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How to Recover From the End of a Great Show — Very Good TV Podcast

Now that we've witnessed the finales for "The Leftovers" and "The Handmaid's Tale," what's next?

The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 8 Finale Justin Theroux Carrie Coon

Ben King/HBO

The Leftovers” is over. “The Handmaid’s Tale” just ended. Life feels a little less alive today.

It can be hard to let go of your favorite series, even after it’s already ended. On this week’s Very Good TV Podcast, TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers discuss how to recover after your favorite show airs its final episode.

Here’s one option: It’s kind of the same idea as turning all of the lights on and watching an innocent cartoon, after indulging in a horror movie right before bed. You flood your brain with the most harmless images and sounds you can think of, in the hope it will forget everything it just witnessed and let you sleep peacefully through the night.

READ MORE: ‘The Leftovers’ and ‘Twin Peaks’: How Faith Can Color Your Opinion of a TV Show

Similarly, the void left in your heart after you watch the very last episode of one of your favorite series ever demands to be filled. So how do you fill it? Some people may segue right into a new show, and hope that once they’re hooked on new content, they can forget that the old content was ever missing. Others may need to take a breather and re-watch older shows that require less emotional involvement.

But something else to take into consideration when transitioning off of a good show is how you interpret and judge the next show you jump to. It could be worth taking time to consider if you’re judging the show fairly and really giving it a chance, or if you’re still stuck within the world of your past show and subsequently comparing everything you see after it to the memory of its awesomeness.

If you find yourself being particularly harsh and uninterested in every new show you watch afterwards, maybe it’s best to give yourself a grace period between your beloved series’ end and any new series you may be interested in. Sitcoms and cartoons that you’ve already re-watched on numerous occasions are usually a good choice for this and can help cleanse your palette so you’re ready to accept a new series into your life.

Or you can dig deeper into the rabbit hole and restart the entire series for round two (or three) if you’re having that hard of a time just letting go. It might make you feel better seeing the characters you’ve already started to miss back on your screen, and you may end up catching little details about a particular episode or season that you had completely missed before. Whatever you choose to do, never stop watching TV! [Editor’s Note: The previous statement should not be taken literally, nor are we qualified to give medical advice. Therefore, IndieWire is not liable for any Vitamin-D deficiencies.]

Whether or not forcing yourself to watch new shows makes you a responsible TV fan, well, that’s up for debate. Listen to IndieWire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers discuss the issue in this week’s Very Good TV Podcast (above). Don’t forget to subscribe via Soundcloud or iTunes, and follow IndieWire on Twitter and Facebook for all your pertinent TV news. Check out Liz and Ben’s Twitter feeds for more, more, more. Plus, don’t forget to listen to IndieWire’s other podcasts: Screen Talk with Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, as well as Michael Schneider’s new podcast, Turn It On, which spotlights the most important TV of each week.

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