Kit Steinkellner
July 07, 2014 3:31 pm

TV binge-watching has evolved over the last decade, from buying the complete box set of Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVDs to hoarding episodes of The Bachelorette on your DVR to watching every single episode of Orange Is The New Black on Netflix the weekend the entire season is released. TV binge-watching is the perfect fix for real life when real life gets boring and/or sad. (Any TV show worth binging on is basically NEVER boring and if the lives of its characters ARE sad, it’s usually the most glamorous and exciting version of sad known to mankind, so it all evens out.)

The tragedy of our modern lives is that all good television shows must come to an end. So what do you do when you catch all the way up to a show and have to wait until next season for more eps? Or HORROR OF HORRORS, the show ended its run in 2005 and there are NO NEW EPISODES EVER. Below, a guide to getting through your binge-watching withdrawal.

1.) Go Back And Watch Your Favorite Episodes/Scenes/Moments

No, you are not allowed to rewatch the entire series immediately unless you’re writing, like, your PH.D thesis on Friday Night Lights (please let getting a doctorate in Television Studies be a thing you can do now or at least someday). But you can go back and watch your favorite episodes/scenes. It would be so mean to make you quit your new favorite show cold turkey! So take a victory lap through your favorite moments of the show and only THEN figure out how to quit your addiction.

2.) Go Find The Other Shows The Showrunner Is Responsible For

A television showrunner is often the creator of the television series, always the producer behind-the-scenes running pretty much everything. So if you’re obsessed with Joss Whedon, good call, he created like five shows you can binge your brains out on. Even if your showrunner hasn’t created/run any other television shows, chances are they’re still responsible for some kind of media you can consume. If you worship at the altar of Community, feast your ears on Dan Harmon’s podcast Harmontown, if Girls basically is YOUR LIFE, Lena Dunham’s breakthrough film Tiny Furniture is on Netflix (and her book of essays is coming out this fall), if you’re all caught up on New Girl and can’t WAIT for next season to begin, creator Liz Meriwether wrote some bananas-good plays back in the day. “The Mistakes Madeline Made” absolutely blew my mind when I saw it in NYC a million years ago. Google the geniuses behind your obsession. Chances are they’ve created other things you can obsess hard over. 3.) Identify What It Is You Love About A Show, Then Go Find That X-Factor In Other Works Of Art

Mad Men. We LOVE Mad Men (or at least I love Mad Men, it’s so tragic and so stylish!). So what do we do while we wait for Mad Men to come back on the air? And just as importantly, what do we do after next season, the final season, wraps up its run and we have NO MORE MAD MEN EVER? Okay, so maybe what draws you to Mad Men is the era, in which case, you’re in luck, there were a whole lot of movies made IN the 1960s and a whole lot of movies made later about the 1960s. Same goes for books, if you need a Betty/Megan Draper fix, check out Elaine Dundy’s era-appropriate novels, if you’re jonesing for a Sally Draper pick-me-up, then pick up Pamela Moore’s recently rereleased Chocolates For Breakfast, a coming-of-age novel that first debuted in 1956.

4.) Get Out Of The House

No, seriously, get out of bed, put on shoes, bust out your front door, and go do something. Take a walk in nature, make a date with a friend you haven’t seen in forever, eat at whatever new restaurant everyone has been saying is OMGTHEBEST. Sometimes TV can trick us into thinking that fictional worlds are vastly superior to real life, and, yes, fictional worlds almost always have better hair and lighting, but they are not better overall. Real life is beautiful and it’s real and it’s yours, so go outside and give reality a great big hug.

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