As TV fans, we all must endure the painful moments in life when one of our favourite shows comes to an end. This scenario is nothing new. Our parents sat in front of their TV (singular, this was the 80s) and cried when the final episode of M*A*S*H aired. With more stations and channels than ever, we now have even more shows to fall in love with and grieve once they meet their syndication maker.
Whether we’re willing to admit it or not, we’ve all shed a tear, either physically or emotionally, when the time has come to say good bye to fictional characters who have become family over seasons of loyal viewing. As with all types of grief, letting go is a process with a series of steps.
In honour of Monday’s series finale of How I Met Your Mother, we’re taking a look at how to deal with the loss of your favourite TV show.
At first there’s confusion when the series finale is announced. Um, don’t the producers know you watch this show every week? How is your viewership not enough of a ratings bump to keep this thing going into Coronation Street years?
No, but seriously, you know the last two seasons haven’t been great, but what about all the amazing seasons before?
You start to admit that the signs were there. The quality of writing has dropped off and all the cast members are now starring in a slew of movies. But still, how can they abandon their day jobs?
Then the anger sets in. How can they do this to you? How can they make you fall in love with people and then rip them all away at once?
Enter bargaining. Why can’t they cancel one of those crappy shows you never watch? You know, the one that’s been on forever and can’t possibly be any good. Cancel that one instead!
You watch every interview and special recap episode about the show leading up to the big day, trying to hang onto it as long as possible.
When the finale day finally comes, you judge people who talk about whether or not they’ll watch it, since they’re not really fans and didn’t think it was very good.
All day you think about what could possibly happen in the finale, unable to concentrate on anything else.
Finally, it’s time.
Afterwards, you can finally breathe. The show ended well. The characters are happy. But there’s an emptiness.
You’re not sure what to feel.
The next day at work, everyone is talking about the finale so casually, as if it was just some show. Some show!? Then they look at you like a crazy person for not wanting to discuss something so personal.
A week passes and the day that would normally be reserved for new episodes is now empty and meaningless.
New programs blend into one another and you feel like nothing will ever come close to your favourite show.
You miss all your fictional buddies and watch YouTube clips of your favourite scenes.
Eventually, the day comes when you’re tired of mourning your show.
You know it’s time to move forward. It’s what your show would want you to do.
You’ve gotten through this before and some day you’ll find a new favourite show.
Plus, there’s always hope for a movie.