With Parks and Recreation ending its final season this week, I thought it would be apt write about how to survive something so devastating. It’s like losing a friend—a friend that you only see one night a week (unless they’re on hiatus or there’s a writer’s strike). Series finales can be great (like I’m sure Parks’ will be), or they can be disappointing (Lost, to some people). But nevertheless, they are a bittersweet experience, and here are some ways to survive:
1. Re-watch the entire series
After you watch the finale, immediately go back and start from the pilot episode. Depending on how long the series has lasted and how quickly you can go through television episodes, you might give yourself anywhere from another week to another couple of months of pleasure. Re-watching is a fun experience as it allows fans, already familiar with the overall narrative, to focus more on the nuances of the subplot, story arcs, and the development of characters. You are more apt to notice things you missed the first time around. For example, when watching Fringe for the first time around, you may be unaware of the presence of an “Observer” in every episode (want to know what I’m talking about? Watch Fringe, or at least the first two and a half seasons). Once you discover the presence of the Observer, spotting him. Re-watching a series also brings comfort. Watching something you know you’ll enjoy, guarantees a positive experience, rather than diving into another series that you feel lukewarm about. It’s nice to be reminded of things that happened that you forgot about, and a lot of the time you can see foreshadowing in some episodes that you wouldn’t have noticed before knowing what was going to happen in the end.
2. Have a finale viewing party
Do you have friends that are crazy about your favorite show too? Invite them over to watch the finale in real time! Order pizza or make popcorn, or maybe even have themed snacks. Breakfast food for a Parks and Rec party would be a good idea—bacon, eggs, waffles, and lots of whipped cream, of course. Maybe even some turkey burgers for those Chris Traeger-types. It’s a lot more fun to watch the show with other people that feel the same way about it. You can revel in each other’s reactions to dramatic or comedic moments and cry together at the end.
3. Don’t go online until you’ve seen it
Before you’ve seen it, going on Facebook or on pop-culture news sites the day or two, or even the week after the finale airs is not a good idea. There is going to be a TON of spoilers, and you’ll ruin any surprises for yourself if you hit the Internet before the finale. I know, it’s hard to resist checking Twitter or your Facebook feed, but unless you like finding out who died or who had a baby or who was actually stuck in limbo the entire time, you’re going to regret it.
I hope you like these tips, and I hope you don’t fall apart after the finale of your favorite show. Remember, there are always new shows coming out, and while something else may not be able to perfectly replicate your favorite show, I’m sure you’ll find new stories and new characters to fall in love with.