It's So Hard to Say Goodbye: Do You Have This Weird TV Habit?

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye: Do You Have This Weird TV Habit?

Tess Wilson
Aug 18, 2016

I was recently listening to an episode of Gilmore Guys (oh, are you surprised I listen to a Gilmore Girls-themed podcast?) in which one of the hosts confessed that he'd never watched the last episodes of Bunheads because he didn't want the show to be over.

Gilmore Guys hosts Demi Adejuyigbe and Kevin T. Porter and their guest, Matt Mira, were discussing what it was like in the olden days before DVR when if you missed an episode, you missed it—at least via legal channels. Talk turned to the series they haven't been able to get themselves to finish:

Matt: You know, I still have the last episode [of Gilmore Girls]—the torrent of the last episode—on my computer at home, and I have yet to ever open it.
Demi: You should open it!
Kevin: Do you really? That's lovely. You know what, there's—there's a few things like that in my life, where I—I need to finish this at some point, but I don't want to. Bunheads was one of those things—I still haven't seen the last three episodes.
Demi: Yeah, Monk for me. Wait, no—Psych.
Matt: But I think now that I'm getting, you know, five more hours of Gilmore Girls, I'm like, maybe I can watch that last episode.

It was nice to realize that I'm not the only one who leaves the finale of a series un-watched to keep the memory of it alive.

It took me more than a month to finally watch the finale of Hart of Dixie after bingeing the show this spring. I was reluctant to say goodbye to the delightful show itself, but I also didn't want to say goodbye to the idyllic small-town life that was everything—diverse, charming, full of festivities—that mine is not. Saying goodbye to BlueBell, Alabama, meant saying goodbye to my vague daydreams about what my rural life would be like and admitting to myself that my City Girl Moves to The Country story would not end like Zoe Hart's—with me wildly successful and beloved by an entire town that I consider family, including impeccably frocked frenemies and the greatest best friend/mayor a girl could hope for. I was also reluctant to finish the series because it meant the end of reading Go Fug Yourself's amazing recaps, which had led me to Hart of Dixie in the first place. I finally finished it though, and had the kind of good cry that only a—spoiler alert!—sweet and silly musical number can inspire.

But I still have yet to watch the final episode of Parks & Recreation. It's easy to write a show in which everyone is mean to everyone, as the hosts of Gilmore Guys also noted recently, but it's hard to write a smart and hilarious show like Parks & Rec in which everyone truly loves and respects each other. I'll miss the ball of happiness and absurdity and good works that is Pawnee. I'm not someone who thinks of characters on TV as her friends, but I have rewatched the series enough times that after certain recent events—Michelle Obama's speech, Hillary Clinton's nomination and the emotional farewell she penned for The Toast—my first unconscious thought was, "Leslie Knope is going to be so excited!" This may make me seem like a lunatic, but when writers and actors create strong, smart, flawed, real-feeling characters that are positive forces in the world, it gives me hope that there actually are Tom Haverfords and April Ludgates and Donna Meagles out there, kicking ass and making the world a better place for us all. I know those people are out there, but by not finishing the show, I can hold onto those fictional characters just a little longer, which means I have stand-ins on those dark days when it's hard to believe.

After all, the world needs more Leslie Knopes.

Are there any shows that you're avoiding finishing? Why? Any shows that you put off forever but finally finished? Were you glad you did?

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