From “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four Privet Drive,” to ten years and seven books later with “All was well,” the Harry Potter series has given children, adults and muggles all over the world the soaring journey of a lifetime. Then, years after the first book hit the world with the force of a literary meteorite, Harry Potter came to the world of film.

It’s another version of the beloved story, and it doesn’t even begin with the same sentence. “I should have known that you would be here, Professor Mcgonagall,” is how the series began for a whole legion of loyal Harry Potter fans. Eight movies later, it ended with “Ready?” and two different sets of Harry Potter lore were wholly available to the public.

Why is it then that fans of the books have such mixed feelings about the films? Some love them, some hate them, but at the end of the day they must be held apart to truly love either of them.

Can’t we all just get along?

That’s the thing, they are two different stories at this point. When you change the medium that something is presented in, you are forced to change everything about it. Anything that doesn’t adhere to the rules of that medium is subject to harsh criticism.

Saying that Harry Potter film series is awful because it’s nothing like the book series is like saying that Stephen Spielberg’s upcoming Lincoln movie is going to suck because it’s going to be different from a famous painting of Abraham Lincoln. It’s a medium shift. If it doesn’t change, the adaptation will suffer.

This isn’t, by the way, something that a group of old elders got together and decided on a long time ago and chiseled onto some stone tablets. Movies, by their own nature, are forced to be a certain way because of what they are.

It isn’t as easy as “oh they didn’t want to have the curse rebound off of Harry and kill Voldemort because it isn’t Hollywood enough,” or “It would have been SO EASY to just throw in, like, ten more minutes of Snape into every movie.”

Trust me, more Snape is what everyone wants, but books (ranging anywhere from 320-870 pages) have that luxury. Films don’t.

“Oh yeah, Snape…we’ve cut your whole dream…sequence…thing…whatever. Don’t make that face.”

It’s not a flaw in the film-making of the Harry Potter series (okay, in some cases it is), it’s a flaw of film-making in a general. From the standpoint of a screenwriter, including every single character and giving them enough screen-time to merit the full arcs they are given in the book would turn the thing into a full blown character study instead of a heroic journey.

This especially proves to be challenging when a group of producers decides to adapt a series of films before it’s even finished. How were they to know which characters would be integral? How did they know which moments to lovingly craft and which ones to ditch?

Yes, sometimes Rowling stepped in to lead them in the right direction (DON’T YOU DARE CUT KREACHER), but on more than one occasion we watched as once important characters slipped into the wallpaper once the film-makers realized that their characters weren’t absolutely necessary to the story.

Let’s play a game. It’s called “Who the hell is holding Harry in this clip from Order of the Phoenix.”

If you answered “Percy during his git phase,” then congratulations, you read the books.

All the character development that he receives in the Order of the Phoenix movie (Remember, in the books Percy straight up turns his back on his entire family in Order to further his career) is condensed to Harry’s extended gaze.

Nearly Headless Nick (played by the horrifically underused John Cleese) bailed after the first few installments, Dobby disappeared after Chamber of Secrets only to reappear in Deathly Hallows-Part 1 to work up sympathy from the audience and to remind us of who he was right before he died.

In the film series, you can almost guess who’s going to die by keeping track of who is suddenly getting all sorts of attention (See: Sirius Black). To be honest, given exactly how many characters exist in the Harry Potter series (772 names mentioned and 200 characters that can be deemed “important”), it’s a wonder that the film-makers were able to manage them this well.

Think about it, even in the last film (which only covers 259 pages, the least out of any in the entire series) we found ourselves wanting more of EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER.

Where was Tonks? Why didn’t we spend more time with Aberforth? Why didn’t the character who was holding Harry in the video above (a character who my cousin [who has only seen the movies] was unable to identify) come back for his spectacular return?

Frankly, it’s because it would have just been an Easter Egg scene for the fans of the book. While this isn’t a bad thing (I particularly loved Dumbledore’s “It’s a very long name” joke in Prisoner of Azkaban in light of the discovery of his full name in the similarly timed release of the Order of the Phoenix novel), it harms the logic of a film in general if you assume that your audience has read the books. It becomes an inside joke, and while inside jokes are funny their specialty is leaving people out. This is something that no good film wants to do.

When it comes down to it, if we spend the majority of the film worrying about who was kept in and who was left out, we’re not leaving room for the most important part: J.K. Rowling’s story.

I mean think about it, what environments set up the character development in the Harry Potter books?

It’s classes, detentions, random time spent in the common room, random time meandering around the Hogwarts grounds, Quidditch matches and sudden random acts of horrendous importance that keep the Harry Potter books churning.

From a film standpoint, keeping a steady roster of over 200 important characters over the span of eight films and having most of their exposure be contained in the same dozen or so locations is just not possible without turning it into…well…a television show.


What were the film-makers really supposed to do? We’ve seen classes in session done very well in some of the films, (Prisoner of Azkaban being an excellent example), but in order for things to not seem repetitive the films are limited to only a few classroom scenes per film. Otherwise it would feel less like a Harry Potter movie and more like a day at school.

As a matter of a fact, with the exception of the first film, it’s usually a Defense Against the Dark Arts class that we sit in on, isn’t it? It’s probably because a class that teaches defense against the dark arts has the most relevance in a movie where the main action is the protagonist defending himself from the dark arts.

Classes also prove to be useful when there are specific things that we need to know about in order for the plot to move forward (The Unforgiveable Curses in Goblet of Fire, or the Felix Filicis potion in Half Blood Prince), or if there’s a new teacher that we need an introduction too. It’s especially useful if you can do both of these things in the same scene.

The funny thing is, if anyone happened to miss Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire they missed the entire classroom scene above where the three most important curses in the mythos of Harry Potter are introduced. In the very next film, Sirius is killed by Avada Kadavra, and if you happened to miss Professor Moody’s lecture on the Unforgiveable curses, you might have not understood what had happened.

The scene however, brings up another point. Did it bother anyone else that the Imperius Curse, a spell that has the utmost importance in the septology, was basically turned into a simple forced movement spell in the scene above?

The redesign of the spell in Deathly Hallow-Part 2 turned it into a gassy catnip, which I suppose works better visually, but it still doesn’t pack the punch that the book was able to provide. The scariest aspect of the Imperius Curse was that it invaded your mind and made you WANT to do the things the caster was making you do.

In the book, the spider was bending to Professor Moody’s will, not struggling against it. How though, was something like that supposed to be put on film? I suppose if they had included a scene where Harry fights against Professor Moody’s will like he does in the book, it would have been made more clear.

However, this was Goblet of Fire. We didn’t have time because there were dragons to fight and kidnapping plots to not explain.

In this particular case, an explanation would have been nice, but in a book you can drop in a chapter that is JUST Barty Crouch Jr. revealing all. Because film is a different medium, it becomes difficult to explain something as twisted and complex as the life and times of Barty Crouch Jr. after the climax has already peaked.

In the case of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, the entire novel is a balancing act. In light of Voldemort’s return and the subsequent crapping out of Fudge’s political career, the school still soldiers on and we find balance in the fact that the school is operating as usual.

I mean hell, they are resilient enough to still host a Quidditch tournament while students were receiving owls from loved ones about the rise of the greatest evil their world has ever known. That’s strength. That’s also the power of what a book can do.

In a book, the power of the text lies in your ability to know what people are thinking. Actions aren’t just seen, they are exhumed. That’s the biggest difference between a film and a novel. In a novel, if someone is sitting in their house alone at night the novel will choose to focus on the inner monologue.

Julie sat in the middle of the room, the stuffed friends of her youth surrounding her as the storm raged outside.
There’s nothing there, she thought. That’s the wind howling it can’t be-
Then something unimaginable broke her train of thought. A knock pounded at the door. The rain pattered on the window panes around her as she stared at the handle.
I just imagined that knock, thought Julie, there’s no way that it could-
The doorknob began to turn. She tightened the stranglehold on Wilfred, her old stuffed rabbit.
Suddenly she was struck by a thought.
Maybe it’s mom. Mom has the key!
She looked up from her huddle of cuddly animals hopefully. The door burst open and a massive shadowy figure with a hook for a hand stepped into her home.

Forgive the hastily thrown together story. In a narrative like this though, it’s clear that we follow Julie’s train of thought through the events. First we have fear, then we have hope. In a screenplay, her emotions would be impossible to follow so we would instead focus on the images.


Suddenly there is a BOOMING KNOCK at the door. Julie OPENS HER EYES suddenly and turns her head toward the door. Her voice BREAKS with fear.


CLOSE ON THE DOORKNOB as it begins to TURN. JULIE SCREAMS as the lightning CRACKS OUTSIDE. The door BURSTS open and A SHADOWY FIGURE with a HOOK for a hand steps into the house.

You see, because Julie’s inner monologue has been cut in favor of enhanced visuals it wouldn’t make sense to include that tiny fragment of hope. Some directors will choose to have some type of voice-over narration when adapting a book specifically so that they can do stuff like this.

In the case of Harry Potter, a voice-over narration would have seemed even more out of place (unless I’m completely wrong and it would have made the series legendary). Anyway, without a voiceover telling you what Julie is thinking, a look of hope would come across as out of place in the face of all of these scary elements.

Compare that to…say… Molly Weasley’s creepy smile after she kills Bellatrix Lestrange.

Yes, we know that Molly is happy that she finally killed the bitch (especially since in the movie universe, Bellatrix and Greyback destroyed The Burrow), but her son JUST DIED.

In a book, you might be able to say something like “and as Bellatrix burst into ashes, Molly smiled knowing that Fred would have gotten a real kick out of it,” but in the movie (unless Fred explicitly mentioned earlier in the film that he would find an exploding Bellatrix to be HYSTERICAL) it sticks a wrench into the entire emotional buildup.

You see where I’m going with this? In a film, if something doesn’t fit into the visual narrative it must be cut. If not, we end up having moments where viewers (especially those that have not read the books) are very confused about what’s going on.

Of course, problems, inaccuracies and massive gaps in logic still exist in the film series.

Where did Harry’s Looking Glass come from? Did anyone ever explain why we found Mr.Crouch dead in the woods? Who were the marauders? WHERE THE **** DID HARRY’S LOOKING GLASS COME FROM?

“WHAT IS THIS MAGIC?!” -Professor Quirrell

When you’re adapting a series of books that is keeping hundreds of balls in the air for the majority of the series, it might be easy to lose track of certain things. The screenwriters very well may have explained every loose end in their screenplays, but if the editor and director decide that such scenes effect the flow of the movie, these important pieces of information sometimes get left on the cutting room floor.

Then, even if an essential piece of information is kept in the film, it ends up sounding like a trip to the screenwriting convenience store. In the books, J.K. Rowling could just copy and paste a Daily Prophet article or a page out of Magick Moste Evile to explain to the audience what’s going on. When you try to do it in a film, it becomes nearly impossible (unless they hire Aaron Sorkin to write the screenplay) for something like that to not sound like exposition.

I mean, think of all of the phrases that you’ve heard in the Harry Potter films that JUST function as exposition. Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone is one of the only possible exceptions to this rule since Harry is obviously new to the wizarding world, but even still, there are better ways to introduce an idea than by awkwardly working it into a sentence.

From Sorceror’s Stone:

Hagrid: And I suppose a great big muggle like yourself is goin’ to stop him, are yeh?
Harry: Muggle?
Hagrid: Nonmagic folk. This boy’s had his name down ever since he were born!

You see, something like this can work in a book where you are looking at the words side by side. Muggle. Non-magic folk. Gotcha.

The book even afforded a few more words to get the full message across. Whereas the film devoted LITERALLY one second and two words to the introduction of an integral plotpoint, the book says this: “It’s what we call non-magic folk like them. An’ it’s your bad luck you grew up in a family o’ the biggest Muggles I ever laid eyes on.”

Aside from adding this to my collection of evidence that Hagrid was straight up HAMMERED when he went to get Harry from the hut on the rock, it also:
A) Explains what Muggles are.
B) Explains what Muggles are in relation to Wizards.
C) Gives an example of what muggles are.

In a movie, something a little more pronounced than an awkward shoe-in is needed, especially when muggles are something you plan on talking about for the next seven movies.

Hagrid does this again in Chamber of Secrets:

Hagrid: Take me to where? Not Azkaban prison!

You see, adding the word “prison” at the end makes the whole thing seem fake. It makes it seem like it was worded that way so that the audience could understand what Azkaban was. In a room with Lucius Malfoy and Albus Dumbledore, Hagrid said what was basically the equivalent of “Take me to where? Not Disneyland Amusement Park!”

Want an example of how to successfully impart the fear that Azkaban has to offer? Skip to 2:10.

Right? He didn’t even use the word “prison” and we still got the idea. Sure, the movie is called The Prisoner of Azkaban, but that’s besides the point.

Now there is just one more thing to discuss.

Not only does the medium that a work of art is presented in effect the work of art itself, but the medium that a work of art chooses explicitly designs how you experience the material.

Like we mentioned above, when you’re reading a book, the book is giving you a VIP pass into the protagonists mind. You have a direct connection with them, similar to the one that Harry shares with Voldemort. That’s right, now when you read the Harry Potter books, you’re gonna freak yourself out by thinking that you’re Voldemort because you can read Harry’s thoughts.

Not only that, but you are forced to interpret the characters yourself. Aside from the charming illustrations by Mary GrandPré, the descriptions provided by J.K. Rowling were all you had. YOU make the choices about the details that are never mentioned, or maybe you change the ones that have been mentioned anyway. It doesn’t matter. The book is a script and your imagination is the stage.

In a film, all of these choices are made for you. It’s a big “User Terms Agreement” put forward by Warner Brothers, and by giving them money and watching the movie you’re hitting “agree” (or at least “proceed with cautious trepidation”).

Whatever Dumbledore you had imagined (for whatever reason, mine was a balding Asian monk regardless of what the book told me) was replaced by Richard Harris. Then he was replaced by Michael Gambon. Anyone who’s anyone in British cinema (with a few notable exceptions) seems to have made an appearance in Harry Potter, and so the characters that we’ve pictured in our minds for over a decade have become a reality.

This is a vast departure from the realm of books, so to expect a film to be able to capture all of that magic (for lack of a better word) that you’ve created in your head is to expect a production crew to not only read your mind, but the collective minds of every Harry Potter fan in the world. They’re going off the same source material that we are, and they had the task of living up to the imaginations of over a billion people worldwide.

Some forget that it’s not like they had the luxury of time to produce these things. They were on a tight schedule, producing eight films in just under ten years (completing five of them before the series was even completed) and somehow getting them out before Daniel Radcliffe was old enough to play Dumbledore. They had child protection laws to work around, actors to keep interested and, most important of all, fans that were as rabid as Remus Lupin during a full moon.

To attempt to adapt the relatively quiet and introspective Harry Potter series to film (as opposed to a much more visual property like Lord of the Rings) was a gargantuan feat, and somehow they managed to keep it (mostly) together.

They became popcorn films, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The books were able to delve to levels that only books are truly able to do, and the movies, while being very well done in their own right, explored the feasibility of transferring Harry’s journey to the silver screen.

It all comes down to the idea that certain stories simply work best in certain mediums, and a transfer to a different medium will require certain changes that might anger fans. The tricky part is that every story is different. There’s no way of knowing how suitable something would be for film until you at least give it a try.

I mean, imagine if someone tried to adapt The Giver to the screen. it wouldn’t work because of the limitations of the medium. Peter Jackson was able to adapt The Lord of the Rings series of books into the Lord of the Rings film series that millions of fans worldwide fell in love with, but I would argue that Lord of the Rings works better as a film series just because of the story that’s being told.

There have been flaws in the film-making and flaws in the entire notion of adapting it, but Harry Potter still proves to be an example of how powerful literature can be and how loyal a readership can be to the books that they love. All things considered, the conversion of Harry Potter into a workable film series seems to have been a complete success.

I can’t wait to compare it to the remake.

Doctor Who season 10 finally has an air date and not only that, so does the spin-off Class!

It’s time to celebrate because we finally know when we’ll see Peter Capaldi back in the T.A.R.D.I.S. as the Doctor! BBC America will premiere Doctor Who season 10 on Saturday, April 15 at 9/8c. Check out the brand new trailer promoting the series, narrated by the brand new companion, Bill:

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Doctor Who season 10 finally has an air date and not only that, so does the spin-off Class!

It’s time to celebrate because we finally know when we’ll see Peter Capaldi back in the T.A.R.D.I.S. as the Doctor! BBC America will premiere Doctor Who season 10 on Saturday, April 15 at 9/8c. Check out the brand new trailer promoting the series, narrated by the brand new companion, Bill:

No word on if the UK will be seeing the same air date but it’s more than likely they will since it’s been like that in years past.

This will be Peter Capaldi’s last season as the Doctor, along with Steven Moffat’s last season running the show. After this we’ll be seeing Chris Chibnall taking the reins with a clean slate, and we’re so curious about how the series will go. How will the Doctor regenerate? Will this be Bill’s first and last season on the show as well? Who’s going to be the next Doctor? We’ve got so many questions! But they’ll all be answered in due time… we hope.

And that’s not all! Fans in the UK have already had the chance to enjoy the brand new spin-off series, Class, and after Doctor Who premieres on April 15 Americans will finally witness it as well.

Set to air directly after Doctor Who at 10/9c, Class is helmed by award-winning YA writer and executive producer, Patrick Ness. The series follows a group of students at Coal Hill School as they deal aliens, invasions and awkward social dilemmas.

Having seen Class in its entirety we can tell you that it’s got the perfect Doctor Who vibe and should fit in perfectly after you watch the season 10 premiere. Although not everyone loved the premiere, the series as whole definitely grows on you. You’ll just have to check it out for yourself!

Are you excited for ‘Doctor Who’ season 10?

How to Get Away with Murder just dropped a bombshell as we found out the truth behind #WhoKilledWes. However, that reveal isn’t the only moment fans are buzzing about.

Obvious spoilers below.

1. Laurel’s emotional demand

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How to Get Away with Murder just dropped a bombshell as we found out the truth behind #WhoKilledWes. However, that reveal isn’t the only moment fans are buzzing about.

Obvious spoilers below.

1. Laurel’s emotional demand

After confessing to both Michaela why Connor was at the house the night Wes died one of the many shocking reveals of the episode is made. “Connor might have killed Wes.” As it turns out, Connor showed up at the Keating home after responding to Annalise’s plea for them to all meet there. As he arrived he found signs of a struggle, and even more, Wes’s warm body in the basement.

Connor could smell gas, but still he persisted in trying to resuscitate Wes through CPR. For over a minute he cried and pounded on the dying boy’s chest until he heard a crack of bone, a fractured rib. He fears he might have punctured a lung. He fears he might have been the one to strike the deadly blow.

Once the confession is made the Keating crew reacts. Oliver pleads for understanding. Annalise reassures Connor that he didn’t do this. Bonnie tries to play mediator, keeping everyone calm. Finally Laurel, in a blindingly emotional rage, instructs Connor to go and kill himself. Saying such action will be the only good thing he will ever do with his life.

2. Annalise’s hidden voicemail

Connor and Oliver were adamant that nothing on the copy of Annalise’s phone was incriminated. Then why would she ask Oliver to erase it? Well when Connor is about to be arrested for Wes’ murder fans find out just what Annalise was so afraid of. he discloses to Denver the location of the copy, and Annalise comes forward with what she wanted to hide.

The night that Wes died he left her a voicemail, explaining ADA Atwood’s plan to take her down for the murder of Sam and Rebecca Stutter. His exact words are “I can’t let you go down for what I did.” He begs her to come home, to talk about it, to discuss their options. But he died before any arrangements could be made. In fact, he was taken down moments after the call was made.

What is truly shocking however isn’t the voicemail itself. The kicker is how Annalise uses the voicemail to pin it all on a new suspect to clear her own name. Wes. Out of context, the voicemail sounds like Wes is confessing to killing both Sam and Rebecca. Annalise is able to twist the story to make it look like Wes took his own life out of guilt. She tarnishes his reputation forever.

3. Oliver’s shocking request

After Connor answers the burner phone Denver used to stay in contact with Atwood throughout Wes’ death, he goes missing. He is caught by Denver and taken to a hidden location where he is held against his will.  While held, he is questioned about his involvement with Wes’ death. He is accused of murdering Sam. He is threatened to be held for more than the legal 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Oliver heightens to a frenzy. In a panicked state he obsesses about the whereabouts of his boyfriend. He brings up the severity of the situation almost every time his face shows up on our screens. While most (Laurel) believe that Connor has taken Wes’ immunity deal, Oliver remains convinced that Connor is in immediate danger.

He isn’t wrong. Connor is nearly arrested for the murder of Wes. Luckily, after the voicemail comes to light he is released. When he arrives home the two boys engage in a moment of passion, literally ripping the clothes off of each other. They talk about safety, moving to California, making babies, and loving each other forever. To Connor it’s all tied to the sex. To Oliver, however, it’s much more. He’s serious. He asks Connor to marry him.

4. Michaela’s oddly-timed confession

In the heat of everything going on Asher declares his love for Michaela. He calls this year the most awful of his life. He can’t let another moment go by without telling Michaela how he feels. As he spends a few tender moments showing Michaela his heart she pretends to hear Laurel from the other room. She effectively flees the situation.

Michaela doesn’t feel she can honestly answer that question. She doesn’t know. In fact, she doesn’t know if she has ever been in love. However, when it comes down to it, as Michaela has to pretend she wants to go home with Charles Mahoney she realizes something. She does love Asher. Or at least she thinks she does. That’s right, the girl who has always held her true intentions hidden deep inside finally opens up in a women’s public restroom, no less.

5. Wes’ murderer revealed

As the final episode of season 3 came to a close we felt pretty sure that the mysterious hitman was in cahoots with Denver. He never denied it, he almost seemed to confess as Annalise threatened to take him down. As she accused him of having a hand in Wes’ death in some way he seemed so guilty. It had to be him. The very last moments of the episode revealed a very different story, however.

As Laurel began to run down Charles Mahoney who awaited Michaela at a cab she ran into a similar face. Although, she and the audience had much different reasons for recognizing him. To her this man was Dominique, a family friend. To the audience he was the hitman who injected Wes with the lethal substance that took his life.

In one final flashback we see Connor running past the hitman’s car as he talks on the phone. He confirms that the deed is done. Wes is dead. But he doesn’t relay this news to Denver. He is speaking with Laurel’s father. The orchestrator of this all.

What moment stood out to you most in the ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ season 3 finale?

I’ve noticed that a lot of television shows lately have focused on some form of mental health issues, and it’s making TV a whole lot better.

If you’ve watched a decent amount of TV lately you probably noticed this trend, and if you haven’t then you’re about to read about it. The more I watch TV the more I notice that a lot of shows have, in some way, brought up how people handle mental health issues like depression or anxiety. Either they have a character who faces it on a weekly or semi-weekly basis or an episode dedicated to someone handling it and I think it’s about damn time.

For the longest time Hollywood treated mental health disorders as some scary, horrible thing. It was all about straight-jackets and asylums and people never really understood how varied mental health disorders could be. Mental health problems are more than just schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, and finally I feel like Hollywood is beginning to go past the tip of that iceberg.

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I’ve noticed that a lot of television shows lately have focused on some form of mental health issues, and it’s making TV a whole lot better.

If you’ve watched a decent amount of TV lately you probably noticed this trend, and if you haven’t then you’re about to read about it. The more I watch TV the more I notice that a lot of shows have, in some way, brought up how people handle mental health issues like depression or anxiety. Either they have a character who faces it on a weekly or semi-weekly basis or an episode dedicated to someone handling it and I think it’s about damn time.

For the longest time Hollywood treated mental health disorders as some scary, horrible thing. It was all about straight-jackets and asylums and people never really understood how varied mental health disorders could be. Mental health problems are more than just schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, and finally I feel like Hollywood is beginning to go past the tip of that iceberg.

But that’s just it, we’ve only begun to explore mental health awareness in the proper way. With all of the shows on TV only a small number of them have started to explore this important subject. But the few that have? They’ve done a great job.

As much as I love TV I don’t watch everything so I’ve asked my Hypable co-workers to share with me their shows and how any of them highlight mental health awareness. These are all such great examples of how a television show can bring up awareness not for the sake of entertainment but rather because it’s important to show the world how mental health actually affects our lives.

‘The 100’

Jasper Jordan is a rare character in a post-apocalyptic work of fiction, because unlike most of his delinquent peers, he doesn’t have a near-superhuman ability to compartmentalise the traumas and keep fighting for his own and his friends’ survival.

Related: Jasper’s arc on The 100 is real, raw, and underrated

Where characters like Clarke, Bellamy, Monty and even Murphy get knocked down and get right back up again, Jasper isn’t able to do that. The ground was already well on its way to breaking him before he experienced the horrors of Mount Weather, and despite surviving it all, he hasn’t emerged stronger — his mind is giving out, and Jasper has no desire left to carry on. His self-destructive depression and suicidal tendencies were on full display in the season 3 finale, and although the writers decided to let him live (the original plan was for him to kill himself), his trauma hasn’t magically disappeared.

Jasper is a broken soul in an unforgiving world, and his pain is going to continue to define his character from here on out. –Selina Wilken

‘Bojack Horseman’

Every character on Bojack Horseman suffers from depression, and they all deal with it in different ways. Bojack is cruel and listless and blames everyone else for his problems, Mr.Peanutbutter hides his pain behind a smile and an upbeat personality.

Princess Carolyn loses herself in work and keeps her distance from other people emotionally to avoid being hurt again. Todd allows others to steer his life for him because he believes he’s too dumb and useless to make his own decisions. Every season hammers home why these characters behave the way that they behave, and it’s all wrapped up in a big metaphor about how we’re all just animals trying to survive. –Jimmy Bean


Probably one of the most evident and obvious shows that handle mental health, UnReal‘s main protagonist Rachel suffers from a lot of anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder. If you watch just season one and half of season 2 you may not understand Rachel’s actions or why she suffers from PTSD, but in season 2, episode 7 it all becomes clear. Unlike the other shows, UnReal provides a great example for how to not handle depression. The actions of the characters are so abundantly harmful and deceitful that it’s easy to hate the characters and what they’re doing.

It’s hard to discuss without spoilers, but it’s not hard to see how Rachel suffers from these mental health conditions. The poor woman is surrounded by people who try to help her by helping themselves, leaving her to handle her depression and anxiety alone, and it provides a clear picture for how to not support your friends. The best thing this show does is displaying how important it is to take a look at the people around you and make sure you’re keeping them there for the right reasons.

As morally corrupt as the show and its characters are it’s a realistic portrayal of how harmful denying and not treating your depression and anxiety can be. –Tariq Kyle

‘Teen Wolf’

Stiles anxiety has been threaded subtly through Teen Wolf, with just a few instances where it has made it to the forefront of the plot. In one case, Stiles has a panic attack when he’s learned his father has been taken in season 3. Since he lost his mother has a young child, his father is really the only family he has left. Stiles has always been overprotective of his dad — making sure he’s eating healthy and taking care of himself. When he has a panic attack, Lydia finds a way to calm him down, but she doesn’t try to cure him.

Stiles’ anxiety is as much a part of history as anything else, and it returns to enhance the plot of the show in season 5 when Stiles is worried about what will happen to his friendship with Scott after high school. It drives Stiles to attempt to keep everyone together, but when that all falls apart, he must confront his fears and accept that life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. By the time season 6A finishes up, Stiles has overcome this particular trigger, but again, that does not mean he’s been cured of his anxiety. Teen Wolf knows that a mental illness like anxiety is not something you just get over; it’s something you constantly have to work through. –Karen Rought

‘The Magicians’

‘The Magicians’

The biggest driving force in The Magicians actually isn’t magic, but rather depression. It’s made all too clear in season 1 when Elliot explains to Quentin, “magic doesn’t come from talent, it comes from pain.” Author Lev Grossman has discussed this parallel several times, explaining that his own depression was the inspiration for the series.

Grossman explains, “when I was really struggling with depression, I would lie in bed every day, and I couldn’t get up. And I would watch people doing these normal things, going to their jobs and having their relationships, and I would think, I could never do that. And it felt like they were doing magic. And when I started to get better, and I started getting up, and I started doing all these normal things, I felt like I was a magician.”

And what’s particularly great about The Magicians is how each character handles their own depression and anxiety in their own way. Some, like Quentin, are sheepish and quiet about it. Others, like Elliot or Margo, put up a facade of strength and nonchalant-ness that they seldom put down for others. The show is incredibly unique in how it handles mental health, and it’s a great representation of how today’s adults are dealing with it in their own way. –Tariq Kyle


While scripted shows are improving leaps and bounds in their portrayals of mental illness, Survivor has always been happy to show real people overcoming real obstacles, including anxiety disorders and phobias that do not lend themselves to being marooned on an island for a month or more. This past season on Survivor brought us three very different, but inspiring storylines about people overcoming anxiety and such to do extremely well in a game that has overwhelmed some of its strongest participants.

David, who works as a TV writer when he’s not marooning himself on television, walked into the game looking like the type of person that is usually the first person voted off. He appeared weak, paranoid, and was afraid of nearly everything on the island (a scene in which he is scared to hold a stick bug stands out in my brain). As he grew comfortable with his surroundings, he managed to harness his weaknesses and use them in his own favor. He also bonded with another of our inspiring survivors, Ken.

Ken suffered from a stutter as a kid, and has social anxiety thanks to years of bullying and teasing. Ken not only learned to bond with David, but throughout the game managed to make friends and trusted allies despite his anxiety.

Last, but certainly never least is Hannah. Hannah, like David, walked onto the island looking like the type of person that gets voted off this show in the first few episodes. Her lowest point was definitely when she had an anxiety attack from just watching an immunity challenge in progress. She was sitting on the sidelines and suddenly started hyperventilating and her hands seized up. She went on to form solid alliances and maneuver her way into the final three.

Survivor allowed viewers to watch as these three unlikely people made their way through one of the toughest social experiments in play today. Their struggles are real and tough, and they’ve put themselves in circumstances most of us couldn’t dream of subjecting ourselves to, but each came out stronger, more assured in who they are, and aware that their anxiety does not define them. –Kristen Kranz

How do you feel depression and anxiety are being represented on TV?

Don’t forget, you’re not alone. Give a call to the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255) or text them by texting START to 741-741