The Difference Between Mourning 80s All Over and Channel Awesome

80s All Over ended recently. It wasn’t sudden as the cast had gone on a hiatus to figure out if it was sustainable but it ended and the effect is the same. Something that had become a regular part of my routine is now gone and won’t be coming back. 90 minutes of time I’d gotten used to is out from my schedule.

Theoretically I shouldn’t write this entry. There are literal concentration camps in this country right now and I should speak on that. I should put my emotions towards the epic state of the climate crisis. I should rage against economic inequality. Something real. But I’m not.

I’m writing this entry as a way of wrestling with a weird emotion: grief. Because I do grieve for the end of the cast. I do mourn it. Not as intensely as I did the death of a dear friend 5 years earlier. But definitely I feel a sense of loss at something I loved going away.

We don’t really discuss the way entertainment can seep into our lives. It’s surreal. We come to love the way we can count like clockwork on a new edition. And with things like Harry Potter or the end of the Infinity Saga we get a chance to steel ourselves for the end. We’re able to adjust so when those (highly satisfying) endings come we get closure and move on.

I don’t get that with 80s All Over. There’s a mountain of films I don’t get to hear discussed in the inimitable fashion of McWeeny and Weinberg. The cast ends right outside Back to the Future. I’ll never get to hear them shred Top Gun or Ghostbusters II. I have to never get the joy of hearing them get why Hellbound: Hellraiser II is so cool.

I’m left hanging, incomplete. And I don’t even have the hope that one day someone will take over. No, it’s done. And I get why it is. I get that it was too expensive, too difficult. I respect greatly the men who made it and always will.

But I’m still mad. I’m so mad I haven’t gone back to the archive yet. I should in time. But I can’t. Not yet.

I’m also so mad that I can’t move on to a new podcast. Everyone has suggestions. Some are probably precisely ideal. Some likely aren’t. But for right now when I would listen? Just hearing silence because as silly as it is, I don’t want to move on.

I wonder if it would be easier if there wasn’t another thing I lost. In the past year I’ve lost pretty much every ex/current Channel Awesome member I watched in my rotation save for Todd in the Shadows, Rap Critic, and Linkara. I’ve had to abandon those shows because there’s a hell of a lot of ugliness that’s come out about all involved and even the ones I do watch aren’t all clean.

Channel Awesome’s contributors vanishing for me hurts because it’s just as open ended but I’m the one who walked. The shows are still going. Brad Jones probably has a new episode now as I speak. But the fun times I had watching these shows are tainted because I now know what uncomfortably toxic people created them. To be blunt I regret my fandom. I endorsed faulty product and while I couldn’t know all or even any of this, I feel bad that I ever supported something I shouldn’t.

And that’s the difference. I feel safe feeling sad 80s All Over is gone. I don’t feel like I backed bad people. Based on my interactions with the men, just the opposite. And I know in a few months I’ll celebrate that at least the first half of the decade was preserved and I’ll listen straight through.

I’m going to have to deal with the frustrating impulse on CA and its crew. I won’t go back. I can’t ethically. It’s done for me.

But ultimately the net effect is the same. There is silence where there wasn’t. And in time there won’t be. I’ll find a new cast. I had to find those too after all. In time there will be a new routine. But it’ll take time.

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