When shows get axed: A fan’s guide to coping
With this week’s shock announcement that fan-favourite superhero show ‘Alphas’ is getting cancelled, it made me take pause. It seems like this happens all the time: a great show gets cut down in its prime – before its prime, even. Things are just getting up to speed, when WHAMMO—axed.
How does a fan cope with this level of entertainment system shock? It’s a quandary worth examining. For starters, consider this: you’re not alone. Go online, find a fan site related to whatever show you’re currently into (use, say, the SF Australia Discussion forums!) and lodge your protest.
Think of it as a form of nerdy group therapy. “Hi, I’m Patch and I’m a cancelled TV show survivor.” “Hi, Patch.” And so it goes. Get into the forum and at least you can reminisce about the good times; the times before Dark Skies got cut, the days when Firefly had a whole vast universe to explore, rather than 13 fantastic episodes.
The next step is to find any associated books, comics and paraphernalia and invest. Throw some money at spin-offs like there’s no tomorrow – because there really isn’t for your show. You can buy yourself some time and fill that gaping hole in your entertainment schedule by reading Wiki pages, watching YouTube fan reactions and generally skimming the web for nuggets of information.
Once you’ve crossed that threshold and devoured all the remaining information there is, it’s time to face facts: you’re going to have to move on.
How do you do that, exactly? It comes down to finding a replacement show. Like a jilted lover, you need to get yourself some rebound action and pronto. That means heading back to Google and working out other shows the cast were involved with; perhaps the director’s past efforts too.
If, like ‘Alphas’, it’s a pretty low-key cast, you might just need to find a show with a similar slant. If you loved ‘The X-Files’ and were waiting for something to take its place when Mulder left and the show turned sour, the answers were ‘Millennium’, ‘Dark Skies’ and ‘The Lone Gunmen’. When those two shows finished up, suddenly we had ‘Buffy’ and ‘Supernatural’! These shows were the perfect sci-fi gateway shows, and so the daisy chain effect goes on.
At this point, you’ve successfully navigated the hardest part of losing a beloved show: cutting your initial emotional ties.
The last step is returning to the show later on. This, in fact, is the best part of the process since, by the time the show is out on DVD or is being re-aired, you’re ready to look back with fond memories. You’ll also have critical eyes too, since you’ve watched other shows and you’re worldlier now as a result! Huzzah!
Just like a bad break-up, it can hurt – and hurt bad. But there are plenty of fish in the sea—and sci-fi shows to move on, who won’t ditch you when the going gets tough. Hang in there, fan.
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