Richard and I have been watching MI-5 (The Show Originally Known as Spooks) via Netflix. Andrew Thorne warned me not to get too attached to any of the characters, and I'm seeing why, as the show seems liable to bump off anyone at any time, either by death or banishment to a foreign country. It's a very different experience from watching any high-stakes American show, in which any departure (lethal or otherwise) of a main character is scheduled for Sweeps Week or the season finale, and is accompanied by much drum-banging in advance. (Of course, this might have happened in the U.K. when the shows were originally broadcast--does anyone know?)
When i was speaking at the Simmons Institute this past weekend, somebody asked me if the broader parameters for YA (age range, subject, sheer numbers) meant that our expectations of the genre had become more uncertain. My first thought was that we have an awful lot of main characters dying in the first chapter, but since they go on to narrate from The Beyond it's not all that disturbing. But are we thrown for more loops? Despite the ever-greater perils into which they are thrown, can we still count on YA heroes to stick around for the finale? Who's done a body count?
Frankly, I'm up for any book which doesn't make me say, "oh, it's another one of those."