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‘We’ve Made A Terrible Mistake’: 7 TV Deaths That Still Impact Viewers

Sixteen years after the finale of The O.C., which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, its producers have concluded that killing off the main character Marissa Cooper, played by Mischa Barton, was a mistake. They just acknowledged as much in a lengthy oral history of the show published in Vanity Fair.

Let’s recap. The O.C. was a teen drama set in affluent Orange County. As The Guardian put it, the show was a cross between Karate Kid and Beverly Hills, 90210. It aired during the first decade of the new millennium. At its core was Marissa Cooper, whose main journey in life was falling in with Ryan, a rebel of humble origins who appeared in the neighborhood to blow up the dynamics of a group of Californian preppies. The show’s brilliance was blinding but ephemeral and Barton was the most recognizable face.

When the program was about to end its third season, the producers began to feel Fox executives breathing down their necks. Ratings were dropping and, worse, the show was no longer relevant. The network asked for “promotable” storylines and Marissa’s death was the first plot twist on the table. According to the feedback the producers had received from online forums, Mischa’s extreme thinness and Marissa’s insufferable character bothered them. Without considering that the character was who they had written for her, they decided that killing her off was the solution. The grief following her death would be the jolt of energy that allowed them to create new plots. “This comments so much upon the paucity of our imaginations, but we didn’t know where to go with the story. The Marissa-Ryan relationship was so integral to the show, and we felt like we had gone through so many different permutations of it that we didn’t know what the next step of it was. So we thought at the very least, forcing Ryan to deal with the grief that would happen from that, we could understand how we could turn that into another season,” screenwriter John Stephens told Vanity Fair.

Mischa Barton
Mischa Barton. Vera Anderson (WireImage)

Ultimately, Marissa died after an accident from which she was rescued in extremis but unsuccessfully by her beloved Ryan. The night the episode aired, Tumblr, the preferred social media of the time, was on fire. “What have we done? We’ve made a terrible mistake,” the producers said to themselves at the time, realizing for the first time that those who had opined about Marissa earlier were an unrepresentative minority. Marissa was the star of the show, and they had just fulminated against her. But without her, The O.C. buckled and didn’t make it past the fourth season. Barton’s film career, which never took off in Hollywood, suffered a similar setback.

Marissa’s unfortunate departure from The O.C. is just one example from a long list of TV deaths that left viewers perplexed by the absurdity, suddenness, cruelty or needlessness of a character’s plight. Below, we review seven of the most memorable examples.

Brian Cox
Brian Cox. Borja B. Hojas (WireImage)

Logan Roy in Succession

Cause of death: Heart attack while traveling by plane.

Why did he leave the show? The title itself explains it, and as Cox himself acknowledged: “It’s about succession. You need a corpse.” The Roy patriarch had to disappear for that succession to take place and to explore the relationship between his descendants once he no longer cast his powerful shadow on them. Jesse Armstrong, the show’s creator, knew what would happen in the first season and began to lay the groundwork for it in the third. To prevent anyone from leaking it, they even hid the plot from the cast and referred to it in code. In fact, Bryan Cox returned to the set from time to time so that no one could guess that he was no longer on the show.

How did fans take it? Despite the health problems foreshadowing Logan Roy’s death, the writers caught Succession fans off guard by having his demise occur in the third episode, when plots are usually opened, not closed. Moreover, the episode title, “Connor’s Wedding,” did not portend that we would see more than just another tense reunion of the wealthy backbiting family that night. It was quite surprising. And the fact that they chose to record the scene without cuts and gave the actors freedom enhanced their performances. That night social media filled with messages demanding an Emmy for all the cast members. “Really not into hyperbole, but tonight’s Succession was maybe one of the best episodes of television… ever?” critic Angelique Jackson wrote.

Sean Bean.
Sean Bean. VALERY HACHE (AFP via Getty Images)

Ned Stark in Game of Thrones

Cause of death: Beheaded by an executioner in front of the horrified gaze of his daughters.

Why did he leave the show? It was inevitable. The death was written in George R. R. Martin’s first volume A Song of Fire and Ice, the (still unfinished) book series on which the show is based. The death of the patriarch of the Stark northerners was not the first act of brutal violence in Game of Thrones, but it did serve to show that no one was safe. Neither being a moral role model nor a renowned actor could prevent Ned Stark’s head from crowning a pike.

How did the fans take it? Those who had not read the books were caught completely off guard. The fact that actor Sean Bean was the cast’s most recognizable face seemed to be enough to keep him safe, although it hadn’t protected Boromir in The Fellowship of the Ring. Fans of the novel had to restrain themselves from shouting to the rest of the compassionate viewers that the worst, the Red Wedding, in which most of the Stark family died, would come a couple of seasons later and would be much more difficult to get over.

Susan Sullivan
Susan Sullivan. CBS Photo Archive (CBS via Getty Images)

Maggie Gioberti in Falcon Crest

Cause of death: Drowned in a pool.

Why did she leave the show? By Falcon Crest’s ninth season, everything had already been done, and the show needed a jolt. Dallas had Pamela’s dream (after which it was revealed that a whole season had just been a dream). Dynasty had the Moldavian wedding during which half the cast was in mortal danger, and The Colbys had a UFO. Falcon Crest needed its own unforgettable moment, and writers gave it to the angelic Maggie, dull Chase’s widow and evil Richard Channing’s redeemer. After experiencing a brain tumor, alcoholism and amnesia, only death remained for the character played by Susan Sullivan, and it happened in a big way. Just after recognizing that she had never been happier, she dove into the pool to pick up a toy that some kids had dropped, and the engagement ring that Richard had given her got caught in the drain. Her limp body floating at the bottom of the pool caught the show’s viewers off guard.

How did the fans take it? In the world of television, where every show that premieres seems to cause an unprecedented earthquake, the fact that Maggie Gioberti’s farewell still appears on lists of unforgettable TV deaths forty years later reflects the impact it had.

Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey. Frank Ockenfels (Disney General Entertainment Con)

Derek Shepherd in Grey’s Anatomy

Cause of death: Traffic accident after saving a family who had been in a car accident.

Why did he leave the show? After twenty seasons we know two things: the set of Grey’s Anatomy is not the best place to keep secrets and its creator Shonda Rhimes does not hesitate to kill off her characters. The bad relationship between Dempsey — People magazine’s 2023 sexiest man alive — and Ellen Pompeo, who plays the titular Meredith Grey, was an open secret. But Dempsey’s problems weren’t limited to his relationship with his co-star; they affected everyone. “He was terrorizing the set. Some cast members had all kinds of post-traumatic stress disorder after working with him,” executive producer James D. Parriott recalled in the book How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy. Rhimes was gracious enough to write her lead character’s farewell episode, which she titled How to Save a Life, the show’s unofficial anthem. It was a heroic ending in which McDreamy passed away after saving an injured family, and the episode made it clear that even a dying man could diagnose himself better than anyone else.

How did the fans take it? The millions of fans of Meredith and Shepherd’s relationship didn’t care about the tensions on the set: they just wanted to see the two characters together and happy. After the episode aired, they started a Change.org petition for the character to be resurrected and social media filled with simple but effective messages like “We hate you, Shonda.” But the show’s most unpredictable moment did not catch viewers completely off guard. Despite security measures (it was filmed in another location with actors who only found out which show they were working on at the last moment), a logistical error caused some Entertainment Weekly subscribers to receive an issue in which Shepherd’s death was featured on the cover.

Michael K. Williams
Michael K. Williams. Jim Spellman (WireImage)

Omar Little in The Wire

Cause of death: Shot by a child while buying cigarettes.

Why did he leave the show? In The Wire’s Baltimore, fate is mapped out almost before birth regardless of how charismatic you are (let’s not forget how short the career of the dashing Stringer Bell, played by Idris Elba, was). The fate of Barack Obama’s favorite character — and the favorite of almost every other viewer of David Simon’s show — was no exception. Omar was violent but moral, intelligent yet brutal and, most surprisingly, openly gay. He was tender and solicitous with his boyfriends but a ruthless killer who could establish his own law amid the reign of Baltimore’s organized gangs. One would have thought that his death would have matched his legendary status, and yet it was trivial. One of the kids who aspired to be like Omar shot him in the head while he was buying a pack of cigarettes.

How did the fans take it? Without the immediacy of social media, web forums and especially blogs were the sounding boards for fans who had believed that their hero, so fond of mythology, was immortal. When Michael K. Williams, the actor who played Omar, died in 2021, the shock and series of eulogistic obituaries that followed attested to the character’s lasting impact: Omar was as well written as he was genuinely portrayed.

Dan Stevens
Dan Stevens. Dave M. Benett (Getty Images)

Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey

Cause of death: He was in a car accident on his way to meet his newborn son on Christmas morning, because writers can always be a little crueler.

Why did he leave the show? The actor playing him, Dan Stevens, left for one of the most common reasons: he got calls from Hollywood and wanted to make it on the big screen. Show creator Julian Fellowes asked the actor to return in a later episode so that he could write a more pleasant farewell to the character, but Stevens had already decided to go to the United States. At first it seemed like a smart move: he played the Beast alongside Emma Watson in the live-action adaptation of the Disney classic. But Stevens ended up starring in inconsequential shows and disappeared from the spotlight. Had he known what was in store for him, he might have reconsidered his abrupt departure from England’s favorite mansion.

How did fans take it? Some of the comments after Crawley’s death included “I swear the Crawleys are the Kennedys of Yorkshire.” “You watch shows like Downton Abbey to make yourself feel better.” “Merry Christmas, children! Everyone you love will die.” Millions of the show’s fans — who were still sensitive after the angelic Lady Sybil had passed away after giving birth — could not believe her brother-in-law’s tragic fate. Fellowes ended up regretting his decision. “Some people were very upset, and I’ve had to apologize a lot over the years.”

Drea de Matteo.
Drea de Matteo. Cewzan Grayson – PA Images (PA Images via Getty Images)

Adriana La Cerva in The Sopranos

Cause of death: Murdered in the woods after it was discovered that she was an FBI informant.

Why did she leave the show? She was killed to advance Tony Soprano’s narrative arc. The fact that he ordered the murder of one of the show’s most beloved characters added yet another layer of slimy evil to the character played by James Gandolfini. Terence Winter wrote a scene with dreamlike overtones in which we always think there is a chance that Adriana will escape her fate at the last moment. In a series that never shied away from showing violence, Adriana’s death was the only one that occurred offscreen. Years later, Winter confessed that many fans of the show still ask him why he decided to do that, and his answer is simple: “I realized that I was really the one who didn’t want to see what was happening.”

How did the fans take it? They weren’t surprised. As soon as Adriana started cooperating with the FBI, viewers realized that she had signed her own death warrant. The only question was the degree of sadism with which she would be killed. The series delivered.


Culture

Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.


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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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