In real life and in fiction people cling to familiar worlds. Columnist Katherina Riesner reminisces about show business’ obsession with stories told and why we keep falling for them.
A revival, a panel discussion, a sequel, or even a prequel – we all know and love them. Whether it is movies or our favorite TV show, we get excited when they are announced because Hollywood, television networks and of late streaming services have understood something about the human mind that most people try to suppress.
We have a hard time letting go of experiences we have cherished or characters we have grown to love.
Saying this, I am by no means claiming to be innocent in this. My twitter feed blew up last fall when the news leaked that Netflix was planning on shooting a few more episodes of Gilmore Girls, the TV show I religiously watched in my teens and which left me hanging with an unsatisfying ending after seven seasons.
Most recently, I am guilty of having watched the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them more than once in the hope of finding some of the spark that made the Harry Potter universe so special. If you don’t believe me when I say folks like familiar tales, have a look at the biggest sequel of the year, the new Star Wars movie, which had an all-time opening record at the box offices.
After hearing news of renewals and sequels, people’s initial excitement is often followed by feelings of dread: What if they mess it up? What if the writers screw up the plot? Can the actors perform the way they used to? Still, we keep being drawn to these stories that have already been told before because we revel in the familiarity of those worlds and feel safe with the characters that have become something like friends.
Just as much as people hold on to these stories in fiction, they have tendencies to do the same in real life. Now that my final semester in Lund is about to begin I am becoming increasingly aware of this. We all try to cling to the places and people we love. This is simply human and shows the importance we assign to our experiences.
Every now and then a story has not been finished and ten years after saying Bon Voyage, diving back into your favorite TV show will feel like coming home. At other times, however, we need to let go to experience new, equally wonderful journeys. The next chapter does not have to be in the same book you just finished. ‘
You can open a new one and fall in love with other people and different places. It will almost always be worth it to turn over that page.