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September 22, 2014

Four Thoughts on Season Finales

by Allison Waldman, posted May 27th 2010 11:21AM
big_bang_theory_season_finale_sheldonNow that some time has passed, here's a few thoughts about a few season finales -- including two series finales -- and what writers and producers might learn for future programs (Warning: Spoilers ahead!).

1. Stick to your strengths: 'The Big Bang Theory' smartly addressed the ongoing romance of Penny and Leonard in the finale, but kept us laughing at his and her frustrations over it. They didn't promise a reconciliation, but it sure implied that there's still a lot of simmering romance there. It wouldn't be surprising if they get back together in season four or not. That's smart writing.

They also stuck to their strengths by saving the best gag, Sheldon meeting the female Sheldon, for the pseudo-cliffhanger ending. You don't expect cliffhangers in sitcoms, but this one works. You can't wait to see if Sheldon will have a new relationship with this woman, or if it's just a fleeting social experiment for the scientists.

2. Know the ending before you start: Every season of 'Lost' was filled with mystery and exciting developments, thrilling characters and more and more reasons to stick with the yarn. However, the season finale didn't answer all the questions the series posed and that's because the writers didn't know the ending before they started writing. They cannot convince me that all the twists and turns were just part of the tale that ended in Jack's head. The result was a mediocre finale.

What 'Lost' needed was a Rod Serling on the writing staff. Think about all those fantastic 'Twilight Zone' episodes or the final scene of 'Planet of the Apes' where Charlton Heston saw the crown of the Statue of Liberty. That kind of twist ending was what
'Lost' needed, something jaw-dropping and memorable. If the writers had know that ending before they commenced, it would have all added up and left us far more satisfied.

3. Deliver the goods: Hype is part of the business, but 'The Mentalist' teased a Red John face off with Patrick Jane which turned out to be a bait and switch. Instead of real terror, we got the slasher film version of it including a bunch of college students making a slasher film. Considering the importance of Red John in Jane's life, the ending felt like a cheat.

Sure, he returned to his barren home with the Red John marker on the wall, but there didn't seem to be any startling new development in the 'confrontation.' The mid-season slaughter of Bosco's team by a Red John disciple was more dramatic.

4. Don't destroy the franchise:
For most of the final season, '24' seemed to be intent on destroying Jack Bauer -- and they did ruin the American presidency!!! -- but the satisfying wrap up redeemed Jack just enough to set him off on another adventure in a feature film. The emotional moment with Chloe via drone was a goodbye worthy of the show and their relationship and left Jack with at least one ally for future adventures.

Also, by sending Jack off virtually naked -- no passport, no gun, no money, no cell phone -- but with the Russians out to kill him, creates a great premise for the proposed film. The '24' franchise could be as potent as the Bourne trilogy now, and until Kiefer Sutherland is too old to pull it off, '24' has a lot of life left in the property.

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Angel209

Why is everyone picking on her for one little mistake? So what, it wasn't in Jack's head. It was still a great example of how to ruin a great Sci-Fi show. Yes, Lost was a Sci-Fi show. Sure there were elements of faith throughout the series, but it was promoted and (until the very end) ABOUT science fiction.

By creating this sideways world, they trivialized EVERYTHING that happened on the island; none of it mattered in the end. The ending could have been put on the end of just about any show and made just as much sense. The island story was absolutely epic and THAT was what made you want to keep watching. Almost no one really cared if Kate ended up with Jack or with Sawyer...or Bob Newhart.

So, everyone, please stop bitching about that one little thing; it was a horrible finale to one of the greatest shows I've ever experienced.

On a side note, the only part of the finale that was truly great was Jack's eye closing while Vincent was with him, where it all started(this dog must be a freaking immortal or something to survive on this place).

May 30 2010 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Angel209's comment
Angel209

And by the way, the implication that anyone else is of lesser intelligence because they have a different opinion than you is arrogant and deplorable. The ending of Lost could be interpreted in millions of different(equally disappointing) ways. Maybe Allison saw it as a dream, just as some saw it as purgatory and others saw it as a representation of a time loop. In the end, the side universe was just a way of devaluing the entire show before it; who cares if someone sees it differently?

May 30 2010 at 1:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
st3v3n

how did "none if it matter in the end"? ALL of it happened, ALL of it mattered. They went through 6 seasons, plus flashbacks and flashforwards, of character growth. Then, in Purgatory, they meet each other as a catalyst for remembering their growth together.

June 02 2010 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan

Lost needed a Rod Serling? Much easier said than done. That man was a singular talent.

May 28 2010 at 5:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JTM

wait...Lost was a mediocre finale but 24 was a satisfying wrap up? did this get posted from some Bizarro backwards counter Earth, where cats bark and dogs purr?

May 28 2010 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Aaron

had a whole rant about how a twist ending would have been horrible for lost, then just didn't have the energy to write it.

May 27 2010 at 5:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

I am confused..there was a Red John face off in the finale after he killed the wanna-be's? Did you not understand any of the finales or did you stop with 5 minutes left in each episode?

Also, please don't comment on Lost if you don't understand. It was not all in Jack's head. End of story.

May 27 2010 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ATK

I forget, what happened in the Twilight Zone finale that tied every moment of the series together? Oh that's right, it's an anthology show and they didn't have to deal with having it all fit together. A bit unfair to cite that as an example.

Rod Sterling was an excellent writer, but if you had him on staff he'd probably just say "so we have no idea how long this is going to run or what characters will remain available to us? And you want me to have a rock solid ending that ties it all together like one of my self-contained episodes? How about no."

May 27 2010 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mb

I totally agree about Lost and the Mentalist (I still have the Bosco episode on my DVR). I thought the BBT was not as good as last years.

May 27 2010 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kos Daddy

**** has not employed so many mindless writers... ***

May 27 2010 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kos Daddy

Wow, Nice to know that basically every writer on this site didn't really watch the LOST finale. Thats the explanation im choosing because i would hate to think that a site that i usually love has not employed so many mindless writers...

May 27 2010 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Hewitt

Lost has a silly ending that clearly let most fans of the show down. Bashing Allison won't make it any better.

May 27 2010 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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