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?