This is a post I’ve wanted to write for a long time. Originally, I was going to do three separate posts – one about falling out of love with The Vampire Diaries and one about falling out of love with the Walking Dead, and why I would give each show a second chance. The third post would have been more general, dealing with breaking up with shows.
Then, back in April 2016, I saw a tweet that REALLY annoyed me and, because of that tweet, I REALLY wanted to write my “breaking up with TV shows” post. However, I was going through some very difficult life things and I fell into a blogging slump and never got around to posting. My desire to write this post was renewed tonight, though, when I saw this on Instagram:
I don’t even know where to start with this crap. I don’t know what makes me more angry, the person who said “NOT EVERYTHING IS MEANT TO GO YOUR WAY” or the person who said you’re only a “TRUE” fan if you watch the whole show, regardless of the direction it goes in.
*Takes deep calming breaths.”
I can’t, you guys. I can’t with the bullshit and nastiness. I’m sorry for my language, but WTF?!?!?
Let’s start to unpack this, mkay?
First of all, f*ck anyone who says you aren’t a true fan if you take a break from watching a show. How dare you say that to someone? There are MANY definitions of “fan” and just because you grow weary of a show DOESN’T mean you’re not still a true fan. Same goes for those who start a show late. So the hell what? It doesn’t matter when someone starts watching or for how long they watch. If they watched at all and enjoyed the show at all, they’re a fan. ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE IS WRONG. You do NOT get to decide whether someone else is a fan or not.
“NOT EVERYTHING IS MEANT TO GO YOUR WAY” — Um. Sure, yeah. Not everything can go the way you want it to go. That’s life. But the whole POINT of watching a show is that you HOPE it will go the way you want it to go. You hope certain characters will prosper, you hope certain relationships will happen, you hope certain plots will either go on forever or end as quickly as possible. And if things DON’T go how you HOPE they will, OF COURSE you’re going to get upset and (potentially) want to stop watching – that’s natural and it’s OKAY!
When a show you love and have been watching for years starts to go south, it’s stressful. You’ve committed however many years to it and it can feel like losing a friend. That show has been a constant companion for you. You care about the characters. You’ve grown used to seeing them once a week. The idea of NOT seeing them anymore can be painful – I mean, this all depends on how much you’ve fallen for the show, of course. If you’re obsessed, it’ll hurt a LOT. If you’re not at that level of obsession, it might just suck a bit. Either way, you’ve committed time to that show and now it’s letting you down and it’s disappointing.
Despite the disappointment, sometimes you don’t want to abandon the show. I know for me, personally, the biggest reason I continue watching a show that’s gotten iffy is because I’m praying it will get better and I want to stay current with it for when (if?) that happens. Because if it gets better and I’m not current with it, it can be hard to find the time to play catch-up. Catching up becomes a burden and, unfortunately, sometimes it just doesn’t happen and you never end up watching the show again, despite your desire to try.
Another good reason to keep watching? Though a show is (overall) disappointing you, sometimes there are STILL certain elements or characters that you LOVE and you want to keep watching for those elements and/or characters – even when the negative stuff outweighs the positive stuff.
To put this into perspective, I’m going to talk about my love/hate relationship with The Vampire Diaries, which I broke up with during season five (accidentally, honestly: I missed a few episodes for family things and the damn CW skipped two of the episodes on their website, so I wasn’t able to watch them before season 6 aired and then, well, I just fell further behind and gave up). I’m sure I’ll get hate for “dissing” TVD (not my intention in using it as an example).. But I just don’t care anymore.
This whole post has been a giant rant (which wasn’t the plan until I saw that TVD confession tonight and got pissed), so I might as well keep ranting.. I started watching TVD when it first came on. I loved the first few seasons, but then things started going downhill.
I loved Nina Dobrev when she was on Degrassi: The Next Generation playing Mia, a teen mom. So I was REALLY excited when it was announced that she’d be on The Vampire Diaries. I hadn’t read the Vampire Diaries books, but I’d heard amazing things about them and was eager to see Nina in another role.
After a few seasons, however, I was disappointed with Nina’s acting and with the direction Elena was going. The Doppelgängers were getting out of hand (I LOVED Katherine, but that was it) and I couldn’t STAND the Originals when they were first introduced. I also HATED when Elena first became a vampire. Plus, I’m a big Delena fan, so obviously I wanted her to end up with Damon; however, the back-and-forth of it all was SO annoying. One episode she’s with Stefan, then she’s with Damon, then she’s back with Stefan. I don’t mind love triangles, but it was exhausting. And let’s not talk about how many times Stefan and Damon flipped their emotions off and became evil, because.. Well, it happened a LOT. Too much..?
I kept watching because I was five season in and invested. I wasn’t crazy about Elena anymore, but I still cared about her and wanted to see what would happen to her. I wanted to know who she would end up with. I LOVED Caroline and Matt, so I was eager to see how their stories would end – and I also totally ship Steroline (no hate), so I was excited to see what their fate would be. And I’ve ALWAYS loved vampires so, first and foremost, I enjoyed watching it for that aspect.
Now, looking back and reflecting on it, I actually really liked the Originals. And Elena made a pretty badass vampire. Plus, as a vampire, she wasn’t as vulnerable and fragile.
If I were to re-watch TVD from season one, I don’t think I’d hate everything I hated the first time around. Or, I wouldn’t hate it as much, I don’t think. Chances are, I’ll NEVER like the Doppelgänger storyline, no matter how many times I watch. But I also know in advance that those storylines are coming, and I can brace myself for that – And this is exactly why I think it helps if you watch a show through and then re-watch at least once. Once you know what’s going to happen, you’re prepared – you know when and how the storylines you hate will end, which is like a giant light at the end of a tunnel.
So… Yeah. I don’t even know what else to say on this subject. I’m just seriously tired of people who get angry at other people for watching a show despite complaining about it. People can do whatever the hell they want. I don’t agree with “hate watching,” but people can do it if they choose and no one can stop them, it’s their prerogative. Breaking up with a show can be an emotional decision. It’s a very personal thing and you can’t tell people to quit a show just because you’re tired of them complaining. It doesn’t work that way.
So next time you see someone railing against a show, maybe don’t attack them for it? You don’t know how long they’ve been watching, why they’re (still) watching or if they’re in the midst of deciding whether or not they want to KEEP watching. And don’t ever, ever question their level of fan loyalty. You have NO right to make that judgement. Take your judgy, negative ass elsewhere.
So, what are your thoughts? Have you ever broken up with a show? Are you considering breaking up with a show? Did you break up with a show and then give it a second chance? Let me know in the comments!
Also, KEEP YOUR COMMENTS KIND. Do not attack me for my opinions and do not attack other commenters. Rude comments will be deleted!
Let me start by saying until this year, I have never been current on shows. We didn’t have cable pretty much all through high school, and I wasn’t paying for it during college, so I have always been delayed on watching TV shows. There was a brief period in college when my roommate would tape things (HIMYM, Big Brother) and we would watch it at some point, but that’s my extent on current shows. Because of not watching as it happened and as the series progressed, it makes me feel like I’m not a real fan…just a watcher, despite how much I liked the shows. But there’s nothing I can do to go back and change when I watched them.
I have quit shows. I started watching Grey’s Anatomy and I got pretty far through what was on Netflix, and then after basically all the main characters were removed from the show, I just didn’t understand what the show writers were trying to do, or where the show was going without Grey really in the show. A lot of the scenarios and character situations started agitating me, and things just seemed repetitive and an episode was made to make an episode and not advance the plot, so I quit watching.
I also tried to start watching some other shows, like Scandal and Last Man Standing and Once Upon a Time. I couldn’t get past three episodes before just not liking it. I also decided to just quit watching Malcolm in the Middle because “eh”.
Nobody had any business telling someone else what they are or aren’t. That’s something we are constantly teaching the children of our world today in an effort to combat bullying. Nobody can give you a label you don’t identify with. And besides, who CARES if someone else quits watching a show? Like, are you the TV tracking police? Get a life!
If WordPress had a “Like” button, I would “Like” your comment because it’s so true! I just don’t see why people care about other people’s watching habits. It’s ridiculous and unfair.
I stopped watching Once Upon a Time after they, for no good reason in my opinion, killed off a certain character in season 3. I also hated the direction the writers were sending certain ships in. And from what I’ve gathered on Twitter and Tumblr, the show has gone so far downhill that I jumped ship at a good time. I loved the first season. Season two was a little rough, but I stuck with it. In the long run, I’m glad I broke up with OUAT.
Totally hear you. Breaking up with a show isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s necessary!