Harlequin Blaze author Taryn Leigh Taylor is here at The Pink Heart Society to talk about the pleasures - and the perils - of revisiting the series you love...
Thanks to the magic that is Netflix, I have been rewatching The X-Files, and the experience has been...interesting. And by "interesting" I mean kinda...well, boring.
Which surprised me, to tell you the truth. I was looking forward to the rewatch. I have fond memories of Mulder and Scully. It's not like anyone is forcing me to hit play over and over; I'm doing so of my own volition. And yet, I find myself in the middle of season 2 and each episode--some of which I remember fuzzily, some not at all--I find myself a little underwhelmed. But just when I think maybe I should give up, or at least skip ahead to the awesome future episodes I know await me, I find a little gem: the early prototype of a sardonic Mulder one-liner, the first sighting of Scully's iconic "You're kidding...right?" expression. And the sheer clunky joy of 1990s-era technology: phone books, fax machines, and cell phones with antennae.
That's when it hit me: I can never fall in love with The X-Files for the first time again. I've already been on the journey and now my love is a big picture kind of love. My fondness for these characters has grown up. It's not a crush anymore. Gone are the days of giddily clock-watching on Friday night, excitement and nerves warring in my tummy as the hour drew nearer, and I got to find out what sort of wild conspiracy Mulder and Scully and I are going to investigate next.
But what I get in return for giving up the butterflies in my stomach, is true love. The realization that it's worth wading through all the missteps and mediocrity, because that's what gets you to the really good stuff. That's what sparks the genius moments that only come when everyone involved settles into the rhythm that makes the magic happen. But it doesn't come cheap--you have to earn it with patience and loyalty.
That's the reason, when I recommend Harry Potter to someone who hasn't read them yet, I'm likely to add the addendum, "If the first couple feel a little juvenile to you, just push through. Because as the characters age and the dominoes J.K. Rowling painstakingly set up start to fall, it's going to be so worth the time you invested. I promise!"
It's the reason that I sometimes pick an old In Death book off my shelf, just to remind myself there was a time when Delia Peabody wore a uniform instead of pink cowboy boots. Because I'm so invested now, forty odd books into J.D. Robb's futuristic cop series, that browsing those first tomes is like sharing high-school memories where Lt. Eve Dallas and I both shake our heads and smile at how young and foolish we used to be.
So in a weird way, rewatching The X-Files gave me more than I bargained for. It's taught me that when you love a series, it's not just because you enjoy watching the characters grow and change. It's because you're growing and changing right along with them. They become part of you. They make you who you are. And that's what true love is all about.
Leave me a comment below, and let me know what series you've found true love with. (Because we romance authors are always on the lookout for another soul mate!)
Taryn Leigh Taylor's latest release, Playing To Win, is available now.
Playing to win means playing dirty...
Holly Evans is intelligent, educated, and crazy about sports-so how did she end up prancing about in a miniskirt and teasing her hair like some broadcasting bimbo? Of course, since she's already iced her journalistic integrity, Holly might as well indulbe in a little fangirl lust for the ripped captain of Portland's hockey team.
Luke Maguire sees right through Holly's bynny disguise and he's ready to pull her into the locker room and strip it all off. Then Holly discovers someone on the team is profiting from a little over/under betting. Suddenly her lusting for Luke is going head-to-head with her reporting instincts. And if she's caught offside, there's no telling what the penalty will be...