Thursday, June 12, 2014

How to survive a whole summer hiatus from your favorite show

Now is the summer of our discontent. Or, more specifically, the time when new episodes of all* the Good Shows are ending / ended, and the reruns and summer-reality-tv-fill-ins are just beginning. If you're like me, the whole idea of a cliffhanger just about ruins your calm, and the concept of waiting for things is not one of your many talents.

So here's some ways to survive until the fall**, when shows come back.

  1. Rewatch everything that exists up until this point. Bonus points if you liveblog / livetweet it and then discus every minute detail with the fandom until the show comes back.
  2. Really get involved in the fandom. Easiest if you're already rewatching. Find the discussion sites--I like Tumblr, but Twitter is popular, too, and easier to get feedback from the actual actors and crew. Find the fansites and groups. Start making fanart. Watch vids on YouTube that put everything into different contexts. Debate the merits of plot points, worldbuilding, characterization. Go into the new season so full of knowledge.
  3. Read fanfic. There are some very dedicated fic writers who will fill the whole summer gap with amazing stories--I once spent a summer reading what was basically a whole alternate season for Stargate SG1, and years later did the same thing for The Mentalist. The really good writers have the characters down pat, but don't have to listen to producers and network people, and so can do things the shows will never do!
    1. And, of course, there's also all the bad fic, weird fic, crossover fic, and endless supplies of both fluff and smut...
  4. Write your own fic. I wouldn't recommend publishing it if you're planning on being an actual paid author unless you're really good at fending off lawsuits and fan-based crazy***, but even if no one else in the world ever sees it, it can ease the pain and work through the stress of waiting forever
    1. Then again, if you're writing Veronica Mars fic, or GI Joe, or fic for just about anything from Wildstorm Comics, you can set the stories up on Kindle Worlds and become an official part of the fannon, recognized by the actual people who actually made the actual thing. Those properties are outside the scope of shows on summer hiatus just now, but sometimes revisiting an old fandom can help with the pain of a current one, too.
  5. Get the DVDs and look at all the behind-the-scenes stuff, the deleted scenes, the gag reel, and cry over how perfect they all are. This applies especially to Supernatural, when you're talking about epic gag reels, but pretty much any show worth the cost of its DVDs will have nummy nuggets of awesome to give you on the special features.
  6. Go back to something beloved that's no longer painful. Fandoms rarely go away--they just end and their active status gets replaced by newer shows that eat your brain. It's sometimes useful to go back to something complete that you loved before, and remember why you loved it--and distract yourself from the current ones.
  7. Find a new Fandom. There's never enough time in the day / week / season to see every episode of every show you want to watch, so the summer, when the series that take up the most of your time leave, is a great time to check out those other shows that you missed this past season--or in previous entire runs.
  8. Change mediums. This discussion is about easing the pain of tv shows, so why not switch it up and feed the fandom centers of your brain a string of movies, or a bunch of books, or something made for Netflix or the Internet, or that new album from that musician you like? A brain with a lot of other  interests in it is a happy brain, and a happy brain is less likely to take it so personally when a show does something crazy, and implode on you, ruining your life.
  9. Unplug entirely. How terrible! But sometimes, a body and a brain needs to take time off the things we love that are eating up too much of our conscious minds as much as it needs to take time away from the things we hate that eat up our lives.
How do you deal with hiatus?

*Well, BBC has some good stuff just starting, and some of the expensive pay channels do, and there's TBS, but all the network shows that give us more episodes a year and therefore more to feed off of are done.
**Or the spring, in the case of Sleepy Hollow...
***Like Cassandra Clare.
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