In this age of instant gratification and rampant consumerism, it is we, the geeks, who suffer most. Because we are so hopelessly obsessed with our media, we are hit hardest by having to wait for new stuff to come out. Who among us has not spent time agonizing over when the Batman/Superman movie is coming out, only to find it’s been delayed another year? Is there any fan who can say they were totally fine with Futurama getting hiatus after hiatus with no sense of whether it might be coming back? We, the overzealous, overlooked fanbase of so many geeky forms of media agonize over the fate of our beloved TV shows, movies, comics, games, esoteric web series, and books to no end. Isn’t there anyone to help quell the raging fires of anticipation that plague our meager nerdy community?
Yes there is. It’s me. I’m the one. I’m here to help you get through the long, boring wait. I’m here to give you a few methods I use to make the long periods of uncertainty a little more bearable. I’m here to give you a bit of help with your hiatus.
The first key to accomplishing this is to know why waiting is so hard in the first place. Are we really so immature that we want the candy now, and we need it now, and we can’t wait just a second? No. In a lot of cases they do it on purpose. By they, I mean the creators of the shows. They put cliffhangers at the end of the season to make sure viewers stick around for the next one. At the tail end of a roller coaster like the second season of “House of Cards”, we’re left with plenty of unanswered questions, so it’s pretty much guaranteed we stick around another season.
Also, hiatuses can often be ominous, foretelling cancellation of a project we hold dear. When “Community” season 4’s premiere was pushed back from October to February, we weren’t upset because we were bored. We were worried that the push might mean a loss of viewership and that the show might have been slated for execution by the NBC executives. In reality, the executives were just trying to make room for new shows, as well as gauge whether the show could still bring in revenue. So a key step in beating the hiatus blues is accepting the fact that hiatuses are a part of “The Biz” so to speak. Whether it’s just the amount of time to make the product or trying to find the most profitable time to release it, you have to accept the fact that it’s all out of your control. So what can you do, if not for the franchise, for yourself?
Be Kind, Rewind
One of the things that make nerdy things nerdy is the amount of re-watch value they have. There are often plenty of Easter eggs and hidden goodies to find if you go back through it from the beginning. So, re-watch, re-read, re-listen, rewind and as you do you’ll find all of the stuff you missed. Be sure to space out your re-watch though. Make it last all hiatus because most likely, by the time you get back to the end, you’ll be more excited then ever for the next part to come out.
Save Some Leftovers
Can’t take credit for this one, but my friend Seth taught me a strategy that’s great for bridging long gaps between seasons. With shows like Doctor Who, Adventure Time, or My Little Pony, there are a great deal of filler episodes. If you can find ways to determine which episodes are filler without spoiling them you can save one of them for later. That way, when you get the urge to watch that show in particular, you have an episode that could be watched at any point in the season, ready for viewing. This also helps if you’re waxing nostalgic for a character that has since left like a departed doctor or companion in Doctor Who.
If you’re anything like me, you’re a geek who knows what he likes. You have a certain set of tastes that aren’t swayed too easily by the masses. If that’s the case then based on what you’ve watched you probably already have a good guide as to what you should watch next. If a show you like is on hiatus or you’re waiting for the next movie in a franchise, go to IMDB and check out other works by that director, or by that actor, or writer, or what have you. It’s a good way to broaden your horizons and to get a good heaping helping of Robert Downey Jr. while you wait for Avengers 2.
Fandom Forum Fiesta!
This one mainly applies to those hiatuses that happen on cliffhangers or between two adaptations of a beloved franchise or just after a bunch of long running mysteries got even longer running and mysteriouser. When any of those happens, it’s a nerd reflex to dash to the forums. In the forums the mysteries of the multiverse are solved. In the forums the fans come up with more creative ideas than the writers. In the forums everyone has one true pairing and they’re not afraid to share it. Many see this as a bad thing, but I think it’s glorious. Everyone on the forums is constantly coming up with new ideas and if nothing else, they are occupying the time until the next big thing comes out and ruins all of their theories and pairings for good. And if it turns out you were right all along, you get to feel a smugness only true super geeks know of.
In this age of instant gratification and rampant consumerism, it is we, the geeks who must rise above it. What if, instead of lounging around waiting for Homestuck to update, you made something for yourself. Draw some fan-art, write a fan-fic, act out a parody and put it on YouTube. Cosplay, LARP, or make a Remix, it doesn’t matter. Be a creator instead of a consumer. And if it sucks, great, all the better to improve upon. Find something you’re passionate about and work on it whenever you have the time. Ignore the haters. Say to them, at least I’m doing something constructive with my social awkwardness and obsession. And by the time you’ve made something you’re proud of, a new episode will have just come out, waiting to inspire you again.
So I hope this hiatus help was useful in passing the time at least because it looks like Sherlock season 4 still hasn’t even started filming yet. So let’s just wait it out, re-watch the first three seasons, check out the Fifth Estate starring Benedict Cumberbatch, argue on the forums as to what Moriarty’s going to do, and write a slash fic of Sherlock and Lestrade. It’s something to do. To help quell the raging fires of anticipation that plague our meager nerdy community.