All things must come to an end, even TV shows and movies. No matter how much we happen to be enjoying a work of cinema or a serialized drama, there will inevitably come a time when things fade to black and we’re left reading the names of actors in the dark. But, as video essayist Kirby Ferguson notes in his new ode to credits, this moment doesn’t necessarily have to be a sad one. Endings can be happy, funny, scary, or somber, and credits sequences can serve as moments of reflection, a time for us to privately process the journey we just went on.
Unfortunately, these days, credits are often shunted to the upper left corner of our screens while we are prompted to immediately begin watching some tangentially related video. Ferguson is willing to admit that the autoplay feature Netflix uses for sequential episodes of television is usually fine. But, occasionally, when an episode ends on an especially emotional note, this jump cut to another episode can feel jarring. It robs us of our much needed moment to process.
In a world of dual-screen experiences and seemingly endless amounts of content, it can be easy to forget how nice a good credits sequence can be. So next time things fade to black, don’t just rush out of the theater or hop immediately to the next glowing screen. Treat yourself to a real ending, a bit of finality, and then don’t forget to throw away your empty popcorn bag.
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