Either fans or producers of the TV show House MD have developed a Facebook page as a memorial to the character Lawrence Kutner.
I don't watch House, but apparently, Kutner killed himself on last week's episode of the show. The Facebook page includes photos of the character and hand-written notes from his "friends," i.e., other show characters, with their reactions to his death.
It's easy to dismiss this as people going too far for a television character. But, if they're upset about the character's death, I think it's great that they have a place to come together and publicly "grieve" about it. And I've certainly had my share of becoming emotionally invested in characters from television and literature.
That said, I do wish the language was restructured a bit ... just to make it more clear that everyone involved is really making the distinction in their minds that this is a television character. And that, while they may be sad to lose his narrative, they do realize it's not a real-life death.
For example, the page's description reads, "Dr. Kutner was a hard working young doctor with a kind, unassuming, gentle manner. He will be missed by all of us." They couldn't have called him a character? I don't think it would have diminished the page to be honest about what it was.
People become emotionally invested in television characters. There's no shame in that. There's no shame in feeling a little sad when a character dies. And publicly grieving for that character with other fans might be healthy. But let's not get together in a virtual group to pretend that character was a real person who we really knew just because we have new technology that allows for it. That's where this page goes too far, to my mind.
And thanks Christian Sinclair for the tip.