It has been a while since I last posted but it’s been a busy few weeks. With the recent endings of several shows on the boob tube (been kind of tough since I don’t have cable) it’s kind of hard to keep up to date on most programs. Recently two television programs of which I have thoroughly enjoyed throughout the years have come to a conclusion. The best part is that they are two totally different types of program. One is an animated sitcom and the other is a live action drama. Which brings me to my thoughts on the pomp and circumstance on what is series finales.
A series finale is the end all be all. It’s the final episode of a show and it should be something memorable. There is that one moment where you will remember it for as long as that show is discussed. I have seen my fair share of finales ranging from Friends to Scrubs to 30 Rock. Each one had their own memorable end, well with the relative exception of 30 Rock which was never really a normal show to begin with. Granted it is different when you are talking sitcoms in comparison to dramas or action shows. It would be a vastly different way to end say The Office than ending Game of Thrones.
I will always remember how Rachel ended up with Ross one final time. How JD and Elliot got married finally. How Liz Lemon finally got that family. It will always be a basic formula for these programs to do it that way, when you have a main male and or female protagonist and there is that sexual tension or there is that long term dream that was never fulfilled. But then does the series finale have too much to live up to? Would Friends be as fondly remembered if Ross and Rachel never got together. I mean they had gotten together several times throughout the ten season run but at the same time, they had a kid and we already saw Monica and Chandler get together and raise a family, do we really need more Ross and Rachel shoved down our throats? The same could be said for JD and Elliott. That relationship was walked down multiple times but in the end JD got his girl after every time he had her he didn’t want her.
Sitcoms are about characters going through real world scenarios at least in the aforementioned programs and it is seen in the run of the program. I cannot comment on how the American version of the Office has ended since I am two seasons behind but from what I have heard it delivered. And once more to the point, it is the end all be all, Can you name one program that didn’t bring you that teary goodbye? Off the top of my head I can’t. And this is where the finale of Futurama comes in.
Seven seasons off and on (totaling almost 14 years) and we end with Fry and Leela breaking time and living a life together only to end with one of the most heartfelt goodbyes from a show of such caliber. You could argue that the first several seasons (the original run) was the best but the way it ended, it didn’t feel right for a whole show but for that show it was. After a short lived run on Comedy Central we as not just fans but as casual viewers as well were treated to an end that brought several tears.
But was there really a need for all that pomp and circumstance? The answer in short is yes. Series finales are needed, at least in the way that I am talking about. The entire final season was a love letter to the fans and it was a goodbye from the characters from the episode where Fry gets to see his mother to the one where Zoidberg gets love it was a love letter from the writers to the fans. And this is why sitcom finales are so moving. If only to remind you of the fun ride that you had for the years.
But what about the non sitcoms? Breaking Bad just ended it’s five year run a few weeks ago and there is that vast empty feeling. The plot wrapped up, and the ending was just and fulfilling but to what end? I know as a fan of the show I felt that the ending was not what we all expected and it didn’t live up to the hype we got at the beginning of the season. But it was logical. It was the end that made the most amount of sense that fit the universe that it took place in. But this is a whole different beast. I know it sounds weird to talk about it in such a light but a drama finale doesn’t have that same feel that the sitcom does. While a sitcom may not have the overarching plot of a drama it makes more creative ways.