Last weekend all anyone could talk about was “House of Cards” season 4 dropping on Netflix. Dedicated fans set aside chunks of their weekend away, if not the entire two days, already anticipating the alluring spell set by their laptop as they ignored family members’ texts, forgot to water their plants, and set up residence in Frank Underwood’s Washington, D.C.
We live in a world where everyone wants to talk about their favorite shows, movies, books, and not just in person — we’ll head straight to social media to moan about “How could he die?! How could those two kiss?!” If you want to remain spoiler-free, you gotta binge fast. And let’s face it, binging is just a lot of fun. When you love a show, you want to watch as much of it as possible. It’s the adult version of getting a giant bag of Halloween candy — uh, no way in hell are you going to eat just one chocolate bar at a time!
But binge-watching isn’t always great. If social media is anything to go by, the post-binge blues are a very real thing.
It might be the definition of a first world problems, but just as surely as we complain about Spotify ads and how short our charger cords are, we complain about our shows being over too quickly. Many people report feeling sad and anxious when they finish their shows. “What am I going to do now?!” they moan, imagining the yearlong wait for more Frank Underwood, Aziz Ansari and Piper Chapman. This might have been an incredibly uncool thing to say 10 years ago (“I don’t know, dude, hang out with your real-life friends?”) but in the era of Netflix and chill, we all occasionally choose TV over humans. And with our investment in our TV shows comes sadness when there’s nothing new to see.
So you’ve finished your favorite show — whether it was the new season that just dropped on Netflix or you finally decided to sit down and watch all 20,000 seasons of “One Tree Hill” — and you’re now feeling benefit. Your constant TV companions are gone and it might be even worse to know they’ll be back in a year, because you’re now tormented by anxiety about what will happen next to them. The best way to to treat the end of a show you’ve binge-watched is probably to give yourself the same advice you gave your BFF when they broke up with your boyfriend.
Here’s how to handle those post-binge blues:
Mourn the loss of your other half
Yes, you’ve had good times with your show. You’ve been all over New York with Serena and Blair. You’ve made Litchfield Correctional Facility your home. Remember when you came home so last Tuesday night, and “Master of None” was there for you while you made that amazing chicken penne? You’ll always have all those good times with the show — but it’s okay to be sad by an ending. Take some time to mourn. Have a good cry, take to social media to complain, seek solace with those experiencing the loss you are. It’s okay to indulge in sadness for a little while.
Remind yourself of all the other great things you have going on in your life
However, at some point you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and remember: “Grey’s Anatomy” is not the only thing that’s made you happy before. Remember your best friend? You like her! You love wine, you love reading, you love going out to eat, you…well, you like the feeling after going to the gym, maybe not the gym itself (that’s a breakup that you’ve been putting off), but there’s so much else out there.
You’re great on your own, even without that TV show. You were able to make yourself happy before, and you’ll be able to make yourself happy after.
There’s other fishes in the sea
Look, no one wants to be disloyal and move on too fast. But as once famously put in “Sex and The City” (a good recommendation, hint hint):
To get over someone, sometimes you have to get under someone else.
In this case, that means getting back into bed and sliding right under your laptop as you start watching the first episode of that show your friend keeps insisting you start to watch. We live in a time where there’s more TV options than ever. There’s no point in spending too much time mourning your show. There’s lots to see out there. You will be able to love again. May I suggest “The Mindy Project”?