Dear Season Finales

25 May

Dear Season Finales,

Well. We’ve come to the end of another rocky year.  There have been ups, and downs, and highs and lows and all arounds…and no, I don’t watch Lost, so there won’t be any spoilers, and there also won’t be any analysis, and I’m very sorry for your loss (snicker. pun!)

I apologize for that. Anyway. I’m talking sitcoms. The Office. 30 Rock. Community.  Probably Parks and Recreation but I don’t watch that show.  Maybe Modern Family, but I also don’t watch that one (I know I know, I’m getting to it!)

The thing about finales is that there is so much darn pressure on them to do something fascinating and spectacular– but unless it’s a murder mystery or a soap opera, there aren’t a lot of dead bodies to bury (usually), not a lot of murderers to confront (usually), not a lot of brother-sister romantic pairings to reveal DNA to, etc.  Sometimes, there’s not even a seal-the-deal-already romance to give viewers a last, dizzying kiss of the season.

Relationships, especially in the newer sitcoms– like 30 Rock— are about as expendable as Jonathan is to Jack.  They disappear, they reappear, they crop up, they’re gone.  Same in Community.  Did anybody actually know that Annie was dating surfer-hair-hackey-sack-hippie (SHHSH) boy?  I mean, there was that one episode, where she liked him…but he hasn’t been in the last six or so.  Nor has she talked about him.  Or maybe she has.  But it wasn’t important!  And now, come finale time….

and we have fabricated “emotionally-charged” situations.  Annie is leaving with SHHSH, Jenna is breaking up with her me-boyfriend, yada yada yada.

The point is, sitcom season finales have all of the pressure to deliver high stakes drama and cliffhangers, and none of the build-up to wear like support hose when they get there.  They lose track of what has made them funny all season long and chase after implausible storylines (ahem Jeff and Brita and Slater and Annie– have you ever seen pairings with less chemistry???) like nail polish after a run in said hose.

Ahem. So the metaphor maybe doesn’t work, but neither do the season finales.

….but yes, I’ll be back next year.  I’m hoping Matt Damon makes (ir)regular appearances on 30 Rock for a long time to come (how awesome will that be?).  And Community, instead of fighting it, should embrace the fact that it’s one of the first (is it the 2nd, after 30 Rock?) sitcoms without a major romantic storyline between two of its main characters (proven once and for all: just because people are attractive does not mean they have any chemistry whatsoever. Thanks, Community. The scientists can now rest).  Just think, it won’t face the problem The Office now has: giving up the goods too early and losing a major source of interest for the show.

How DID Friends do it for so. many. years?

Love,

MM

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4 Responses to “Dear Season Finales”

  1. skhor 26 May 2010 at 11:10 am #

    I know you’re no longer a detractor, but I’d like to point out that the Grey’s finale had me bawling for 1.3567 hrs, yes, yes, I DID count.

    This is in comparison to last season’s finale, where I only cried for .209 hrs.

  2. margaret michelle 26 May 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    not only did you count, but you did MATH. because there are not 100 minutes in an hour, and so to figure out those decimals you had to CONVERT things and stuff. which maybe makes you more of a nerd than the fact that you still watch that stupid tv show.

    not, you’ll notice, that you cried: one of the reasons I stopped watching was because I got sick of how often that show expected me to (and succeeded in making me) cry. just like that stupid here on earth movie…and any and all nicholas sparks movies…

  3. skhor 26 May 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    ……you give me too much credit (blame?). I made those numbers up. But I do know that it was for more than 1 hrs of the two hour finale. Did you know that 68% of statistics are made up on the spot? (Chew on that one…..)

    PS I Love You – the movie, not the sentiment – another tear jerker where you kinda have to cry or you’re not human. Or you don’t have ovaries.

  4. elizabeth 10 June 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    season 2 of parks & recreation is *so* good. mouse rat will blow your mind. please, add it to your list!

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