Thursday, May 22, 2014

What I'm Watching: Finales Part II

Ending things can be tough.


A season ending is tricky, because you have to wrap things up, and maybe leave a little question at the end of the season so that people will come back next year.


And then there’s a series ending, which is tougher, because you have to wrap up everything, but still leave just the smallest little crack open in the event that everything that comes out next year crashes and burns and they have to bring you back for another 13 episodes.


I’m still covering beginnings and endings, so here’s part two of that – which is all endings, this time around.


Warehouse 13:


I wanted to start with this show just because, even though it took a while to get great, it did make it there.


And then it went back to being good.


(Here I’m talking about the series as a whole…)


I think it’s that “good” –ness that prevented the show from running longer.  When I read that the final season was going to be a mere six episodes to wrap everything up, no protests were launched, no write-in campaigns to make it keep going were put out in the world.




Instead, we got a quick final season, one that shunted off Myka’s cancer and said, “Uh, that’s not important,” and tore through Claudia’s sister story at Mach 5.


And look, we knew this is what we were getting into.  So they told it as best they could, but if we’re being honest, there was NO way to get all the parts and pieces to land emotionally in six episodes.


And in the end, they didn’t even have six.  They crammed it into five so they could get to the finale.


Was that the right choice?  Yeah, I think it was.  Another episode wouldn’t really have helped their case, and it would have brought the show to a sudden halt with no emotional closure, I think.


And even with the sister storyline, they snuck in a couple of fun side quests to a Ren Faire and a Mexican soap opera, complete with callbacks to old characters.  It was a chance to hang out with these guys one last time, and for me that made the first give worthwhile.


The struggle of the final episode is, of course, whether to end things completely, or whether to just end, and say that tomorrow is another day.


And Warehouse 13 split that hair.  Everyone is told the Warehouse is moving, and that a new staff will come on when it goes to another country.  So they all have to put their defining moment into a sort of time capsule…


Which means they get to sneak a few extra “lost” capers into the show.  And have a clips show of a sort.  And…


The thing of it is, they did it all. They even put Pete and Myka together, which was sweet, though I’m not sure how many people were clamoring for it. 


And at the end, they’re off to work another case, with the Warehouse moving “sometime in the future.”


I don’t think the final season of Warehouse was perfect, because it was just a little too truncated.  Perhaps ten episodes might have been enough…


But the finale tried, and succeeded, at giving everyone everything they could have wanted. 


At the very least, I feel okay saying goodbye.


American Idol:


Word has already come down that next season will fill 37 hours instead of more than 50, that they want to get the same set of judges back, and that they think the season went all right, and…


If I could abandon the show, I would.  But I’m guessing my wife will be interested in what comes next.


For me, it was a year of larger and larger disappointments.  Once again, two people I don’t want a record from went head-to-head.  Nothing against them, I just don’t care about what’s next from them.


As for Alex, who I finally decided I was kinda rooting for?  The day he was cut, I went online and decided to download all his songs from the season.  Only I guess he didn’t record a bunch of them.  Including a couple I considered essential.


So, meh.


Even Jena, whose finest performance was almost certainly I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You?  I hope you didn’t want to hear that again, because you can’t download it anywhere.


Ultimately, the best thing I got out of the season was the knowledge that there’s a musical artist named Mali Music, and that he wrote a really lovely song called Beautiful.  I wish his record was out already.


And here’s hoping Alex doesn’t vanish, the way every single person from last year on Idol did…


The Big Bang Theory:


You know what surprises me? 


Big hasn’t had any real reason to change over the years.  Reruns of the show often pull in twice as many viewers as new episodes of shows going up against it.  Even on cable, in long-ago reruns, it crushes other competition.


And yet, they’ve been trying to fix the show just the same. 


The characters have moved forward, growing and changing.  The character who couldn’t talk to girls can do so now.  Sheldon has made emotional progress.  The on-again-off-again relationships have all worked themselves into a normalized on-again.


I still think there are probably a few too many nerd jokes, and simple references, but… you know what?  I’m going to let it go, for no other reason than because I get a few decent laughs from the show every week.


And more importantly, the writers seem to be trying.  Credit where credit is due, folks.




So… so the spin-off didn’t happen.  And they killed a main character.  And now… he’s a demon.


Aaaannnnndddd… I’m happy.  This was a big, sprawling season, with some monster of the week stories and some bigger and badder big bads that got the characters deeper and deeper into trouble, which doesn’t even seem possible nine seasons in.


And yet.


Some people are into this idea, and some people are writing it off as something that will just revert to the status quo halfway through the next season, as many of these storylines do.


Will it?  That’s an excellent question, for which I have no real answer.  I just hope the writers do.


And after two highly enjoyable seasons, I trust the writers.



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