Have you ever been in a personal funk - a malaise phase, a period of ennui, a cloud of metaphysical angst or what have you - and to compensate, you develop sudden, unnaturally strong feelings about a series of books, or a TV show, or a movie franchise, or the body of work of an actor, or the complete works of an author?
You know, the kind of unnaturally strong feelings that cause you to lose the power of conversation about all topics but that one thing.
The kind of unnaturally strong feelings that are probably not commensurate with the actual entertainment value of the object in question.
The kind of unnaturally strong feelings that most people would label as obsession.
Like, maybe you just spent your 26th consecutive Valentine's Day alone and you are sure you are suffering from seasonal affective disorder or some other gloomy weather-induced emotional issue, and you casually grab season one of Angel from the DVD shelf at your local library on a whim.
Next thing you know you are cursing yourself for not having the foresight to check out season two as well, because who could have guessed you would finish the entire first in less than three days? You are scouring the Buffyverse Wiki to discover the fates of your favorite and least favorite (ahem- Linsdey McDonald) characters and finding it difficult because the show does not have an easy-to-follow linear plot in later seasons.
You are desperately depressed that Doyle did not make it past episode 9, and that Glenn Quinn did not make it past age 32; you are so depressed, in fact, that you start watching reruns of Roseanne on the Oxygen channel in the hopes of catching Glenn in his pre-Angel days as Becky's husband Mark.
You are seriously contemplating a last-ditch, right before closing trip to Target to try to buy the next season since someone had the nerve to check out season 2 from the library, and the episodes are not even available on Hulu or Netflix watch instant!
And you are wallowing in the tragic turn of events that made you fully ten years too late in watching the show. This means that now there is no one around with whom to discuss the events of season 1 of Angel, at least no one around who can comprehend the utter urgency you feel, having just watched it for the first time.
That is just a completely made-up, hypothetical situation, of course.
Or maybe you are a second semester senior at an Ivy League University and all your friends are busy making legitimate Life Plans, which include things like Fulbright Scholarships and teaching fellowships and apartments in NYC, while you are busy planning to move back in with your parents. Instead of applying yourself to developing a more legitimate Life Plan, you decide to read your little sister's copy of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Next thing you know, you have read all its currently published sequels and are watching the trailer for the soon-to-be-released major motion picture over and over and over again.
You start to believe for the first time ever that you will take up running in earnest because you really want to be more like free-spirited sisterhood member Bridget Vreeland - although what actually happens is you slap on some running shoes, walk to the park and spend several spring afternoons sitting morosely on the swings contemplating your lost adolescence and the notable absence of any magical sartorial connection with your old high school friends.
Again, you know: totally hypothetical.
Or maybe you just got your masters degree but there are no jobs available so you spend your entire post-grad summer brooding and miserable, until you finally get around to reading acclaimed young adult novel The Hunger Games.
Next thing you know, you are even more brooding and miserable, ruing the day you read this book not knowing it was meant to be a trilogy until you got to the cliffhanger ending and are unable to continue because only book one is currently published. So you pre-order the sequel immediately on Amazon, and decide to fill the void with other like-themed novels dealing with dystopian societies - you know, cheerful, summery reads like Brave New World and 1984 that are just wonderful for taking with you to the beach.
This puts you in constant mind of the end of days, etc., which feels about right in your current jobless, student-loan laden state; and since you can't get anyone else to read the Hunger Games so you can talk about it, it all just festers inside you and your brood lasts for ages until it completely consumes you and takes over the entire month of July.
Just another made-up example to illustrate a point...
Maybe you hit a parked Mercedes and are noble/stupid enough to leave a note and have to pay $700 to repair it, so you throw yourself into the movies of Gerard Butler (this in his pre-300 days, no less) which you order in a steady stream from Netflix.
Maybe you just moved to Miami and you have no furniture and you feel kind of homesick, so you read the Uglies/Pretties/Specials series of books by Scott Westerfeld while sitting on an air mattress in your new living room with the shades drawn against the bright Florida sunshine.
Maybe you are just kind of sad for no reason at all, so you reread the entire Nora Roberts' oeuvre, which consists of endlessly entertaining romance novels that remind you of your early teen years.
But maybe, just maybe, you are also lucky enough to have someone in your life who completely understands these kind of temporary flare-ups of insanity because they have them too.
Like, maybe you have a sister who is crazed about syndicated fantasy TV show Legend of the Seeker. And while all she wants to do is talk to you about this, all you want to do is talk to her about your current obsession with Angel.
So she can yammer on to you, like : Kahlan and Richard blah blah blah amulet blah blah blah TOTALLY DID IT blah blah blah couldn't confess someone blah blah blah were like something is up, YO! blah blah blah so sad blah blah blah enough memory for us both!
And you can yammer on to her, like: Buffy and Angel blah blah blah regenerative demon blood blah blah blah could stand in the sun and eat food and be with her blah blah blah TIME TRAVEL blah blah blah so tragic blah blah blah ONLY ANGEL REMEMBERS!
And so the two of you can communicate and express your obsessions in a safe, judgment free zone.
Have you ever had these kinds of feelings about something?
No? No, you haven't?
Haha, yeah. Me neither.
Except if you said yes, in which case please, I invite you to discuss whatever can't-think-about-anything-else-but-no one-wants-to-listen-to-me-talk-about-it thing is on your mind these days in the comments.
And okay, maybe I'll insert a few blah blahs in there, but I will listen and certainly will not judge you; I'd like this to be a safe space for suddenly obsessed weirdos with no other means of release except to alienate all non-weirdo friends and family.
Or you know, if you just want to discuss any aspects of Angel season 1, particularly the tragedy of the Doyle character's untimely death and any residual depression that you may experiencing on that front, that would be okay too...hypothetically.