Photo Credit: John Flores
With AMC’s “Breaking Bad” now officially off the air, many viewers are wondering what’s to come next in the realm of defining television shows. With “Mad Men” also on its way out, in the near future we are left with only a few hard hitting programs that are still running ,such as “Game of Thrones” and “Boardwalk Empire.”
My usual strategy for filling the void of a favorite TV show is to begin another one immediately. This gives you little time to mourn the loss of a favorite character or wonder how things could have ended differently.
Being able to watch shows online allows us to experience the cultural impact of television shows we may not have been around to see. As a personal example, my journey with “Twin Peaks” was as intense as it would have been had I watched the show week to week in the early 90s.
I began the show as a curious and devoted David Lynch fan and was quickly thrust into its world with no chance of getting out. Though it ended over two decades ago, “Twin Peaks” is remains important to TV history and there are few days that go by where it doesn’t cross my mind.
What began as an interesting new quest for me quickly turned to an addiction of sorts. By the time the show ended (if only we could discuss that horrific final episode), I was left feeling empty and quite sad. This is something all TV lovers endure, especially with series as impactful to the industry as “Twin Peaks” or “Breaking Bad.”
The latest television craze seems to be Netflix original series, which have proven to be effective in their delivery judging by the various accolades given to them.
Netflix originals such as “House of Cards” and “Hemlock Grove” received Emmy nominations while “Orange is the New Black” has become a fan favorite.
These shows are produced by Netflix and every episode of one season is put on the streaming site all at once. They are not only easily accessible in terms of interesting content, but also top notch in terms of quality. I began as a skeptic and changed my mind when I realized that these shows were aiming to be the best and succeeding for the most part.
Likewise, watching comedies such as “Louie” can be just as satisfying as a thrilling drama. They also may prove to be just what you need in the face of Walter White withdrawals.
I’ve found that I generally enjoy television more when I can watch episodes in succession, rather than once a week. I didn’t keep up with the third season of “Louie” as it aired and heard mostly mixed reviews, but after watching one episode after another it has become my favorite season so far.
Netflix and Hulu offer series like “The IT Crowd” and “Black Books,” which originally aired in England ,that are finding a sense of popularity here in the states. This ability to find programs that weren’t accessible even a few years ago is the perfect way to get over the end-of-a-series blues.
If finding another show to watch fails, my favorite thing to do after I finish a series is to go back and revisit favorite episodes or dissect certain aspects of it to find a better understanding. “The X- Files” or “Twin Peaks” are easy to theorize about in their complexities, while other programs are simply fun to watch over and over again.
Either way, it seems that there is much to glean from repeating an entire series than to forget about it entirely. Sometimes writers plan things from episode one that come into play later, or perhaps you find connections where you never expected to.
There is something exciting about having a favorite series and never really letting it leave you. Whether your preference is ‘90s sitcoms or contemporary dramas, there is always more to learn upon re-watches and re-evaluations.
If ever you find yourself missing your weekly Heisenberg fill, remember that the ability to begin all over again is just within arm’s reach.