Arts, Culture & Media

The Beautiful Dead Girl Trope

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Courtesy of Showtime

Anyone familiar with TV murder mysteries and crime procedurals may recognize the trope of theBeautiful Dead Girl whose gruesome murder is at the center of the plot. She's usually a mysterious figure with dark secrets that only come to light after her death and make everyone realize that they didn't know her as well as they thought. Margaret Lyons, TV critic for "The New York Times," defines the trope, identifies Laura Palmer of "Twin Peaks" as one of the most famous prototypes, and discusses how the trope has been retooled and subverted over the past 26 years.

We didn't get a chance to talk about all of Margaret's examples of the Beautiful Dead Girl trope, some of them interesting variations, like the beautiful dead boys in "Broadchurch" and "Riverdale":

You can also check out the great "Twin Peaks" primer Margaret put together,"Your Complete Guide to Rewatching Twin Peaks."

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