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The approach of Castle’s Season VII Finale once again fills the fandom with dread. Some of us are old hands at surviving the Annual Apocalypse and have cobbled together strategies for surviving the long desert of the Summer Hiatus. I’d like to share some of my favorite tools for making it safely through to the much-anticipated Fall Premier of Season VIII.
First, a question from Finding Nemo…”Do you have your exit buddy?” This is important. If you have a family-member, close friend, or can shanghai a total stranger to join you in plotting a course through the perils of hiatus, take advantage of that fact. Plan activities you can do together while you talk about Castle. Schedule re-watches of whole seasons, favorite “shipping” episodes, or even try to make it through a complete series re-watch. Pool your resources and share the DVD’s, living rooms, and TV’s that provide for maximum viewing with minimum interruption. If, like me, you are the only Castle Fan, share your re-watch strategy with like-minded fans via Twitter™ or Skype™. Arrange to meet in real life where and when possible.
Second, remember that life goes on while you are watching. Try to schedule your quality Castle time for the maximum enjoyment with minimum interruption. If you watch alone, everyone will assume you are lonely and want company. Some people will attempt to distract you with other activities like making lunch, walking dogs, finding skateboards, or fixing the car because ”that funny noise just got worse.” I like to make quick lunches ahead and freeze them or refrigerate them for later consumption. Before the dreaded hiatus, I schedule all my auto maintenance, minor home repair, and put the phone on silent running during viewing time..
Third and most importantly, clean your DVD player, discs, and viewing area before the hiatus starts. You want your equipment to be in top working condition. If you stream or download, make sure your software is updated and ready for the excursion. Check your bandwidth and schedule streaming activity for off-peak hours. In my area, the farmers all get up at 4am and check the weather, stock, and farm market reports. This goes on until about 6:30, when the kids and moms take over, looking for bus stop weather reports, last-minute show & tell items, or what not. Then, from 9:00 to Noon, traffic slows enough to stream without buffering. The best streaming time comes between 11pm and 4AM the following morning. I’m almost embarrassed that I know this. You will find your own optimum viewing time.
Fourth, whatever happens, don’t isolate. Don’t feel alone. There are approximately 10 million people out there who share your devotion to Castle. We’re all in this together. Mind you elbows.