Whenever I finish experiencing a piece of media or art, I’m left with a gaping hole in my chest where it once was. I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences this; in fact, I think it’s probably something everybody deals with. It sucks, doesn’t it?
I wish I could just experience the ending of something without desperately wishing for more. I think a part of this feeling is caused by a feeling I expressed in an earlier post; I find the real world depressing and boring, and when one of the many things I use to go somewhere else finally wraps up, I’m forced back into reality.
There’s a solution to this, actually. I think a lot of artists know about this effect, particularly television writers comic book creators. It’s why so many of those shows and books never end. They just go through storytelling “arcs” until they eventually get cancelled. They never really wrap up. It’s why I generally don’t watch a lot of TV or read comic books. Those mediums aren’t looking to tell a story, they’re looking to keep you engaged. I just don’t find that as interesting, but if I did start investing myself in them, I don’t think I’d have this post-ending depression thing going on quite as often.
I recently finally got around to watching The Legend of Korra: Book Four, the final season of the show. It’s also likely the last show to be produced that will ever take place in that universe. I may have expressed elsewhere that said universe is one of my favorites. I’m pretty bummed out. There are ways I could compensate for this feeling; I could go and rewatch the entire thing, I could rewatch the original Last Airbender series, I could go through and experience all of the commentary tracks included on the DVDs I have, I could buy all of the comics, but eventually this feeling will catch up to me.
In case you were wondering, the final season of the show was great. I think that the first and third seasons were better, but this one blew the underwhelming (short of a certain two-episode arc) second season out of the water. Each season of the show has dealt with touchy subjects (especially for a “kids show”) and this season’s themes were focused on PTSD, developing empathy, and [SPOILERS HOLY SHIT SPOILERS, SERIOUSLY] even a non-hetero relationship.
There were weak points, primarily the fact that three years had passed between this and the third season and the “getting the gang back together but they don’t get along like they used to” bits were a little forced, and the solving of that issue felt even more forced. There’s also an entire flashback episode where I would have rather seen a filler episode, something like Last Airbender‘s “Tales of Ba Sing Se”. I also found it somewhat slow to start, and the return of a certain character could have been better. That’s not to say it was bad, but it could have been better. The only other problem I had is that all three of the other seasons had an ending that if the entire show had stopped airing then and there, it would have made sense. They ended with such huge events that they could have been the finales for the entire run. This one ended, and while it was still quite a spectacle, I felt like it wasn’t quite as… as final as the other seasons were.
I want to go back to that world, but at the same time, I respect the show’s creators for actually ending it, like they did with Last Airbender. I’m down about it being over, but at least I don’t feel like I’m being manipulated by endless cliffhangers, like I was in the days (years ago) when I watched One Piece and Naruto. And it did end well. It made a statement, and an even bigger statement when you consider the fact that it’s meant to be a kids show and that a major television network was footing the bill for it. I hope to show The Legend of Korra and The Last Airbender to my own kids (when I have them) someday. They’re important works, in my mind. They’re something everyone should watch. (So if you haven’t, fucking do that already!)