There's just something so special about series characters, aren't there? It doesn't matter if it's a book series or a television series... there's just something about watching characters and the people around them grow and change over an extended period of time that makes series stand out... and that led me to thinking about soap operas, and even though they are endlessly dumb they're also addictive because of the nature of the medium: they are characters that the viewers see 5 times a week instead of only once, and most soaps on today have been around for some time.
Of course, soap opera characters ain't exactly a model for literature, even popular literature. Excluding them, then, what is it about series characters -- be it Frodo or Harry Potter or Anne Shirley or Sam Carter or Gaia from the Fearless series or Rachel from Animorphs? I mean, I cried for a good hour when I read the last Animorph book and Rachel died, and that's a Young Adult series. Is it just that they're good characters from the get-go and seeing so much of them endears them to us? Do we become more invested in series characters than simple novel characters because we've spent more time in their presence? Or is there something else?
Rhetorical questions, of course, but if anyone has any thoughts I'd like to hear 'em.