We last revisited this discussion almost 4 years ago. The discussion will resume on April 1, following the finale of How I Met Your Mother, which seems to have no possible ending that isn’t a train wreck.
It’s been 45 years since the final episode of The Fugitive aired (45 years?? Holy crap!), and I will go out on a limb and say that no television program before or since has had a greater final scene (though the second Newhart series comes close). I’m not talking about a final episode, mind you (though The Fugitive’s final episode as a whole was pretty damn good as well), but the very final scene: Kimble leaving the courtroom, Bob waking up.
Can anybody explain to me why there’s so much controversy about Chaz Bono competing on Dancing With the Stars? What’s the mindset here: “OMG, an LGBT person dancing? You allow that, and next thing you know you’ll have gay professional dancers!”
I am still in shock over how mind-bogglingly awful last night’s Lost finale was — especially since for a show that’s essentially a multi-year puzzle, the final episode makes or breaks the entire run. Still, this is where to discuss that.
Just to get the ashen taste out of my mouth, I’m reposting the 2008 discussion about best endings…
(Warning: Even though this is the wrong thread for discussions of the Lost finale, there are in fact spoilers below) Continue Reading »
I’m hoping for a good send-off — the writing has certainly improved over the past couple of seasons — but realistically I don’t think there’s any way they can tie everything together in a way that makes any sense: they spent too much time throwing in everything including the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, and the toilet down the hall. Maybe they’ll just streamline the ton of series mythology, ignoring 95% of it. Maybe they’ll try to fit all the pieces together and end up with an X Files type mess.
Or a Battlestar Galactica style “Yeah, we really have no idea either.”
Or maybe the writers actually had a plan all along (though isn’t that what they said about the Cylons, until they didn’t?), and we’re in for a glorious, stunning finale.
I’m not holding my breath, though.
A couple of years ago, we discussed worst-ever television endings. There were 68 comments and to spare anybody from repeating themselves now, I’m tacking this onto the old discussion rather than starting a new one.
August 30, 2008:
So Grandpa Jim will remain on death’s door for eternity. How uplifting.
This monstrosity made me think about the worst television endings ever. I doubt there are many Star Trek fans who wouldn’t name Enterprise’s finale as one of the worst ever. Quantum Leap was another stinker.
Of course, a great many television series simply go off the air and don’t have finales at all — and some go on for too many seasons and stink so bad by the end that any finale is a mercy killing (I’m sure some of you are thinking FBOFW falls into this category, so I’ll save you the trouble of pointing that out) — but the question before us here is: Worst television finale ever (or to put it in a more trendy way, worst. television. finale. ever.)
Ever notice how just about every comic strip and television show containing teenagers works in at least one storyline about the kid running up a monstrous text messaging bill? Is there a single American family with teenagers and cell phones that doesn’t take the unlimited texting option (which every wireless company offers)?
Are the writers so divorced from reality that they aren’t aware of this? Or is this like the “look at all the snow; so much for global warming, ha ha ha” gag where they just assume their audience is ignorant?
(Just for the record, without unlimited texting, my 16-year-old son’s average monthly bill would be about $350)
Mostly because it’s so rare to be able to use imbroglio in a sentence.
A few months ago, the prevailing narrative was that NBC and Jay Leno were eeeeevil because NBC wanted to give Jay Leno his 11:30 timeslot back and shift Conan to midnight. Today we hear that TBS has signed Conan to do an 11:30 show. George Lopez currently hosts a talkshow on TBS during that time; but that’s okay, they’re going to shift him to midnight.
So far there’s no indication that either Conan or his vocal supporters sees any irony here.
A pivitol Doctor WHo episode was aired in England today — if you’re a fan you know what I mean and if you’re not, there’s nothing gained by explaining — which won’t be shown in the United States and Canada for a couple of months. What I’m not understanding is why they don’t broadcast it on this side of the Pond (on BBC America) today as well. This question applies just as well to other programs, of course.
What is the possible downside of letting this air on American television on the same day? There’s no technological or logistical problem, of course. It’s not taking anything away from the BBC or the British public. And in the specific case of Doctor Who, it’s a safe bet that 97.3% of all American fans know how to and will simply download the episode tonight — which is what I’m doing — rendering the eventual American broadcast rights virtually worthless. My wife discusses Doctor Who and Torchwood (a spinoff) episodes online with friends and no exaggeration, not one of them is aware of when any of the episodes ran on American television.
If BBC America showed today’s episode tonight, they’d have a huge audience (by BBC America standards). Two months form now, American fans will be downloading and watching the start of the following Doctor Who season.
Okay, how old do you have to be to have seen these on anything near a regular basis? For that matter, I’d imagine the window of opportunity for seeing test patterns in color must have been fairly brief.