has going for it is that anyone can understand the above scene without any knowledge of Doctor Who, everyone knows who Vincent van Gogh is, everyone understands depression and everyone wants to be recognised for their work.
How I Met Your Mother
I have a very love/hate relationship with this show, it’s extremely funny, wonderfully written at times and it’s a lot of fun to say the abbreviated form of the show’s title, HIMYM. The thing about HIMYM that leaves a sour taste in my mouth however, is that even though this is a show that ran from 2005-2014, it still managed to drag over the tired sexism from 90s television. Of course I understand that Barney’s character is supposed to be a ridiculously over the top character that we are never meant to take seriously but he is not the one I have a problem with. A lot of the time it’s the female characters that are crossing the line and sometimes this show feels like it’s entirely written by stereotypical, sleezy men.
Ranting aside, HIMYM absolutely nails the emotive storylines and when Ted isn’t being annoying he will rip the heartstrings right out of your chest. This is a show that is sold on its relationship stories but has some heart-warming tales of friendship and some heart-wrenching tales on family and loss. I don’t care what other people say, I enjoyed the finale because what people don’t realise is that while everything else in HIMYM might be heightened for TV, the relationship stories are much more true to life.
Boy Meets Girl
Every year, a different cause beats its way through to the zeitgeist for people to either rant about or to embrace. With Caitlyn Jenner and the rising popularity of the TV show, Transparent, 2015 is a big year for transgender issues. There has been a lot of debate in the media and for the most part I think people are realising that we should just let people be themselves. Now whether the BBC has jumped on the bandwagon or not is a discussion for another time and one that is probably irrelevant since this is a good cause to shine light upon. Their new show Boy Meets Girl, tells the tale of a blossoming relationship between a man and a transgender woman.
You could argue that this show is not too heavy on emotional scenes and this may only be a show that gets me all blurry eyed but there is something so beautiful about the main character, Leo’s acceptance of Judy. There are bumps along the way, otherwise this would be a very dull show and not everyone is as fine with Judy as Leo so that paves the way for some more emotive scenes. On its own this show is very funny as well and I am looking forward to where it goes with the next series.
I know, I know, I bang on about this show a lot but it’s for a very good reason. Futurama is another show that I feel gets a rough trot by people that have never actually watched the show. On face value, people see this show as another stupid animated sitcom about stupid characters that happens to be set in the future. You don’t need me to tell you how clever the show is around the space jokes and homeless lobster but Futurama is actually brilliant when it comes to stories surrounding the feels.
Ask anyone that watches the show and they will immediately jump to Jurassic Bark, the story about Fry’s dog from the past that will make you cry for days. That’s not all, every character in the show gets their chance at heartfelt storylines. Leela has Daddy AND Mummy issues in Leela’s Homeworld, Professor Farnsworth has Mom issues in Mother’s Day, Bender and Hermes have creator issues in Lethal Inspection, Amy and Kif have sexy issues in Amazon Women In The Mood and Dr. Zoidberg just has issues in Stench And Stenchibility. The episode that sticks out for me is The Luck Of The Fryish, the episode that explains Fry’s troubled relation with his brother who is almost a thousand years dead. There is something utterly heartbreaking knowing that their relationship was a lot stronger than Fry had ever thought and there is nothing he can now do about it, a thousand years in the future.
EVERY EPISODE! Every episode will make you cry. I’m not even exaggerating. We all saw how good Ricky Gervais (and Stephen Merchant) was with writing emotional stories with The Office. In his latest show, Derek, the tear-fests almost take over the joke count. So much so that the show is often billed as a comedy-drama even though it is presented in a sitcom format.
Derek is still absolutely hilarious and the cast is quite spectacular. There was a time when Gervais said he could see himself doing this show for a long time, unfortunately it never beat his record of two series and a special but the few episodes we did get were beautiful. For my full review of Derek, click here. Oh God, now I need the tissues.