I Can Quit You
Amongst my people, I am a legend. No one quits a television show quite like I can. I don’t go gently into the night, I go loudly and get myself blocked on Twitter. It’s why I maintain a Twitter account, a secret Twitter account, and that one Twitter account I forgot about from the time my friend in LA convinced me to help her do something questionable but not illegal.
I digress. I quit television shows like nothing you’ve ever seen. It happens without hesitation or remorse. I never look back. It’s easier to name the shows I haven’t quit than to name all the ones I have. Truthfully, I’ve quit just about every show I’ve ever watched. Usually, I quit it and forget it, but every so often I meander back to see how it ended. Ask me why I so easily and frequently quit television shows?
It’s because I don’t trust show runners or head writers. They do what they want instead of what makes sense for the characters. Show runners are mostly out to entertain themselves and the really horrible ones are just in it to thwart the most vocal members of the show’s fandom. I believe show runners at one point in their lives felt like the powerless outsider, and when given a small bit of power, they abuse it just to show the world they can. They are essentially Phoenix King Ozai believing they “have all the power in the world.”
Like Ozai, some show runners and head writers have god complexes are the very definition of absolute power corrupting absolutely. The fragility of their ego’s is evident in all their hot aired nonsense. My favorite declaration by a show runner remains, “if you don’t trust me, don’t watch.” First, what have you done to establish this trust? What you did was consult a concordance of tropes, pick the worst of them, and then execute them poorly. You also let your never having been the Joey and therefore never getting the Pacey make you a bitter batch of brownies. Next, do shows no longer need audiences? I’m asking for a friend.
In my mind, I’m the god slayer. I bring the twilight. Dragging my sharpened sword across the ground, sparks flying. I am calculating, ruthless, unapologetic, and exacting in my punishment. I want to be the dark Avatar. In reality, I’m just indignant and vocal. I’m still proud of being blocked by the Person of Interest writers, and I’m still pissed about Carter and Reese.
What’s interesting is I had a harder time quitting books. Book series to be specific. I had, though usually I just never read after the first book, but sometimes I wanted to stop after book five. Sometimes I wanted to take a stack of books and push it behind a curtain because apparently that’s supposed to mean something is dead and not just surfing in Australia. Did you catch that? Here comes a clue.
I wanted to quit Harry Potter. After book five. Definitely after book six. And even after finishing book seven. I wanted to quit the Mortal Instruments series, but I didn’t, and I hated myself a little when I picked up the Infernal Device series while Christmas shopping in Barnes & Noble. I put it down, ordered a chai creme Frappuccino, and sat in the cafe talking to myself about poor choices. The books and the venti Frappuccino with extra whip.
Finishing these series didn’t feel like victory. It didn’t even feel like relief. I was just pissed. I knew I would be pissed. The endings sucked. At some point the journey sucked. It was like being in a bad relationship. Yes, I hate this and that and that and this and the other, but Magnus. Yes, I hate him and her and them and they, but Luna. Yes, I hate everyone and everything and things not even mentioned, but Gale. Yes, I hate the protagonist and the antagonist and the story and the setting and the book jacket, but Four. And not even Four in the book, but Four from the movie because he seems tall and has great bone structure. Even though I was pissed at the books, I was angrier with myself. I’d denied myself what I grant every student in my classroom when it comes to choice reading. The right to stop reading a book.
I pushed myself because at some point completion meant more than the journey. I was denying myself pleasure to revel in the accomplishment. It was a moment of clarity. My students are often in it for the grades, the completion, the ‘A’ instead of for the learning, the journey, the pleasure. If I was going to keep lecturing them about elevating the learning, I needed to hold myself to the same standard. And now I do. So, I’ll never know if Remy from Donnielle Clayton’s the Belle series died because he bored himself as much as he bored me because I saw where the next book was headed and I wanted no part, so I took no part. I never will. There are others, but one example is enough for now. After all, who wants to revel in a series of bad romances.