Television Tuesday is a fun feature in which I chat with you about all things television!
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!