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  1. #1
    Junior Member billygoat's Avatar
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    Default Endings in entertainment

    Hello everybody, this is my first thread and I wasn't really sure where to put it. Please forgive me if I have it in the wrong place (maybe it belongs in fluff? Help me out here! ) or if it's nonsense.

    I'm aware that the answer to any question beginning with "Am I the only one who..." is invariably "NO!" so I'll try to refrain from that. I am curious, however, to know what people think about this (and, okay okay, I give in.... if anybody else also does this )

    I have a bunch of favourite TV shows that I'm very sentimental about - usually sci-fi TV shows that I watched with my old man when I was growing up - and every couple of years I like to go back and re-watch them and there's always something new that I hadn't noticed before. However, for most of them, even though I've watched many times, I've actually only ever seen the final episode(s) once. What will always happen is I will watch them through and then as it gets closer to the end, watch an episode less and less frequently until finally drifting away entirely, usually as the final episode or conclusion to final story arc approaches.

    I even do this with "new" shows. I don't like to watch most as they air because, even if they sound interesting, I prefer to wait until I can "watch them through to the end" and yet I very rarely get to the end of them. I have a bunch of DVD boxsets on my shelf and iTunes/whatever downloads on my media PC that I've enjoyed but never seen the end of.

    Computer games are the same - my very favourite games I've often only finished once. I'll go back and replay them but always drift away before the ending.

    Sometimes I think maybe it's because I like to imagine them just going on forever and watching the ends will ruin that. Or maybe because a lot of the time, the endings are very bittersweet in some way and it's embarrassing to get misty eyed over stuff like that.

    Possibly also related - I don't really like films because I find them too self-contained and abrupt, with no real chance to get close to the characters.

    So... am I the only...


    HAH! Gotcha. But seriously, anybody have any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Heh. I think this is an appropriate sub-forum to place the thoughts.

    I'm certainly like you, I find myself clinging to 'important' works, knowing there are small glimmers of insight strewn about that still haven't caught my eye... I like to entertain them in pieces - I think of Emerson:

    "To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom."

    In this respect, endings tend to be so... conclusive :P I like the insight gleaned from experience... Roland, of the Dark Tower, is perhaps a personal exception. His conclusion is an important work of literature, and I'm sure there are many more, but as a general rule...

  3. #3
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    I did this with the Twin Peaks series, but I've heard its because Mark Frost ruined the end of the series and it was nothing without David Lynch, it's almost like a an exercise in self-discipline to force myself to watch the end of the series over and over.

    But I've seen the "end" of Fawlty Towers many times, but there was no "end" just episodes, and same with shows like "Three's Company" and "The Golden Girls."

    I understand the idea of a series going on "indefinitely" the same characters remaining.

    However, I recently watched American Horror Story til the end in the first season on Netflix, simply because I wanted to know how it ended.

    My curiosity tends to beat out my sentimentality. I've even seen the last episode of Twin Peaks where Special Agent Cooper chooses the Black Lodge incidentally, even if I don't watch those last episodes as many times as the earlier ones.

    Sometimes a preference for earlier episodes has to do with style or context, too, like I like Chrissy Snow better than some of the other "blondes" on Three's Company just because I do. It's more 70s and I liked her as a kid.

    I don't watch a lot of new tv shows because I just don't have the time to invest in that shit, and I think people who do have too much to invest in tv shows are wasting their lives.

  4. #4
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    I totally do this! Unless it's something where the ending episode delivers the long-awaited emotional catharsis. I almost never rewatch or reread things that are dear, and if I do I don't watch/read them through, but nibble on different sections just to get that familiar taste.

    I also stop reading/watching a lot of things right before the end. I don't know why this is the case. It could be not wanting it to be over, but maybe that is not entirely true. I think when something is 'done', it forces a sense of conclusion, upon which my analytic faculty kicks in and evaluates the experience, and something happens there -- an understanding, enriched memory bank, an 'episode' of life, something. Sometimes I don't want that to happen, because it is too big of a change and "having read" something changes you, so as long as you keep the process going nothing drastic comes into being.

    4w5 sp/sx EII

  5. #5
    Junior Member billygoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    Sometimes I don't want that to happen, because it is too big of a change and "having read" something changes you, so as long as you keep the process going nothing drastic comes into being.

    I think my reasons are not exactly the same as yours, but I think I understand what you mean here. When you "have read" something it's... well, its not like when I spend 10 minutes trying to think of an appropriate metaphor.

    But I think I do get it. It shifts things into a different mode where it's time to sort everything out and "put it away", which ends the experience of immersion into what you're reading and starts the process of integration when sometimes it's nicer to just let it fade gently rather than hammer at it internally and get something out of it, which can then be filed away. Something like that?

    Strangely enough, books for me are the exception to my OP. I read a lot and think maybe I get more emotionally involved when I read, rather than passively watch something. The final integration of the experience is very important for me, so I always prefer to read to the end and then spend a few days digesting it and turning it over and figuring out where its going to fit and how it's going to affect everything else. I like to wallow in that final stage for a while.

  6. #6
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    If I can predict exactly how something is going to end, I'm less likely to be interested.

    I do like some resolution though, thrown in with some unexpected twists and turns.
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  7. #7

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    This is your first thread and you are doing it very in right way, good work!

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