Post-series depression can be a dangerous thing. After your favourite show has ended, it might feel like nothing else will do the trick. Recovering after you've spent so many hours engaged with a show that's ended is not always an easy process. The empty feeling subsides with time, and there are fortunately tons of other great shows to dive into once you're done with one of them.
Easing the Loss
Take a break from TV.
Once your favourite show ends, nothing else you watch is going to feel like it fills the void. Considering the sort of time investment that’s usually incurred with watching a show, it may be time to take a break from TV. Do other things; read books, play video games, see friends, focus on hobbies.
Vent online about it.
If you have just finished a show on its first-run, there will be a lot of other people in the exact same position as you. A great show ending doesn’t feel great, but the empty feeling can be alleviated by sharing your thoughts with others. Make a post outlining your opinions on the show wrap-up. Online posts can spark an engaging conversation about what you just saw. Sharing the loss with other people will make it feel better.
Make friends with other fans of the show.
If your existing friends aren’t huge into the show you’re interested in, take to the internet and befriend fans of the show. If only so you have people to geek out over your favourite parts with, fellow fans are a great way to intensify your appreciation for parts of a show. A show’s first-run comes with the social aspect of being able to discuss it the morning after an episode airs. The same should be true when the show ends.
Write fanfiction based on the show.
Fanfiction refers to a genre of fiction (prose, play or poetry) written by fans about their favorite fictional characters. If you can’t bear the thought of your favorite show ending, why not continue writing the show yourself? Pick up where the characters were in the final episode and start their story anew from there. If you’re really passionate and knowledgeable about the show, you should have at least some idea of where the characters would go next.
- If a show’s fandom is big enough, it’s quite likely that other writers have penned their own fanfictions about the show already. Go to sites like FanFiction and read some work about your favorite characters.
- Remember to give credit to the creator of a TV show or the author of a book.
Host a farewell party for the show.
If you know people who are also mourning the loss of the show, you should get them together for dinner and drinks. Sit around and discuss your favorite parts of the show. If footage is available, watch some of your favourite clips. Get into friendly debates over aspects of the series finale. A bit of friendly argument is a great way to get your mind off the loss.
- If you want to get theatrical with your farewell, you can hold a mock funeral for the show and its characters. You can go around in a circle and reflect on your favourite characters and scenes.
Send complaint letters to the network.
Not all shows are lost forever. If a network cancelled a show and realizes there is significant following they’ve alienated, they may be convinced to bring the show back on air. Find out whoever cancelled or ended the show, and send a letter expressing your love for the show. If it was cancelled, make sure to emphasize that you would like to see the show returned to television. If a network gets enough feedback for one show, it almost certainly has an effect on whether they decide to bring it back or not.
- Don’t get your hopes up about a revival. Shows like Firefly received a zealous backlash when they were cancelled, but never got the TV revival fans were looking for.
Watch the series again on DVD
After some time, all of the seasons of your favourite show will be available for home purchase. The most conventional way of this is to buy the DVD box sets. Having a concrete copy of your favourite show at home is great if you watch the show a lot and don’t want to rely on a channel for it. Streaming services like Netflix also showcase entire shows. This makes streaming services perfectly suited for the “binge watching” that usually comes with watching a great show.
- Check online to see if your show is available as a free download. Some of the channel’s websites will feature old episodes so people can catch up on their own time.
Watch the show again from start to finish.
If you were watching a show as it aired the first time, rewatching it will give you the opportunity to experience it without the year-long wait between seasons. You can watch a few episodes per night, or marathon entire seasons in a day if you want. As always, the most enjoyable way to do this is to do it in pairs or as a group. Watching a whole show together requires some common scheduling, but it will feel a lot less lonely.
Digest the DVD special features.
If you went ahead and purchased the show box set on DVD, you’ll most likely have special features to dive into. Special features show the behind-the-scenes stuff in a TV show. Things like interviews, on-set documentaries and marketing spots all help to enrich your knowledge and appreciation of the show. If you look at everything that went into the making of a particular scene, you’ll almost certainly have a greater appreciation for it the next time you put it on.
Look at the TV tropes page for your show.
TV tropes is a wonderful website for cataloguing tropes in TV and media. If you look up your favourite show on it, you can look for all of the listed plot devices that show used, and see how it ties in with the rest of pop culture. All of it can seem overwhelming at first to a newcomer, but the associations between your show and the rest of pop culture can be a ton of fun to research.
Convince new friends to watch it with you.
There are few things as satisfying as getting a good friend into a show you’re really passionate about. This way, you’ll be able to live vicariously through someone’s fresh excitement over a show you’ve grown familiar with.
Consider how your opinions on the show have evolved.
After you watch a show for the second time, you should think about the ways your opinion has changed towards it. Watching a show a second time means you’ll know what happens at the end even on the first episodes. This will frame character arcs and dialogue in a fresh new light, now that you know what the writers were leading up to.
Finding New Shows
Hunt the web for recommendations.
Sites like IMdB are perfectly suited for hunting down TV recommendations. There are lists of “best ever” TV shows you can use as a reference for finding new shows when you feel you’re ready to move on. Recommendations are easy to find online. It shouldn’t take long to find a few potential prospects that might be worth looking into for your next show.
Check shows with common crew and cast members.
Each of the people who worked on your favourite shows have careers that kept going once that show ended. It is likely that each of those people (from the cast or crew) have worked on other shows. If you had a favourite actor, check to see what his or her other credits are. Loved the witty scripts in a show? Check to see what the screenwriter or show runner has been up to since your favourite show ended.
Talk to friends about what they’re watching.
Friends are a perfect source of recommendations. If you’re not sure what you want to watch, it’s a good idea to talk to them. See what they’ve been into lately. Ask if there’s a show they think you might be into. Friends are a good source of eyes and ears when it comes to new media. There are way too many shows to look into yourself, so getting others to do the legwork for you will save you loads of time.
- It goes without saying that it’s preferable to ask friends who have cultural tastes you agree with or respect.
Get an automatic recommendation.
There are websites online that offer recommendations based on algorithms. These can be very helpful, as they’ll give you recommendations that your friends might not have heard of before. Sites like TasteKid, IMdB or RateYourMusic will offer you their best guesses as to stuff you might be into, based on the ratings and interests you input in their system.
Give a few shows a test-run.
Once you start a show, there’s nothing forcing you to keep up with it. Watch the pilot episode of a few shows. Give them each a fair chance, and move on if you’re not finding it grabs you. You may have to go through a few shows before you find one that seems like it’ll be truly worth your time.
- Keep the time investment of a new show in mind. Shows take dozens of hours out of your life. That is valuable time that should only be invested if the show is something that really inspires you.
Join a new fandom.
When all is said, it may eventually come time to jump ship and join a new fandom with a show that’s still happening. Go online and make posts about this new show. Look at the fanfiction. Lurk on fan forums and read up on fan theories for this new show. The more you immerse yourself in a new show, the less you’ll miss the old one.
- Great new shows are always coming out, and you can never dismiss the possibility of your favourite show coming back to life in the future.
- Television addiction is real, and it can have a severely negative effect on someone’s life if left unchecked. If you feel compelled to spend hours a day watching TV, it’s a good idea to take some time away from it completely. Cut down on your TV use and focus on other aspects of your life until the compulsion subsides.