In Defence Of Crying At The TV

I keep a box of tissues by the couch. It’s a necessary precaution because I cry at nearly everything on my TV screen. A reunion, of any kind – on the news, a talk show, in a film – I’m in floods. An advert involving a sweet old man? Gone. I have even been known to dry my eyes during a Maury Show makeover. But the biggest offenders, the TV moments that really make me weep, are those that come from my favourite television series, whose characters I get to know; characters who often – spoiler alert – die. Shows that I shouldn’t be allowed to watch but can’t resist, like The West Wing (R.I.P) – a series that brought me to tears nearly every episode. I’ve always been like this. I am a crier. A softy. Sensitive. Call it what you like, I have been “in touch with my emotions” from a young age. My mum banned me from watching Animal Hospital when I was 10. And when I was 15? She came home to find me so hysterical she thought someone had died. They had – on ER.

There have been many TV scenes that have reduced me to tears – episodes that have left me so distraught I couldn’t possibly imagine laughing again. Ahead, the episodes that catch in my throat and still make me cry my eyes out 16 years later.

Warning: there are plenty of spoilers ahead. If you still haven’t got round to watching The Wire, now might be the time to do it.