I just don't understand how/why these TV shows are just killing off characters for the hell of it. It's like show writers/producers/whatever don't want us to get attached or become comfortable. Killing off and writing off characters like Warrick Brown and Sara Sidle on CSI made sense. Gary Dourdan had drug issues and Jorja Fox had salary drama. But...( Fringe, Sanctuary, Dexter, TorchwoodCollapse )
To me, it seems the writers/producers don't understand the difference between plot-driven and character-driven storylines. Sanctuary, Torchwood, and Fringe were meant to be plot-driven, but the writers have dug so much into the personal lives of the characters that they've become a blend of plot-driven and character-driven. So, when you kill off a character, it SUCKS.
Dexter was made to be a character-driven story, but the producers wanted to "up the ante" (plot-wise) for Season 4, so they killed off one of their main characters. Stupid.
A purely plot-driven show is Law and Order. No one cares when a character gets killed off or written off on Law and Order. No one watches that show for the characters. They watch it for a good 45 minute story. And that's why L&O has been on for 20 years.
There's usually not a good way to kill off a character from a character-driven story. I think Supernatural has done it the best. They started out with two characters that likely won't be killed until the very end, and over the years they've weaved in new characters for half-season - multiple-season story arcs. When these new characters die, we care, but not as much as we would if the characters had been there from the very beginning. Never kill off the original characters.
*le sigh* I'm done ranting. I'm just sick of seeing shows kill off main characters. Every show I watch has killed off a character recently with the exception of Bones, Supernatural, and Leverage. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for these three.