Why Fictional Characters Matter To Us

The crime solving, the exhilarating and confusing stories, or love at first sight – nothing does it better than a television series. A television series offers up so much and allows us to actually SEE everything going on as opposed to reading it and hoping to capture the intended vision. It’s no wonder we get so attached to these series and the biggest part to bring us in are the characters.

Characters have so much detail and depth to them, they take us on the journey they go. I for one am addicted to Raymond Reddington of The Blacklist. There are so many reasons as to why we love them so much – the connection in their stories to ours, their actions and their personalities – are all factors that draw us in.

Characters offer us a sense of escapism from our lives. As Emily Dickinson Blake Vermeule writes in her book, Why Do We Care about Literary Characters? people “need to know what other people are like.” We are constantly trying to see how others live their lives and how they go about their everyday. Of course following people around to try to get inside their heads is frowned upon so television characters are our next best thing. Getting inside the minds and lives of characters is easy because they are literally saying and doing what they think and feel. Characters openly invite us into their lives and we get to see firsthand how they handle situations and other people. The backstories for these characters are usually complex and come with a lot of problems they have to deal with; these problems are usually very in depth so we can see how everything goes down. Many of these issues also come with a solution, something our everyday issues don’t always come with.


The writers of a show are really why we get attached to a character. Writers write these characters in such detail, with such elaborate personalities and with crazy stories, we get transported and go where ever the character goes. It’s so bad some people actually begin to think the actor is really a doctor or an investigator in real life because of his character on television. Writers allowing us to go on a journey with a character is the best thing because we get to escape our lives and issues for a few hours, and live in someone else’s life. Books are also good at taking us on a journey, but there is nothing like seeing a character really come to life than to actually see them and feel what they are feeling.

The fandom really solidifies with couples in television series. There is no better thing than to see two people, who are clearly perfect for each other, finally get together. Television series allow us the chance to see the entire relationship – from the first meeting to the wedding – and everything in between. We get to see so much that we become personally invested in the relationship. There is absolutely NOTHING worse than having one person from our perfect couple die or leave the show; people really get so depressed as if their significant other left. We get so attached because in our real lives, we don’t get to see everything that happens in such depth like we do with television and because a happy ending we crave is not guaranteed.


Television series are really something magical and something we all will get attached to. Even if we don’t admit it, getting attached is actually kind of fun and watching our shows can be the highlights of our week. So keep on watching, regardless of what anyone else says, because being attached to a character is great.