It’s always weird when a television show, book series, movie series, or even video game series, comes to an end. Despite not being real in the sense that those events “happened” or that those characters are “real people”, there’s still a sense of loss that fills me when a long running series reaches its end.
Today I feel that way because 6/22/16 was the day the last episode of Person of Interest aired. The show ran for five years, starting in the fall of 2011. In that time it had grown from a police procedural with a sci-fi twist to something of a prequel to Terminator. That might not make much sense to those who don’t watch the show, but Person of Interest grew and evolved as a television show more in five years than most other shows.
It was a show of quality. It wasn’t perfect (what show is?), but it had great characters, a wonderfully sinister score, and told a great story. But that’s all over now. So part of me mourns the show. Those characters will never be heard from again. They’re no longer a part of my life.
It’s a strange feeling, mourning the loss of the nonexistent. These people weren’t real. They weren’t my friends, and we didn’t have any kind of relationship. But yet here I am, typing of this post as a way to process the end of this show I enjoyed for five years. I felt the same way when the Harry Potter movies ended, or when shows like Smallville ended, which had been around for ten years. That’s a long time to devote and invest to a set of places, characters, and events.
And perhaps the word “invest” is the key here? We put so much of ourselves into the entertainment we watch that when it ends we feel like a part of ourselves is gone. It’s why we’re sad when a favorite character dies, or yell at the screen when a pairing we enjoy isn’t working out. It can get extreme at times, but I think it also holds true for the end of a show. It’s done, and it’s never coming back. In that way it’s a weird representation of death, I suppose.
Sure we can go back and rewatch or reread or replay that which we miss, but it isn’t the same. The feeling of experiencing it as its happening for the first time, not knowing what’s going to happen, that’s part of the investment, and going back is a hollow attempt at recreating that experience.
Anyways, that’s my piece. This happens every time something ends and I feel this way. I guess this time I decided to word vomit in an attempt to process it. Thanks for “listening”. 🙂