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F(l)o Show: A how-to guide for surviving finales and hiatuses

By Florence Lau | May 7, 2012

Since it's my last article for F(l)o Show for the semester, I thought it would be fitting to close with the very appropriate topic of finales. Specifically TV show finales, of course. Although a couple of shows have already aired their finale for the 2011-2012 season, most finales come out this month. This leaves TV viewers in a perpetual state of anxiety spanning the entire month of May, wondering what sort of heart-wrenching torture their character will be put through in the final moments of the episode of their respective favorite shows.

The past couple years, I've noticed an increasing trend towards cliffhangers during seasons finales. Just think. Season three of Castle ended with Beckett having been shot in the chest and her eyes slipping closed, season one of Rizzoli and Isles ended with Rizzoli shooting herself in order to get out of a hostage situation and season six of Bones ended with Bones telling Booth she was pregnant with his child. "But Flo," you may protest, "of course they all end on cliffies. They're all cop shows, full of drama and guns and blood." For those skeptics out there, check out the finale of a comedy. Say...season six of How I Met Your Mother, where we are shown a wedding scene and then find out that the groom is Barney, who is the last person we'd expect to settle down. Fans have been speculating throughout all of season seven about who the bride will be, and the writers have been teasing us with several different possibilities.

Face it.

Showrunners have figured out the delicate art of giving several million fans simultaneous heart attacks by staging something dramatic or unexpected and then saying, "Haha, see you next September!" Those sadists are probably smirking in back rooms with maniacal laughter when they're discussing these plans.

And now, that season is upon us once more. How the hell am I supposed to focus on my finals when such drama and suspense is happening one click away on Hulu? If anyone has any advice short of telling my suite-mate to lock my laptop away, I'd love to hear it.

But that leads to my next bit of advice: how to survive the summer hiatus.

I remember that I thought that I wouldn't be able to get through the four months between the Castle season finale last year and the beginning of season four. So how is it that I'm here, writing this article right now?

The truth?

Fanfiction. I read so much post-finale fanfiction, especially in the days right after the finale came out on TV. It's always fun to see what people imagine may happen when the new season starts, or to see imagined alternate scenarios.

Watching summer shows (like Rizzoli and Isles) also helped, giving me a new fandom to focus on for a couple months and getting me invested in Rizzoli and Isles's not-romance. Or you don't even have to watch summer shows, per se. I finally took the time to completely get caught up on HIMYM, and seeing that there were six seasons, it was quite a project.

So check out a new show. Pick up a book. Start a knitting project. It looks bad from this end, but before you know it, it'll be September and time for a new season.

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