Replacing Your Favorites: How Do You Survive When the Series Ends?


I recently had a brief, but amusing discussion with one of my friends in my graduate program about surviving the end of a series.  I’ve probably noted something like this before, but the completion (or cancellation) of some of my favorite series (books, TV shows, and movies) has left an endless void in my life.  It’s like getting excited about going to Disneyland, finally going, and then having to cope with the knowledge that the event is over when you come home.  But you can re-experience Disneyland in a variety of ways (returning to it when you’re older, taking your children there, etc.).

Yet, the same could be said of creative series.  I can still re-experience Battlestar Galactica, and just as Disneyland can change when they add new rides, so too can BSG when the producers add new material (Caprica and Blood and Chrome, for example — though the former wasn’t all that
great).  The same is perhaps less true for book series.  Though J. K. Rowling can certainly return to her world, it’s not as likely that she will, or that her return will garner the same attention as before.  We are notoriously overly critical of authors who return to their favorite worlds and try to tell new stories within them.  The completion of Harry Potter, sadly, puts Rowling in a strange position as a writer:  on the one hand, she wants to please her fans, who are clambering for more HP, but on the other hand, she wants to move away from that to new things (to make a new “name” for herself).

But even if you can re-experience BSG or HP or Star Wars or Star Trek or whatever else you became obsessed with in your youth (or middle age, as the case may be), it’s not the same as experiencing the anticipation and love in the moment.

So the question is this:  how do you move on when your favorite series ends?  How do you find something to fill the void?

If you loved BSG, what did you replace it with when the show ended (the same goes for HP or Star Wars or whatever other thing you fell in love with)?  I suppose another way to put it is to ask:  how do you survive series withdrawal?

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

4 thoughts on “Replacing Your Favorites: How Do You Survive When the Series Ends?

  1. I survive by finding the next addiction. Yeah, Star Trek: Voyager ending (Badly) affected my love of the series, but eventually I found a new show. Sliders ended and I just got lost somewhere else. Star Wars ended, and I was basically content. It's mostly a case of the stories are still there, but it's time for new ones.

  2. Pat: Did you go from Voyager to Sliders? Where did you go to get your fix? That's what I want to know. I want to figure out how you make those decisions.

    Sliders was awesome, by the way! (Until they killed the Professor…asses).

  3. I don't think you ever truly get over it. Whenever I looked at the shelf dedicated to HP in my office, I get a little pang of loneliness in my belly, but I agree with Pat. You find a rebound series that will help you ride out the storm, and then onto the next series to steal and crush your heart.

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