So many shows are ending this season, it's like the end of an era.
The West Wing
Will & Grace
That 70's Show
Even the not-so-good shows like 7th Heaven, Charmed, and Malcolm in the Middle has my viewership for at least a month in syndication at some point or another (namely, the semester I was off from school).
I think what makes it the hardest (because we all know that I get far too attached to television programs) is that I have stopped religious viewing of these shows. I gave up on "The West Wing" around the middle of season five. "Alias" I quit when Vaughn died at the beginning of season five. "Will & Grace" I haven't watched religiously since it moved from Tuesday to Thursday, and "That 70's Show" I rarely caught in realtime, preferring to watch in syndication and on the DVDs of seasons I purchased.
I took for granted these shows that I devoted hours of my life to, and the characters to whom I was emotional vested. I gave up when dialogue got sloppy and plotlines diminished. I snubbed new writers and new characters and wanted only to watch the seasons that I felt were strongest. But all the while, they were still on, so there was the hope for a resurgence of greatness, hope for a reinvention that proves successful (though few ever are).
And now, I mourn the loss of some of the shows that have impacted me in curious fashion. I spent summers agonizing over the outcome to cliffhanger finales. I've set my TiVo to record episodes I've seen multiple times and even own on DVD, just because I love to watch them. I've discusses plotlines and character relationships as though they were part of my own life. Sad, but true. I will miss Sydney Bristow and Michael Kelso, Karen Walker and Josh Lyman.
So what is helping me to get through this rough time in television history?
The knowledge that it will all be immortalized on DVD (much of which I already own) and in syndication. The greatest shows will never die.
More-so however, is the upcoming Aaron Sorkin series featuring Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Timothy Busfield, and Steven Weber that will be starting up in the fall. (Not in the loop? Check out this and this, dudes.) It's like an answer to all of my prayers. I get Josh Lyman and Danny Concannon, plus Chandler Bing and Brian Hackett.