SFA: Season Finale Anxiety

The world is full of disorders. It seems that every where you turn a new one is popping up and while some of them are very legitimate (most learning disorders for example) there are some that are just fabrications of pop culture. Those are my favorite ones. The ones that really don’t do any “real” harm but still exist none the less. Well, here at I Am Geek we’re looking to add to this disorder list. In no way have I studied anything that would make me even remotely qualified to make any kind of diagnosis buuuuuuuut I think it’s safe to say that I have a a phd in pop culture (that stands for pop history degree). Ergo totally qualified. See that? I just gave myself a doctors degree and didn’t even have to go to school. *gasp* Can I start calling myself Dr. Geek now? This could be the start of something incredible. Your thoughts are welcomed… the doctor is in after all. #nailedit

SFA: Season Finale Anxiety  is a disorder that strikes viewers of television programs specifically on the day of the shows season (and/or series) finale. Symptoms include obsession about said show, the continuous muttering of theories, conversations with the television, tears, dry heaving, and both joy and depression in rapid wave like moments. 

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At one point or another we’ve all had this happen to us. Sometimes we don’t even know that it’s happening but it’s there just waiting to expose you as the television obsessed geek that you are. There is a certain vulnerability that comes with any season finale and I think it has to do with the end of the commitment. Picture television shows as that boy/girl that only came up to live near you in the summer, but you guys fall in love. And sometimes you fall in love hard. Don’t get me wrong there are fling shows but they’re not the ones who cause SFA, it’s the shows that you write in your notebook with hearts around them that cause the pain. Then the summer ends and he/she leaves. There’s this blank space where you used to spend time together. A void. An empty, dark, soul sucking void. You know that they’ll be back next summer but the waiting… the waiting is the hardest part (#tompetty).

I’ve gone through SFA so many times at this point that I’m starting to believe that it’s just a common part of my life. You should have seen me the night Jen and I finished watching Stranger Things. Ooooooooh man was I anxious. For starters you’re so caught up and enamored with these characters and story that you want things to work out well for them, but at the same point you don’t want the show to crap the bed. You’re looking for that perfect balance to bridge the gap into a new season while still being loyal to the series that you’re watching. Now granted, I’ve seen a number of season finales that just fall flat either due to the pressure of delivering or because they’re trying to set up the next season too much. I’ve also seen season finales that were better episodes then the majority of the season. Which begs the age old question, if the ending is good does that make the product good? You want that perfect balance of an episode and sometimes expectations are too high to allow that.

Tonight is the season finale of Mr. Robot and I’d be lying to you if I said I haven’t been thinking about this episode since I wrote my preview column for Fan Fest last night. I’ve been such a huge defender of this season when most other critics have either been jumping ship or trashing the show for being too slow or not on the same level as season one. Personally I think these critics couldn’t be any more wrong if they tried as season two has been a deliberate, masterfully crafted, narrative that really is two seasons wrapped in one. I also suspect that once Mr. Robot completes it’s run that people will look back at the second season and say, “ooooooh, that was really important”. So some of my stress tonight has to do with the show continuing to prove me right. I would like to believe that a mind blowing finale will help turn some of these critics around and get them to see what I’ve been seeing pretty much all season. Like any sport franchise I’m rooting for the show tonight.

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Outside of that though I have a personal attachment to this show and it’s characters which means  my SFA is strong. I’ve already planned tonight’s snacks (chips and salsa), I have at least two beers I could drink to help release some stress, I’ve already got questions and comments ready for my television, and more importantly I’ve mentally constructed the many different ways this season can end and I know the majority of them are probably wrong. I like that though. I like watching a show that keeps me guessing. A show that asks for my involvement but still is able to construct something I didn’t see coming. That’s what keeps bringing me back for me. This is a big deal and I’m both ready and not even remotely ready. It’s like this strange limbo of needing to watch this episode but also not wanting it to air. Not because I don’t want to see it but because once it’s done it’s done. Summer is over and I have to wait for them to return.

FSA is a real thing and I’ve seen peoples relationship with beloved TV shows end because of it. Is there a way to treat it? No, not really. The only real way is to watch the season finale of your show immediately as to avoid spoilers and to stop prolonging the agony. Rip it off right like a band-aid. Who cares if you’re talking to the characters or pacing around your living room? You have a pop culture disorder, damnit! And if you’re watching with a group of people who are judging you for it then my friend you are watching with the wrong group of people. The right kind of people will be pacing around the living room with you and cutting you off before you can talk to a character because they’ve got questions of their own.

Tonight I’ll be by myself, well Hudson the Cat will be there and he’s used to my quirks, mostly because no one else in my circle really watches Mr. Robot, and I stand by the fact that you’re all missing out. All of you. Needless to say the Fortress of Nerditude will become my emergency room where I work my way through this disorder just in time for another show to step up and take it’s place. It’s a vicious cycle but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m actually hopping the night ends with me just staring blankly at my television in disbelief. Those are my favorite moments but then again I suffer from a pop culture disorder….

 

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