The Verge asks why we have such a hard time letting go of our pop culture, demanding that each beloved book, movie or TV series continue in a new form, never letting the characters go:
The problem isn’t simply that we’re getting more of something we love. The problem is that there’s no conclusion, no definitive ending, because these new objects aren’t designed to be complete. So Albus Potter, Scorpius Malfoy, and Rose Granger-Weasley will always have space for more adventures down the line. The Avengers and the Justice League must fight the even bigger threat lurking in a shadowy post-credit sequence. And we get movies like The Force Awakens, which ended in a literal hand-off to the upcoming Episode VIII.
I’m not as pessimistic about the Star Wars sequels, but I understand the point and agree for the most part. We’re stuck in a rut of pop culture, where the machine continues to churn out content, as opposed to artists creating aesthetic works. I’m not being snobbish as even as summer blockbuster can be a form of art. But there’s almost a fear of originality. Or is it a fear of abandonment, of losing beloved characters and places? Is there some national mood that wants to believe the escapist worlds are truly places we could escape to?
There are a few bright spots, like Netflix’s new Stranger Things, set in the 1980s and feeling like a cross between The Goonies and The X-Files. But even here we see the phenomenon. The eight episodes gave a complete story that left a few interesting questions at the end, as any good thriller of its type should. But fans are clamoring and Netflix is planning and a second season is probably in the offing.