Are you stopping yourself from loving new TV series? Hey now, it’s a valid question. The amount of comparing you do to your first beloved TV shows and those beloved character’s is far beyond what’s expected for any simple clinical comparison. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked with people on good ol’ twitter who will never, ever let go of their love for Pacey Witter (Dawson’s Creek). I know that I will will never stop loving  him, either. That’s the power of a well-written show, a good actor, and the glow of the first real TV series that you adopt into your life.

Hey – isn’t that Pacey  Witter? Olivia (Anna Torv, L), Walter (John Noble, C) and Peter (Joshua Jackson, R) in FRINGE. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Ph: Craig Blankenhorn/FOX

And yet, viewers absolutely have to make a disconnect from actors, characters, and TV shows in order to enjoy new projects with the same actors, but new projects in general. If you don’t find yourself able to accomplish this, you’ll be watching reruns forever. And there’s just too many new, good series to waste your time exclusively with reruns. It’s like settling for your first boyfriend/girlfriend. That’s hardly ever the best idea.

Sometimes an actor or actress is what gets you interested in a TV series. That’s fine! Sometimes it’s even what will draw you away. I can fully admit that it was David Boreanaz got me into Bones and Alyson Hannigan got me watching How I Met Your Mother. And it was their pull from being on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel that made me love them in the first place.

But when it comes to following new projects, blind loyalty won’t always help. As much as I love Pacey Witter, I simply cannot make myself like the new(ish) Joshua Jackson series Fringe. Likewise, Scott Wolf (Party of Five), Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) and Morena Baccarin (Firefly) aren’t enough to make me sit and watch V.

I’m glad when my favorite actors and actresses get new jobs, especially if their series ends, or their characters are killed off. I was slightly appalled to see someone comment our most recent Moonlight update saying that Alex O’Loughlin is only that one character for them, and watching him in other projects is difficult. …Because he only ever wants to play a vampire on TV? Come on now!

Here is the comment:

bring it back even if we have to do a spin off and bring alex back when he has filled all of his future commitments and of course if he wants to come back. personally i have a very hard time watching something he is in and trying to separate him from his character on moonlight. (sic)

That’s an actors worst nightmare. They want you to love their series, but they don’t want typecasting or stereotyping to peg them into only one sort of role. Even the longest-running TV series will end eventually, meaning they’ll probably want a new character to tackle. Either way, if you can’t separate an actor from their character that’s just one more obstacle we have in the battle of embracing new TV series.

Let actors grow and move on from projects, and do the same for yourself. Pacey Witter’s grown up, and who knows where he is (other than fanfic writer’s.)  But Joshua Jackson? He’s probably on the set of  Fringe, drinking a cup of joe* and learning lines for a show he loves, and really wants you to watch.

*Fringe might actually be in a hiatus from filming at the moment, but you get the idea. Jackon’s not still climbing up the ladder to Dawson’s room. No disrespect to Dawson’s Creek, but we’ve got to incorporate the new with the old.