I Am John's Stomach Pains.

On The Precipice of Mediocrity, Teetering

Monday, June 12, 2006

Finale Wrap-Up: Week 3 & Beyond  

Damn, I really wanted to get these thoughts up a while ago... oh well, at least this way I'm able to include some finales that aired this week, too.

24 - No doubt, this was probably my favorite season of 24 I can remember. Ever single episode was amazing, with a combination of all-out action an explosions, along with great character work from supporting players. I hated seeing some of my favorite characters die, but as they say, you gotta break a few eggs to make a great omelet. Anyway, the finale presented both the kick-assery as to be expected in the first hour, with the sub attack and the Prez's abduction handled just amazingly, followed up by the much deserved downfall of the Prez on national TV. And holy hell, that cliffhanger! I called immediately "it's the Chinese!", and Night Nurse was completely confused how I knew, basically because this was the first season she had ever seen, and it was more a continuation of last year. Can't wait for Day Six. Solid A.

House - It's been a few weeks, and I'm still not sure how I feel about the finale. I certainly enjoyed it, even all the talky scenes between House and his shooter, but the fact that the finale was a dream episode is a bit of a downer. Still, the show certainly turned the gross-factor up to eleven with the exploding testicles, so props there (as well as another cringe). Also, it was cool to see fully-healthy House walking around... not sure if I'd want it to be permanent next season, the limp is a cool character trait, but I could go either way. The character interaction continues to impress, and it certainly looks like we may see some House/Cuddy lovin' next year. Only because I found the dream-thing annoying, B+

Lost - I'm gonna keep this short as there's really too much to get into... maybe a summer entry as I suss things out. Personally, all the people who complain that the show is just piling up mystery on mystery with no answers can shut it now, as the final episodes answered a shitload of questions (as well as, admittedly, asking more). But that's what makes a great show. Focusing on Desmond and all of the connections to Widmore/DHARMA, as well as bringing back Clancy Brown was inspiring, and not what one would expect for a show with such an already embedded cast. Sad to see Michael and Walt leave, but you can't really keep a growing kid on the show when time passes so slowly. Finally, while there's a .0001% chance that it's a shout-out to my, the Ozymandias reference with the foot statue was cool. A-

Alias - This series finale wasn't bad... it was worse than that. It was boring. BORING! There's walking through the motions, then there's almost seeing actors looking at their own watches waiting for the scene to end. Holy hell, how can a show that started with such powerful premiere, episode that will go down as some of my favorite hours of television, supporting characters who all deserve Emmy nods, and directors who make better action scenes than most movies, utterly fail in wrapping up a show steeped in mythology and characterization? No explanation as to who Rambaldi was (I can't believe he turned into a McGuffin). A poorly staged fight scene with SpyBarbie & SpyMommy (I says poorly staged as there wasn't so much a fight as cut scenes). A scattered plot that appeared to all come down to money (missiles... are you fucking kidding me with 2 damn missiles?). A timeline that made absolutely no sense. And you know what. I probably could have forgiven all of this if the show was at all interesting! Ugh. Not as bad as S3's finale, but damn, what a letdown for a show that used to be one of my favorites. C-

Everwood - And now on the other end of the spectrum, a series finale that lives up to every episode that came before it. This show was a small little gem in my schedule, no explosions, no sci-fi, just great stories, great actors, great characters, and a small little town that begged you to live there. After The CW unceremoniously canned the show for a return of the already-canned 7th Heaven, Berlanti and Co. had task of turning a season finale into a series, and they pulled it off damn well. I may not be the biggest supporter of the Ephram/Amy romance, or the the Andy/Nina one, but I will admit I squeed a little bit inside with their respective endings. And the possibility of Bright & Hannah getting back together, while a long shot, will still be with me. There were so many other great moments in the finale, including Scott Wolf's great scene in the airport, Rose's reaction to Irv's death and her subsequent invite into the Abbott home, Delia's Bat Mitzvah speech... many others. Just a great (albeit premature) send-off to a show I'm really gonna miss. A

Doctor Who - A few months ago I had written off this show as to goofy for even me to enjoy, but on the urging of Kate, I decided to hold out and give it a shot. Glad I did, as it's become a favorite guilty pleasure for me on the weekends, and the finale delivered probably one of the best sci-fi hours I'd scene in a while. I don't know much about the history of Doctor Who, but the "Ex-ter-min-ate"'s from the Daleks has become one of my favorite repeated lines from a show. The moral dilemma for The Doctor this episode was handled extremely well, and I was thoroughly surprised when he decided he couldn't kill all of humanity. Still, this was Billie Piper's episode to shine, and her portrayal of Rose has gotten better with every episode, culminating in an awe-inspiring episode revealing the nature of the Bad Wolf. I'm extremely sad to see Chris Eccleston leave the role as The Doctor, as he and Piper had a great chemistry. I'll be watching season two, hope it continues with the fun. A-

Boston Legal - Not much to say about the finale for this show, I enjoyed it as much as I've enjoyed other eps, and the appearance of Jeri Ryan was icing on the cake. Shatner & Spader have the best chemistry of any two people on TV right now, possibly from the past decade, and it continues to grow. The Marlene/Denise feud was annoying on many Ally McBeal levels, but seeing as the characters are leaps and bounds better than previous female leads, I can deal. My favorite part of this show is how many in-jokes they have, especially in the dialogue. The closing lines, "To next season, my friend." "Same night?" "God, I hope so" was a classic. For anyone who scoffs at Shatner & Spade winning Emmy's, you are seriously missing out on something enjoyable. B+

CSI: Miami - This show used to be a time-filler for me, a show I watched as I fell asleep. But somehow, this year I became engrossed. David Caruso is still one of the worst actors on TV, with three moves: hands on hips and looking down, slipping on sunglasses, and pointing out the obvious with a "isn't it?" ending every episode, but it's still pretty too watch. The exact opposite of Las Vegas, the show revels in the light, and also unlike Las Vegas, they appear to be able o add to the cast with ease. Kind of a weak cliffhanger, IMHO, but otherwise, guilty pleasure fun. B

How I Met Your Mother - Really the only sitcom I watch anymore, solely because of Neil Patrick Harris' Barney. Loved the finale, as it had not one, but two of the Buffy alum in Alexis Denisof (who's Sandy Rivers cracks me up every time) and Amy Acker. NPH once again brought the funny and carried the show, but it was the destined-to-be-doomed relationship of Ted & Robin that hit me surprisingly hard. Unlike the Ross/Rachel relationship of friends, we the audience know from the get-go that these to do not end up together. It's an interesting dynamic that the show is tackling, looking forward to next season. Only real problem I had was the seeming-split of Marshall and Lily... boo-hoo. B-

posted by Holz | 4:08 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (7)


Loved House--I'm surprised you didn't figure out the dream thing half way through.

CSI Miami is always better when they focus on anyone besides David Caruso. I think they've been working on his character though. Fewer cheeseball lines, and less frequent use of the sunglasses. But "We're going to Brazil" or wherever the hell it was? That was really stupid.

I'm SO glad you've been enjoying Doctor Who! Can't wait for you to see the second season. I had a hard time getting used to losing the 9th Doctor (Eccleston), but you won't be disappointed by David Tennant as the tenth. I've grown to love him just as much, if not more. You'll see. :-)

By Blogger Kate, at 6/14/2006 12:22 AM  

The new Doctor is good, but I think the writing on Season 2 has been weaker. Less cringe enducingly bad episodes (cause RTD hasn't written too many) but I've never been a fan of 'magic' in the Who universe, and this season has had more than a little of the supernatural about it.

By Blogger Manchild, at 6/14/2006 5:23 AM  

MC, you are right--much less overall cringing, but I don't think the writing has been all that bad. I don't really mind the "magic" stuff, especially since some of it gets explained. There have already been a few stand-out episodes (especially Girl in the Fireplace, IMO), and I've loved the references to the old series (K9, Sarah Jane, the Cybermen). Don't want to say anything more, lest I ruin it for Holz and others, but I've gotta say, I've really been enjoying the second season.

By Blogger Kate, at 6/14/2006 9:08 AM  

School Reunion was good, and Girl in the Fireplace was really really good. But I haven't really enjoyed any of the others, myself. Including the Cyberman. All that 'delete' stuff smacked of trying to find a catchphrase as cool as 'exterminate'. And a certain guest star made it seem to me like the writer was cashing in on the emotional depth of someone elses work. Meh.

By Blogger Manchild, at 6/14/2006 10:53 AM  

MC, I've been trying to figure out the guest star to which you are referring... Who is it?

By Blogger Kate, at 6/15/2006 7:10 AM  

The alternate earth / cyberman story?

"Trust me on this"

By Blogger Manchild, at 6/15/2006 8:38 AM  

Okay, if you insist. :-)

By Blogger Kate, at 6/16/2006 8:06 AM  

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Right Now I'm Probably...
Lost, Heroes, 24, Criminal Minds
Brobdingnagian Bards
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Final Fantasy XII
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"It's trying to end the suffering of everything. Do you want to discuss our options? Maybe together we can, you know, workshop?"

"Okay, best way to stop a ten-story godlike monster from destroying existence? I'm gonna go with hitting, you have anything?"

"You took mine."

Wesley and Angel, Angel: After The Fall #15

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Name: Holz
Home: Sonoma County, California
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Ozymandias, DrOzymandias, Darth Angelus, Darque Feonix, Trip McNeely
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"Let a man get away with fuckin' you once, you stay bent over so's he can fuck you again whenever he damn well pleases. An' if one man can do it? Another will too. An' another, an' another still. So's being fucked, that's yer life. 'Til who you were, you ain't. 'Cause all you are is an asshole."
100 Bullets #42