Reasons why we get hurt when our favorite series end
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The first half of 2019 has passed hard for many USUK movie and series fans. People cried in the theater when MCU's one-decade history ended with Avengers: Endgame. People got speechless or angry with the outcome of the cult series Game of Thrones after 8 seasons. People sorrowfully said goodbye to The Big Bang Theory after 12 years following, to Supernatural after 15 seasons.
The Big Bang Theory cast sobbed during the final script reading, closing their 12-year journey. (Left: Cuoco Kaley as Penny; Right: Johnny Galecki as Leonard)
After many episodes, many years of attachment, when it comes to the end of a series, fans, actors and film crews all share the same feeling: pride, gratitude accompanied by heartache, loss. These are completely natural psychological reactions. People experience a sense of loss from many different forms of communication, and the ending of their favorite series is one of them.
Here is how psychological health experts explain the sadness that fans often feel when their favorite series end.
You have a connection with the story and characters in the series
The first reason, obviously, for your heartbreaking feeling when the series ends is because there is an invisible link formed between you and the story and characters. Even if it's not real, people really care about the outcome of the series and the state of many different characters.
The personal connection to the story and the fictional characters is the reason why many people find it necessary to share their thoughts and opinions about the script and the characters' actions. This link will be especially strong with long ones, with the characters who are loved and missed.
Millions of disgruntled fans signed the petition to ask HBO to remake the 8th part of Game of Thrones with "competent writers".
TV is a safe place for you to escape from the real world
Many fans are heartbroken and lost when a series comes to an end because for them, constantly watching each episode is a temporary measure to escape what's happening in the real world. Watching TV is the way we separate from our problems and troubles. We can live a simpler life, we do no need to think at all. So the prospect of abandoning that safe place to return to the real world can become a little scary for many people.
A regular weekly TV show gradually became a small, good thing in the week that one could look forward to among tons of work to do, tons of problems to solve. No one wants to lose their peaceful and happy place in their own lives, even if this "place" is just a character, a series or a movie.
The length of the series is passed part of your life
After 8 years (the length of Game of Thrones), 7 years (the length of Pretty Little Liars) or only 5 years (the length of Breaking Bad), the life of any one of use goes through many changes. Between these changes, there is one thing that stays the same: the long series we watch every week.
That's why our favorite series becomes the way we are reminded of what has happened over the years, how our life has evolved in parallel with the series' journey. They remind us of the flow of time, about the place where we watched these series, about the people that were there with us, sharing these moments.
The famous Harry Potter trio including Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Daniel Radcliff (Harry Potter) hugging each other after the last filming.
You will miss watching and commenting about the series
Every practical experience of watching and talking about a movie, a series - whether it involves a group of friends discussing one episode, a meal with your family or a romantic night with your lover - all contribute to your sadness and pain when the series ends. The series becomes a shared community experience, like how people watch a sports tournament or a huge event.
Although it is normal to feel emotional and heartbreaking about the end of a long series, if you feel that it is a tremendous and profound loss, revisit the "function" of that series in your life is an important thing to do.
Movies and series serve as an element of community connection. The audience can connect with friends, making it a traditional group ritual, or step into a whole new community watching something new. However, if these things play a bigger role and you find too serious emotions when the series end, it is a sign that you need to talk to someone, find the people you trust, for help.
By: Emily Garcia