TV: End of Season Grief

As hubby and I work our way towards the end of yet another much loved television series (at least, the most current season that is available,) I have that familiar feeling, a sort of sadness and disappointment that’s a little like grief.

I know, it sounds silly.  But after a whirlwind journey through the extremely entertaining British comedy-drama, Misfits, I have been mulling over the effect our entertainment can have on us.  If you’ve ever read a really engaging book, (or even better, a series like The Dark Tower novels or Harry Potter), you are likely aware of how you can become transported to another world, and how you can become attached to and love the characters with whom you’ve spent so much time.  I think our television can have a similar effect on us as a good novel.

The original cast of Misfits-- "Kelly, Simon, Alisha, Curtis, and Nathan"

The original cast of Misfits– “Kelly, Simon, Alisha, Curtis, and Nathan”

So, as we began season (series) 4 of Being Human, amidst some seemingly very rapid (and unceremonious) cast changes, I mentioned to my husband the fact that how we view our favorite television programs can actually affect the way they affect us.  

When you watch a particular show on a service like Netflix or Hulu, you can become immersed very quickly.  There is an instant gratification sort of effect.  You don’t have to wait a week for the next episode.  There’s not anxious anticipation, rather a desire to bull through and watch as much as you can (if you’re really into the show.)  If you’re like hubs and I, you’ll watch three or four episodes a night.  You reach the end of a season or series fairly quickly. Consequently, twists in the plot, changes to the cast, and deaths of main characters often seem very abrupt and are a bit of a shock to the system.

Conversely, if you watch a series as it airs on television, obviously it’s going to feel like you spent even longer with the characters…however, if you’re like me, and you get behind on a series, or even just waiting until next week’s episode, sometimes the sense of urgency you feel to see the next episode kinda of gets muted with time. (I went through this when we went without cable for a while; at first I thought I’d just about die if I didn’t see the next episode of True Blood, but after a while I was just like, Meh.)

Still, I think I prefer to be able to watch a series consecutively (thank you, Hulu!)  In addition to having my instant gratification, I never have to wonder “what’s on TV tonight?”  There are less commercials, you can pause for snack or a bathroom break, and rewind when your kid’s screaming (or you have to yell at them for pulling the cat’s tail) and you’ve missed a bit.


What is your favorite way to watch your favorite shows?  Do you think the way you view your programs effects how they impact you?

15 responses to “TV: End of Season Grief

  1. def. effects my mood some, btw. havent finished misfits but got into it a bit… was really upset when being human uk. git rid of the charactors I loved, also watched us. too but prefer uk. I started and am currently up to date on a new show Lost Girl. you know me, love tv series! Grimm was my reason (need) for hulu. Totally get what you’re saying. Have you found any other good ones?

    • Heheh! Grimm is why we got Hulu too! Yeah, am pretty bummed about some of the characters on Being Human. Especially George. But am so stoked that Michael Socha (Tom the Werewolf) being in it. He is Kelly from Misfits real life brother and he is yummy!
      Misfits does the same thing BTW. By season four, there are almost none of the original characters left. Disappointing.
      I started watching that new show The Following. There’s only 2 eps aired so far but they’re both on Hulu. Also, there’s a new show called Deception that is pretty good.

  2. We stopped watching new series until we knew they hadn’t been cancelled. The agony after Heroes, Battlestar, The Event and V got the axe really pisses us off – because we don’t have the option to watch them ‘fresh.’ Now, the Walking Dead seems to be one we can, ahem, obtain a few days after it is aired, and it’s good fun to wait. I just wish people on Facebook would STFU after seeing it and stop giving spoilers!

    I’ve asked hubby to get us Grim. And we enjoy Haven. But currently we’re going thro Voyager and the Danish version of The Killing – season 3.

    • Am excited for the return of The Walking Dead. Grimm is good. You should like it. You know what show was awesome and they cancelled it right on a cliff hanger? Carnivale. Man, what a pisser!

      • Yep. That was an early one – my sister recommended it and we bought season 1 only to learn it was cancelled. Ugh. Have season 2 but I don’t know if I’ll bother. But then there are fabulous runs like the Wire…

  3. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently! The problem is you race through a series, stay up way too late, don’t remember the half of it and it’s kind of taking the good out of the thing. But on the other hand who wants to be stuck with endless re-runs and having to wait a week for another episode. I try to space out my episodes a bit better.

  4. Grimm, Buffy, Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead are my all time favorites! I loved Being Human as well, but the tv here stopped the channel they had it on, and I got too lazy to download it. I started Misfits, have yet to continue after episode 2 (or 3), haha! But so far I like it. 🙂
    My favorite tv series really get me into ‘those’ world like books do.

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