When Shows End: The Five Stages of Grief
You know the feeling when you finish a really good book? Or a really good series of books? It’s happy and sad and emotional to the point where it’s physically uncomfortable. Those characters that you know so well have grown up, moved on, or if it’s Shakespeare then they’ve all died. (But only lunatics read Shakespeare for fun so screw that.)
I get a similar sense of nostalgia when I finish a T.V series. What I’m trying to say is that How I Met Your Mother ended a few weeks ago and it was radical in the sense that my life hasn’t been quite the same ever since. We watched it on our futon and Andie cried. It was one of the most emotionally-packed hours of my life, but by far the moment that got me the worst was when pictures of the main characters from the first season flashed across the screen with the theme song playing in the background. I’m a pretty nostalgic person, and this kind of stuff gets me every time.
One of the only other shows I’ve felt a connection to that rivals How I Met Your Mother is Malcolm in the Middle. When my family finally invested in Netflix, the first thing I did was watch the pilot episode and series finale back to back. It’s turned into a ritual, and I’ve done it probably two or three times since. I get pretty emotional every time. I’m not sure what this says about me.
Then, you enter the Five Stages of Grief: Netflix edition. It’s okay. We know what you’re going through.
Stage One: Shock- Yup, it’s over. Those characters are done saying those witty things, whatever happened at the end of Breaking Bad happened, and you have no idea what to do with yourself. I’d suggest talking it out, but make sure you don’t ruin the end for someone because then you are the worst.
Stage Two: Grief- Now it’s been twenty minutes since the credits rolled and all you want to do is curl up in the fetal position and be nostalgic for seasons past. It’s okay. Let it all out.
*(Avoid dwelling in this stage for too long. Remember, it’s just a show. There are plenty of series on Netflix, and you’ve got an affinity for procrastination.)
Stage Three: Anger- That finale was total crap. What were the writers thinking? Those two people were not meant to be together. All the wrong people died. Were the really dead the whole time? I demand a re-write.
Stage Four: Re-Infatuation- Suddenly it dawns on you that you can watch the entire thing from the beginning again! Or at least your favorite episodes here and there. You start listening to songs from the soundtrack again and when you hear Bizarro by Citizen King, (a gem from the Malcolm in the Middle soundtrack,) you get really emotional. This too shall pass.
Stage Five: Acceptance- It’s over, and that’s okay. Maybe you go outside and get some fresh air. Maybe you actually start doing homework again. Maybe you start another show and continue to ignore all responsibility. Either way, you made it and we’re proud of you.