The 8 stages of finishing your favourite web series (or TV box set)

The rise of online streaming services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime, means that everyone could fall victim to the addictive potential of web series. You no longer have to be a loser sat in on your own night after night force-feeding your TV DVDs from box set after box set. In fact, Netflix is an enabler. Once you’ve finished one episode of something it’ll just assume you want to continue watching it FOR ETERNITY. To mock your complete lack of willpower, it’ll give you a mere ten seconds to pause your web-series-watching-marathon-of-shame and venture out into the real world. But we all know we’re not that strong.

However, in hindsight that phase is actually the best. Your days are filled with excitement and anticipation for what’s to come. The world finally has meaning. Which is why it’s all the more heart-breaking when your favourite TV/Netflix thing comes to an end. And there’s no pain quite like it.


You’re so full of adrenaline after the finale that you must grab everyone, tweet everyone and scream to everyone about what happened. Are they as shocked as you? Are they as sad as you? What happened to that dude? Where did she go? And most importantly WILL THERE BE ANOTHER SEASON? Well? WELL?

Symptoms: Extreme hyperactivity with some jittering and ALL SHOUTING CAPS.


2. The adrenaline comedown: The ‘hold me’ phase

The finale is over. You’ve discussed it with anyone who cares/You’ve bored anyone to death who’ll listen. You’ve tweeted about it. You’ve imdb’d what the actors are up to next. You’ve set up a Google Alert for mentions of a new season. And now you have to come to terms with the fact that your life has a huge void in it that you have no idea how to fill.

Symptoms: Lethargy mixed with lots of hugging.

a lot of feelings

3. Nothing is real anymore: The ‘denial’ and ‘mild hallucination’ phase

Bad things are happening in your subconscious. You hear the theme tune in your sleep. You think you see the actors everywhere you turn. You dream about being in the show. You’re not sure what’s real anymore and the worst part is no one gets it.

Symptoms: Find it hard to make eye contact with some mild to severe hallucinations.

4. Aching, searing loneliness: The ‘sad’ phase

You’re on the road to acceptance but instead of walking slowly along it you’ve resigned yourself to curling up in a little ball on the side. You feel scared. You feel alone. You try to give other people in your life as much meaning and attention as you gave the characters in your favourite web series. But they’re just not the same, dammit.

Symptoms: Emptiness.




5. The world is full of sh*t: The ‘rage’ phase

You’ve kind of accepted the fact it’s over, but rather than live with the acceptance or slip back into the sadness you choose to replace every other emotion you’ve ever felt with nothing but pure, unfettered RAGE for everyone and everything in your world. This phase usually comes to a head when Netflix smugly recommends you watch something new. What an awful, enabling little sh*t.

Symptoms: Short attention span, resting bitch face and lots of swearing.


6. Replacement: The ‘eating/drinking/spending lots’ phase

Instead of taking a healthy approach to overcoming your box set addiction, your crafty little subconscious would rather you fill that gaping hole full of really bad-for-you behaviour. This phase often manifests itself in eating lots of cheese. But everyone’s different.

Symptoms: Erratic behaviour, lots of cheese.


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7. Acceptance: The ‘life goes on, right?’ phase

Maybe life won’t be so bad, cold and lonely. Maybe you’ll have time to do other real things that other real humans do, like cook food that isn’t just made for the microwave, accept invites to social events without feeling like you’re cheating on Netflix and interact with other real human beings more than once a fortnight. Maybe you’ll have time for hobbies now. Maybe life can be bright and wonderful again?

Symptoms: Partaking in normal activities. Frequent, genuine smiling and emotion.


Image via Hyperbole and a Half.

8. Finding someone else: The ‘fallen back down the rabbit hole’ phase

Sure you’d accepted the fact it had ended, but you didn’t think you’d ever REALLY find a replacement. You imagined you’d always be wandering this lonely planet with a small, aching hole inside you. But then someone suggested you try another show and you fall hook, line and sinker. And you’re ready to start the addiction – searing heart ache – acceptance cycle all over again.

Symptoms: Nervous sweating and manic smiling.


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Want to read more? Here’s our coverage of the recent Apple announcements, including everything you need to know about Apple’s ‘phablet’, the iPhone 6 Plus, and smartwatches buying guide, or if you’re sick of Apple completely, here’s our rundown of our 14 favourite dating apps, from Tinder to eHarmony.

Becca Caddy