Thursday, May 23, 2019

All Done

From the start I should state that there have been two, in my experience, and only two satisfying finales to a series on television. The first was Newhart. and if you have never seen it to appreciate the cleverness of its manipulation of our realities, maybe you should skip clicking on that link up there because you deserve to live through the entire eighteen year combined odyssey Bob took us through. As jokes go, you have to admire the patience in that setup.
The second, primarily by date rather than preference, is Breaking Bad. Hearing Badfinger chime in with their line, "Guess I got what I deserved," and watching the clock wind down on Walter White at last was cathartic for those of us who stayed on the tired RV until it came to a stop. Almost beyond words. But since I came up with "cathartic," I might as well add "amazing" and "satisfying." Those words come close, anyway.
Which leaves the rest of television with which we can haggle. My wife and I checked into the last episode of The Big Bang Theory only to discover (spoiler alert) that the elevator had been repaired. I have no complaints with the maintenance of the building in which they lived, but there was a safety and comfort to the way things ended up with dreams fulfilled and wishes granted. We watched long enough to see "the gang" hanging around the apartment one last time, sharing takeout. No reason to mess with success, I suppose.
Historically, I suppose The Mary Tyler Moore Show had its charm, as finales go.  And M*A*S*H just went on and on in hopes of plucking ever last heartstring. Which makes me glad that I was only a casual viewer of The Sopranos, since the hardcore fans remain frustrated by the ambiguity of that final scene.
Then there's Game of Thrones. So many friends of ours stared blankly at us for so long when we confessed that we hadn't watched, including our son, we decided to hop on the dragon's back and go for the ride. I only lasted through the first season. My wife clung more tightly and she stuck with it right to that last murky shot. And I won't be giving anything away to say that the planet sat in grumbling disbelief as the curtain came down. "Is that all there is? Is that all there is to a fire?" That sound you hear is the whimper of the long-awaited culmination of all that blood and sex and bloody sex. I was asleep, but my wife needed to wake me up to express her disappointment.
Or maybe it was all some crazy dream.

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