It is with a heavy heart that I write this sendoff to perhaps one of the most influential television programs of our era, which aired its final episode on Sunday, July 15th. MASH. Seinfeld. Friends. These shows have each become emblematic to American audiences. However, only one show has heroically dealt with the topic of death with such class and elegance that the docudrama will never be the same. This show, of course, is Spike TV’s revolutionary classic, 1000 Ways to Die.
Recognized internationally for its sophistication and painstaking attention to accuracy, 1000 Ways to Die poignantly recreated uncommon deaths, and then punctuated each account with a clever and tasteful title. For instance, the unfortunate individual whose demise was chronicled in Jake and Bake succumbed to his narcolepsy while working in a kiln. In another heart-wrenching recreation entitled Work of Fart, a young academic is incinerated whilst flatulating into a blowtorch. Through delicately paying homage to these senseless expirations, Spike TV has assuredly saved millions of lives by educating the population regarding these deadly situations. I, myself, am only alive today because of this noble series. After I viewed Face-Offed, the tragic tale of a young Las Vegas “dancer,” I was enlightened to the possibility that shaving with a rusty razor can lead to a face-eating infection. Not wanting to die a gory and faceless death, I immediately sought medical attention and a tetanus shot. While my doctor assured me that the Face-Offed outcome was rare, I remain convinced that had the plight of that poor young stripper not been addressed, I could have faced a similar fate (no pun intended).
Thus, 1000 Ways to Die has enlightened the masses through superb reenactments and sound input from accredited sources. This is truly the end of an age – an age in which alleged deaths can readily be mocked for the entertainment of the general public. I suppose we’ll have to bring back fight-to-the-death gladiatorial combat to fill the void.