When Real Life Turns Into An Existential TV Drama…


I’ve always been a fan of existential tv dramas.  I would say, though, that my appreciation for television series that dealt with that question of “Why?”, about life, didn’t come until a bit later in life for me.  Growing up, for the most part, I was a fairly happy person on most days.  I had friends, did okay in school, and participated in extracurricular activities.  Then high school ended.  In the years that followed, my friends stayed friends with one another and forgot about me, my stomach issues decided how my day would go, and that happy person I remembered being on most days seemed to disappear along with much of my self confidence.  So, to say the least, existential tv dramas were series on television that I came to appreciate, understand and relate to.

These days around now it feels as though real life has turned into an actual existential tv drama.  My life, in many ways, turned into a bit of an existential tv drama somehow along the way many years ago.  It’s amazing how one moment in your life can change you if you let it.

Those who I considered actual real friends left me the moment we all graduated, but stayed friends with one another throughout the years.  In the years that followed graduating school, I couldn’t see one obvious element at the time.  Years later now, I see how these “friends” were never really friends of mine.  Real friends don’t talk bad about you when you’re not there.  Real friends apologize when they’ve done wrong.  And lastly, real friends want to stay in your life.  It took me almost twenty years to really recognize this.  We all go at our own pace to get over or move past something in life, and my pace has just always been a bit slower than most.  Sometimes I think, if past lives really do exist I was probably a turtle in mine.

I’ve brought this time of my life up because I came to really understand what it means to question and wonder “Why?” after all of this happened.  I never had any kind of depression or sadness growing up, but after my friends continued to be friends with one another and no longer me, I felt sadness on most days.  Even when I had a good day filled with fun, eventually the day would end.  It was on these fun days where I would just want to call someone to talk with about my day, but alas I no longer had anyone I could call.  A simple thing such as calling a friend to talk to was something that was no longer there anymore for me.

Today, I can say that I’ve moved past this time of my life.  I’m not someone who holds grudges, so there’s no bitterness here.  If anything, I’m annoyed at myself for letting this moment in time give me depression.  A depression, in which I have never been able to get over.  I have moved on (finally), but do I still feel sadness about this time of my life?  Yes.  I’ll always wish I had said more about how I was actually feeling at that time to these friends of mine.  I’ll always wonder if that would have made a difference, and wonder if maybe we’d all still be friends today.  If this proves anything, it proves how you have to say how you’re feeling at the time.  For when too much time goes by memories fade and that question of “Why?” will get an answer of “I don’t remember, too much time has gone by”.

There it is.  The cliff notes version of how I came to ask that question of “Why?”, about life.  And it’s been television that deals with asking that question also that has helped me and been there for me to see how everyone at some point deals with asking that question.  Television that deals with the topic of existentialism are shows that I not only have found to be incredibly interesting but also very much relatable on some level.  These are stories that constantly ask the question of “Why?”.  At some point we all question what the purpose of anything is if it’s just going to end, and existential tv dramas are shows that delve into those feelings and wonders and questions that we all have at some point in our lives.

Just because a television series deals with existentialism doesn’t mean the show can’t have moments of happiness or hope.  But yes, existential tv series can be sad and depressing, for sure.  There is a heaviness in these television series that doesn’t shy away from real life, and how real life is difficult to get through at times.

Growing up, I wasn’t even aware of something such as existentialism.  But because of my experiences I came to understand what it is.  And as much as I would rather not be able to understand what it means to have an existential outlook on life, I’m thankful to the television series that were there for me to make me feel not so alone in a world that can sometimes feel so incredibly lonely.

Before I leave, here are some of the best television series that deal with existentialism:

Six Feet Under – HBO

The Leftovers – HBO

Forever – Amazon

Maniac – Netflix

Russian Doll – Netflix

Living With Yourself – Netflix

Barry – HBO

The Good Place – NBC

I hope everyone is doing well.  Thanks so much for reading.


Author: Jodi Fisher

Hi! I’m Jodi! My dream is to live in NYC, see a Broadway show every single day, and write about the arts for a living. Until that delightful day arrives, I’ll be over here blogging about my love of the arts!

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