“Every Song Ends. Is There Any Reason Not To Enjoy The Music?”
Tonight, millions of Americans tuned in to the final hour of the hit television show How I Met Your Mother. Tonight, viewers saw a group of friends who over the last 9 years have turned into their friends grace the small screen for the last time. Whether you were a fan of the ending or not, you may now be grappling with the loss in your life and pondering what comes next. Maybe, you are about to experience the 5 stages of grief. If you are unfamiliar with this, please allow my girl Summer Roberts to demonstrate this phenomenon (watch up to 2:05 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i3908OvqlQ).
When a show ends that you have watched, it feels almost like a part of your life has ended as well. I know that this seems far fetched, but I read something in English about parasocial relationships, so I know that this occurrence actually happens. You’re left with a feeling of emptiness and abandonment. It doesn’t matter if you watched the show live or binged watched it on Netflix. You still get that feeling in your stomach that indicates that something you have become attached to is no longer there.
I started watching One Tree Hill when I was in 8th grade. I stayed home sick and the season 4 finale was airing on SoapNet. Although I was absolutely confused about the story line, I was hooked and caught up to real time in less than 2 weeks. So when the season finale aired, I gave my family ample notice that the den was mine for the 2 hours it was on TV so I could watch the cast retrospective and then the episode. I let them know that I would probably be crying, and then I watched. It was kind of surreal seeing the show come to an end. When I started to watch, the show had already been on for 6 years. But when I was watching the 13th episode of season 9, I felt like I had been watching for all 9 years. I felt like I was in Tree Hill, NC and witnessed Nathan transform from the basketball captain who was an arrogant, narcissistic dick turn into a loving husband and father. I was there to see Brooke transition from slutty party girl into a responsible woman running a business with a family. So when U2’s song, One Tree Hill played in the final moments I saw my friends on screen, I felt like I was a part of something that was larger than me.
When I finished watching The O.C., I was left with questions. Would Seth and Summer make it as a married couple? Did Taylor and Ryan ever get back together after they exchanged glances at Seth and Summer’s wedding? Did Ryan help out the boy outside the construction site, just like Sandy helped him? While I know that I’ll never know the answers to these questions, it’s a coping mechanism that helped me get over this.
Or maybe, when a show ends, you get the satisfaction of a character returning or a story line being completed, like when Michael Scott popped up in the series finale of The Office.
I know that How I Met Your Mother ended differently than some people wanted. While the ending may not have been ideal to some, the journey came to an end, illustrating relationships, love lost, and love found. It sucks when a show has to end, it really does, but every show reaches its curtain call at some point. Most shows don’t even make it to their 9th season like HIMYM did. So the fact that we were graced with the characters that we became so attached to for almost a decade is impressive and a gift too.
When we start watching a show, we know that at some point, it will come to an end. Whether that be after 2 seasons, 9 seasons, or 15 seasons, is there any reason not to enjoy the show as it goes along?