If TV Characters Don't Lose, They Can Never Win

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No one wants their favorite television characters to lose. 

While watching a show, viewers are always rooting for those on it to come out victorious. Otherwise, we wouldn't be invested, and therefore wouldn't be entertained. 

But, similar to real life, not everything is rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes, on television, characters need to experience something that, while is unpleasant, changes them for the better. 

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Lydia Martin from MTV's Teen Wolf is a prime example of this notion.

It feels safe to say that not everyone was a huge fan of Lydia at the beginning of the series. 

Her quirky attitude may have come across as funny, at times, but she was a downright mean person who didn't care about anyone other than herself. 

It wasn't until Lydia almost died, and she got put through the wringer that there was a noticeable shift in her.

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She spent the entirety of Teen Wolf Season 2 getting manipulated by the same man who left her bleeding out on a football field at her school dance.

Although Lydia didn't deserve to go through that in the slightest, she did become a stronger person because of it. 

Lydia embraced the supernatural abilities that this situation awoke, and quickly became the type of character who showcased the parts of herself she used to hide.

Despite initially being someone who would stab her friends in the back, she grew into a woman who would die for her friends in an instant.

Many viewers agree that Lydia Martin had one of, if not the best, character arcs of the decade. 

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On shows aiming for an older audience, these life-changing experiences are often more traumatic than those you'd see on a teen drama.

Yet, if they get handled correctly, they can be representative and empowering to those who have been through similar situations. 

Lucy Chen, a main character on The Rookie, got drugged by her date and abducted on The Rookie Season 2 Episode 10

As a police officer about to finish up her training year, it came as no surprise that Lucy fought like hell and almost managed to escape on her own. 

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However, her kidnapper had the upper hand, and she ended up getting trapped in a barrel and buried alive. 

Thankfully, her training officer found her and resuscitated when he found a ring she purposely dropped on the ground.

Not only was returning her ring a significant moment between Lucy and her training officer, but it also highlighted how Lucy saved herself. 

As a series that deals with new cases each episode, I was concerned that Lucy's mental state would get swept under the rug to make way for whatever was coming next. 

Lucy Doesn't Look Thrilled - The Rookie Season 2 Episode 12

But, so far, The Rookie has been doing a good job of steadily growing Lucy's character in a direction that coincides with the trauma she got forced to endure.  

The show gave her an appropriate amount of time to reflect upon what happened, and Lucy has come to see herself as a survivor who isn't at fault for the horrible thing that happened to her. 

Given how they have handled the situation during the second half of The Rookie Season 2, it's likely that this is something that will mold Lucy into the kind of cop she wants to be.

Lucy Looks at Ease - The Rookie Season 2 Episode 13

Characters don't always need to come close to death to be faced with something that sparks a positive change. 

To reference a less extreme situation, Max Richman, a character on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, has started down his own path of character development because he lost something he didn't realize was important to him. 

When it comes to his job, Max has always faded into the background, while the other characters get promoted and praised for their intellect. 

There also wasn't much of a focus on what Max contributes as an employee of Spark Point or whether he even wants to be there in the first place. 

Max and his smile - Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Episode 10

Yet, once Max was offered a management position in another department, he began to excel at his job.

Only after losing that position, for hiring an old co-worker who leaked confidential information, was Max able to understand what he wants to make of himself. 

Zoey noticed this change in her best friend after he confessed to her that he didn't want to move backward.

Max's new outlook on life was even what prompted Zoey to finally return his feelings for her in an adorable scene on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Episode 12.

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Up until this point, Max's storyline has mostly revolved around his relationship with Zoey. While it makes sense to highlight that as Zoey is the protagonist, his character needs to be about more than his romantic feelings for someone else.

The journey that this loss may take him on could prompt the show to explore other sides of him going forward. 

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist is yet to get renewed for a second season, but if it is, Max getting fired could likely be the best thing for him.

With his newfound confidence and the realization of his talents as a manager, he has an entire world of opportunities up for the taking.

Sometimes it takes losing something important, pushing you on a path of success. 

It's your turn, TV Fanatics!

Can you think of any television characters whose losses changed them for the better?

Do you agree with our thoughts on the topic?

Hit the comments section down below and let us know! 

Rachel Foertsch is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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