Post-Potter Depression Sets In Again As AVPSY Curtains Go Down
Nothing lasts forever, kid. Nothing’s built to.
There’s something cathartic about staying up until 3 AM to watch a dorky Harry Potter parody musical on Youtube, muffling your sobs with an owl-patterned duvet and laughing through your tears.
If you don’t know who Starkid is, you may want to go look them up, because this blog will likely not make sense to you otherwise. If you do know who Starkid is but haven’t had a chance to watch AVPSY yet, you may want to stop reading until you do. I’ll try not to spoil anything, but I will be including quotes from the show.
I discovered AVPM, and by extension Team Starkid, several years ago. I watched the first musical in late 2009 after re-reading the Harry Potter series (yet again) and moping over the fact that there would be no more new releases. I immediately fell in love with the production- it simultaneously strengthened my love for Harry Potter (and fandom) while also allowing me to loosen my grip on the series. It was something to love and look forward to now that the books had ended and the movies were wrapping up. My friends and I became obnoxious serial quoters and my celebrity crush on Darren Criss only worsened as I watched all his Disney covers, spent hours in front of the computer when AVPS was released, and then followed him to Glee. I knew that Glee likely marked the end of the Potter musicals- Darren became terribly busy and more or less moved on from Starkid productions- but I tried not to worry too much. While he was off gallivanting as Kurt Hummel’s dapper boyfriend, the rest of Starkid produced a couple more kickass musicals and did a few tours. I was lucky enough to go to Apocalyptour when it came to my area, and it only made me fall more in love with those geeky theater kids.
So when it was announced that there was going to be a third Harry Potter musical- and that Darren was going to star in it as Starkid’s cocky, obnoxious, and lovable version of HP- well, it kind of made my year. It was completely unexpected, and exactly what I needed.
I was terribly depressed that I couldn’t go to LeakyCon in 2012, but I waited as patiently as I could for the production to be loaded onto Youtube, and what seems like an eternity later, it finally has been. I stayed up until 3 AM last night to watch it. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that hard in my life- not even at the final Harry Potter book release or the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiere. Because the truth is that Starkid, more than anything else, marked the end of Harry Potter for me. And it does it in a way that is desperately necessary for all Harry Potter fans: by tackling what it means to “move on” and “let go” of something that you’ve loved dearly.
You know Harry Potter- he taught me once. He taught me something. He taught me that it’s alright to let go of things that hurt us. He taught me to open my heart up to what’s new. Harry Potter gave me a new family. He taught me how to love. And I guess that’s kind of what Harry Potter’s all about. There comes a time when you have to move on, a time when we have to let even Harry Potter go. And that’s OK.
OK is wonderful.
As far as technicalities go, A Very Potter Senior Year was spot on. The first thing you notice is the video quality. Starkid is no longer a group of college kids putting on silly musicals for their friends- and it shows. Not only do they now have a vast amount of resources, but their talent has improved as well. It was technically a script read, but nearly everybody had their lines memorized, and those that didn’t still performed with such conviction and emotion that you didn’t even notice they had a script. The writing was flawless as always- absurd and funny and ridiculous in all the right places and heartbreaking and emotional in all the others. What really pained me was the end. I was shaking so hard that I had to pause the video for a few seconds to contain myself when I reached act 2 scene 5, and I didn’t really stop crying from there on. The cast reprised two of their most beloved songs- Back to Hogwarts and Days of Summer- and they did it in a way that ripped your heart from your chest. There’s a moment when Darren Criss says, “It has been totally awesome,” and you feel the Earth flip upside down for a few seconds.
Yeah, the musical’s theme is moving on, but I’m not sure if I can ever move on from Harry Potter or from Starkid. I think it will always be a part of me. This is the last Harry Potter related thing to look forward to, and now that it’s over, I’m not really sure what to do with myself. Maybe, in an alternate universe, I’m not the kind of person that spends her time watching geeky parody musicals of her favorite book series in the middle of the night. Maybe there’s a universe where people don’t even make geeky parody musicals- where people can read things and move on from them without a second thought, where people can love something and not feel the need to hold onto it, where fiction doesn’t take a fistful of your heart and drag you kicking and screaming to the end.
Thank God I’m not living in that universe.
Thank you, Team Starkid. I love two things in this world, and one of them is you.