TV Show Hiatuses: A Nerd’s Survival Guide

Fall is here, and with it comes the return of so many great shows, along with premieres of new ones. Peder and I have already been availing ourselves of the wealth of new episodes coming out for some of our favorites, like KilljoysBrooklyn 99, and Bob’s Burgers, and we have plans to start watching new shows like Timeless and Stranger Things as soon as we can manage it. We’re thankful to have all these great new episodes to watch, but even at times like these, I can’t help thinking of other, more long-standing favorites that are on long hiatuses.

Does thinking of what I can’t get in the midst of all I can get make me a selfish, gluttonous TV-watcher? Definitely. However, I have a feeling I’m not alone in this sentiment. For every show we love that faithfully turns out fresh episodes every season, there’s one that takes two or three years to release anything new (I’m looking at you, BBC…).

So what’s a fan to do during these new-episode droughts? Well, as someone who’s experienced that pain many times over at the hands of shows like Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Outlander, I have a few ideas up my sleeve. Such as…

Image Credit: BBC
Image Credit: BBC

Rewatch favorite episodes

This one is obvious, but a tried-and-true choice. When your craving for that one great show just can’t be satisfied by anything else, find a way to get a hold of some previous episodes (via on-demand, reruns [if they even do those anymore??], your DVD collection, library copies, etc.) and set up a little “greatest hits” marathon for yourself. Though there may be nothing new to take in, you’ll always enjoy revisiting your favorites, and might even catch something new the second (or third…or fourth…or…who’s counting??) time around. You want to be a bit careful with this one, as it can be a bit of a slippery slope, but it’s a good method to use in moderation.

Image Credit: Wikipedia
Image Credit: Wikipedia

Try new shows similar to the one you’re waiting for

Unlike my first suggestion, this one allows you to both enjoy the kind of feels you get from the show you can’t watch while getting to branch out and take in something new by watching the ones you can. There are lots of ways to do this — you can use sites like this one that suggest new shows based on ones you’ve seen, you can ask friends who also like the stalled show if they know of any other good ones like it, or you can take the super easy (and somewhat risky) route of watching what Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime/etc. suggests based on your previously watched shows. You’ll likely find this method to be a bit hit-and-miss, but you never know — you just might find a new favorite along the way.

Visit fan forums and sites

With any show hiatus comes a legion of fans who are at turns excited for the new episodes to arrive and outraged that time isn’t passing more quickly until that day comes. And thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to find those legions and have a good venting/reminiscing/speculating session with them. Search for forums and fan pages for the show in question, jump in, and get talking! Besides being a great way to let off some steam, this is also a chance to make friends (even though they’re usually long-distance ones) with people who share your interests. I’ll spare you the obligatory “be careful giving out your info on the internet” speech, as it feels much too 2002-suburban-mom for my taste, but just use a little common sense and go to it!

Image Credit: BBC Newsbeat
Image Credit: BBC Newsbeat

Write some fan fiction (or do some fan art)!

I can practically see you guys rolling your eyes at me, but hear me out. While this solution may seem to be one for the truly desperate, it’s a really fun and — unlike most other methods — productive way to revisit your favorite show while you’re waiting for new stuff. If you’re artistically or linguistically inclined, try your hand at a little AU fan fiction, draw your interpretation of your favorite scene, or write a story based on what you think is going to happen next in the show (or, better yet, what you wish would happen but know will never actually take place). If the idea of putting pen to paper makes you cringe, search or any number of the endless fan fiction sites out there for the great stuff (or not-so-great stuff…hey, we don’t judge) that others are creating. These things may not fill the Game of Thrones-shaped hole in your heart, but they’ll be entertaining at the very least, and could even lead you to generate some great new ideas of your own.

These are a few ideas for things to do while waiting for new seasons of your favorite shows to come out, but I’m sure there are lots of others! What’s your favorite way to combat the show hiatus blues? Tell us about it in the comments!

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