Posted by: Graeme McMillan on May 25, 2007
Because you kind of demanded it – Well, “Viewer” did, even if he’s apparently part of BBC Canada and therefore may be biased! No comics! Just season (and series) finales of TV shows!
GILMORE GIRLS: I have to admit, I kind of stopped caring about halfway through the season, and kept watching mostly out of apathetic momentum. I found myself in love with this show thanks to a combination of ABC Family reruns of the entire series and being home sick one afternoon, so perhaps I was spoiled by the idea of daily episodes and wittier writing, but too much of this last season seemed to be slow and often nonsensical; you could tell that the writers really didn’t know what to do with its characters (Especially Logan at the end of the series: “I love you so much, I can’t be without you. Marry me.” “I can’t.” “Okay, I’m leaving you.” Wait, what?), and spent the last twenty-odd episodes with plots that stopped, started and went nowhere. Nothing felt organic or even that believable, which may be why I ended up so forgiving of a final episode so entirely unorganic and unrealistic. Instead of complaining that, wait, Rory just all of a sudden gets offered a job covering Obama’s campaign for the year and has to leave in three days, and how exactly did Luke manage to sew all of those dropcloths together overnight on his own, I was just somewhat relieved that everyone was getting something resembling a happy ending, no matter how unrealistic. I wanted the characters that I’d enjoyed so much earlier to rest in a kind peace, instead of end up in uncomfortable angst-ridden faux cliffhanging permanence. As an episode in and of itself, it would probably have been unsatisfying and annoyingly full of writerly laziness, but as the end of a disappointing season, it was surprisingly Good.
But I’m glad that it’s out of its recent misery, nonetheless.
LOST: If nothing else, I hope that someone in the make-up department got a raise for the subtle-but-noticable way that they managed to age Matthew Fox in the fake-out “flashback” sequences – Ignore the beard, as hard as that was, and you’d notice the flecks of grey in his hair, which has receded ever so slightly from his time on the island. I’m not so convinced about the twist at the end of this episode – It makes me think of the time jump at the end of the second season of Alias, which just ended up being abused and derailing the series in the third season as the writers realized that they really had no idea what to do with the idea. Yes, it makes for a good shocking reveal at the end of a season, but how is the show going to follow up on everything now that we know that they do get off the island?
Much more interesting was everything that was happening in the island timeframe – We had action and adventure and death-defying Russian assassin men with one eye! We had Hurley in a van knocking over the bad guys! Locke back from the dead, and more importantly, back from the crippled – again! Explosions! This season started with some really weak episodes, and it’s kind of amazing to consider how much has improved in its second half; its as if the writing staff looked at Heroes and thought, wait, we don’t have to have impossibly slow storytelling where we drag things out for weeks on end! We can have episodes that provide some forward momentum for a change! Somewhere around the episode where Hurley found his van, the plot kicked back in and the show became fun again, and more importantly, compelling again.
The end of the season was a series of moments that you’ve wanted to see all along (albeit punctuated by the flash-forwards that I’m not sure really added that much to the whole thing) – It was Very Good, and enough to make the wait until January next year seem disturbingly long. Here’s hoping that it’ll give the writers enough time to work out what exactly to do with Future Jack and his magic beard.
VERONICA MARS: This was the depressing one – After another uneven season (Did any show outside of the cancelled OC have a really strong season all the way through this year?), the last two episodes of VM ended up being the strongest the show has been since the first season, and also – not coincidentally – the darkest. For all its Nancy Drewness, this has always been a show about a moral ambiguous heroine who doesn’t recognize where the line is, so it’s weirdly fitting that the (unintended) final episode is all about how incredibly fucked up Veronica makes the lives of everyone around her – Her father gives up his principles and his ambition to protect her, Wallace ends up semi-naked and electrocuted, Logan… well, he could’ve had a series of his own to deal with his self-destructive issues, which Veronica only amplified. And at the same time, Veronica herself went singlemindedly along, not even recognizing those whole breaking-and-entering, theft, manipulating her friends things as being not so good for the hero of the piece. It was both Excellent and surprisingly bleak, and would have been even if the show was continuing for another year; as it is, leaving the series with Weevil returning to a life of crime, Keith about to probably lose the vote to keep his job, and Veronica a social outcast again returned everything to the way the first season began and provided an accidental and wonderful circular feeling to the whole series.
That said: Veronica Mars, The OC and Gilmore Girls all ending this year? Whatever am I going to replace these shows with next year? Unlike Hibbs, I liked the look of that Bionic Woman trailer, and Josh Schwartz and Amy Sherman-Palladino both have new projects coming up… I may not be Tim Goodman, but if any BBC Canada or other channels want to send me any screeners, I’d be happy to watch them in the name of scientific review, of course…
Meanwhile, much more importantly: It’s Jeff Lester’s last day at the store today, and as much as I wanted to do some kind of fake review of him with the punchline being that he’s Excellent, it’d be kind of unnecessary; not content with being the moving force behind this blog (I don’t think Brian would disagree with that that much), a voice of sanity and humor when needed and the kind of Kirbyhead who gets excited when the Devil Dinosaur omnibus is announced, he’s also the kind of man who emails to congratulate me when I manage to work P!nk, Elliott Smith and the muppets into the same post. With no snark or sarcasm, he’ll be very very much missed around these here parts.
And, no, I won’t be that nice or sentimental when I see him this evening.