Incessant Arguing
Have you ever felt so connected to a television show that you no longer feel there are infinite plot possibilities on the horizon? You become so invested that you may feel you have all of the right answers regarding certain characters and their motivations in any given week. It comes as a surprise when you first learn there may be other watchers out in the universe that have read a character or plotline in a completely different way. For me, this took a school bus and a very emotionally affecting episode of Friends.

Ross and Rachel broke things off many times over the years, but the first time they got back together, I knew in my gut that their relationship would always be about coming together in the most important moments. I obviously didn’t know how culturally epic this would be, but I did know my school bus friends were wrong. Between Ms. Bitter and Ms. Wedding Obsessed, we got into one hell of an argument, each believing our theories about Ross and Rachel were correct—which they all ended up being in some way or another. The point is, being a fan is about being part of a collective experience, about arguing for or against your favorite programs, about knowing your characters and their stories sometimes even before the writers know exactly where the writing will go. You won’t always be right, of course, but arguing out all of the various viewpoints will only make you a wiser and more engaged viewer.

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