Before we begin, this feels like an excellent moment to link to the adorable Tom Hiddleston teaching us about delayed gratification with Cookie Monster.
*Sigh* – isn’t he a bit of terrific? And Hiddleston’s not bad either. So now we know the theme of today’s post. In the words of O Mighty Hiddleston, “Doesn’t it taste better for waiting?” We all have our own feelins when it comes to waiting for a book release, or any release for that matter. No one wants to wait for the next epic installment of their favourite series, but while some people absolutely agonise over a long period of waiting, some people actually appreciate it and enjoy an installment more for having waited for it. I definitely belong to the latter category.
My friend Jim doesn’t understand why I cherish The Wait. He’s the type of guy who will not start a TV show until the entire series has concluded so he can marathon the entire thing over a couple of weeks. He hates The Wait. He gets angsty over The Wait, and doesn’t get why I don’t feel the same. To be fair, I do sometimes. I nearly lost my mind waiting for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode. I spent hours of my life trying to work out River Song’s identity; almost as long as I spent on the internet reading Reichenbach theories. And, of course, I have an actual app on my iphone to track the release dates of all my favourite book series. Yes, The Wait drives you mad but that’s exactly why I love it so much.
Imagine if our favourite shows and books came out as regularly as Eastenders. If we had everything we wanted in quick succession, fandoms as we know them wouldn’t exist. Take for example, BBC’s Sherlock. Anyone who’s watched it will know that the first episode of season three was essentially lifted from Tumblr. It is essentially concrete evidence that Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss read the fandom’s fervent fanfiction and favourite theories. They played their hand brilliantly and wrote and episode that featured every single thing that the fans wanted. We essentially wrote that episode for them. But what if we didn’t have that two year wait? What if season three picked up a week or two after the second? That episode would have been completely different, as Mofftiss wouldn’t have had a multitude of fanmade content to draw from. And that would be disasterous because that episode was amazing. No seriously, it was fucking incredible.
Being part of a fandom is one of the best things in the world, and it’s only since the internet happened that it’s truly been a thing. Fandoms exist because people want to share their love of something with likeminded people, and fandoms are of extra special importance during The Wait. To quote a poncy article I read, “the shared experience of waiting is part of what’s driving consumer satisfaction,” or in our case, full appreciation and mega-love for the thing. Being part of a fandom makes a show/film/book bigger than itself. It’s experiencing what you love in another way, with people who love/are obsessed with it just as much as you are. Being able to wait for a new installment rather than experiencing it right away opens up a new level of appreciation. You have time to go over the details in your head, let your love for it grow and grow and even end up becoming a part of what makes it so awesome in the first place. Sure you run the risk of disappointment if you’ve built it up in your head so much for so long (just look at the Divergent series), but the gamble is all part of the experience package and you just end up appreciating it for what it is. I will always love The Wait. I mean, I hate it in so so so many ways. But I love it more.
What are your feelings on The Wait?
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