Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Best Series Finales.

I just happened across the news that St. Elsewhere is going to be released on DVD at the end of the month, and it got me thinking that: 1. It is far and away the best television show set in a hospital, and 2. As much as it gets ripped on, I thought it had one of the best series finales EVER.
And that got me thinking about series finales in general. And then a light bulb went off above my head...Hey, that sounds like a fuckin' LIST waiting to happen...And sure enough, here it is: Paticus' All-Time Favorite Series Finales. In no particular order. I WILL reveal the finales, so you have been warned !!

1. St. Elsewhere: As I said, i know this has become a much maligned series finale, but I really liked the fact that the whole series was happening inside the head of the autistic kid. I thought it was a little weird that he had killed off the character that looked like his grandfather, but other than that, I kinda dug it. So sue me.

2. Newhart: the BEST it "was all a dream" moment ever. To have the show be a dream of Bob Hartley from Bob Newhart's first sitcom was genius !! And, it was another chance to see Suzanne Pleshette. Plus, the Darryls finally talked !!

3. Quantum Leap: This one broke my heart. It was so good, and so appropriate. It makes me cry, quite frankly. And I can never hear "Georgia On My Mind"by Ray Charles without thinking of Sam "having a wrong to put right for Al."...and Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home. Edit: I was asked for, and left, a much more detailed description of the final Quantum Leap in the comments.

4. Seinfeld; Not that I thought it was their best episode or anything, but as someone who had watched the show from the VERY beginning(when it was called the "Seinfeld Chronicles"), I thought it was a very fitting end for these 4 incredibly self centered people. I thought it was awesome. And pretty damn funny.

5. Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Though I liked the false series finale two years earlier better, I still thought this was a pretty good way for this show to end. Buffy spreading her power to women/girls all over the globe. My only problem is that they killed Anya(I would rather they killed Xander, quite frankly, AND Principal Wood),and showed such disrespect for her afterwards.

6. Arrested Development:Just as twisted and convoluted and BRILLIANT as the rest of the show. Talk about a show going out on top. I had mixed feelings about it, because as much as I miss it, it never lost it's edge. it never became the X-Files, a show that should have stopped three years before it did. I kind of appreciate that.

7. I Married Dora: I loved this one...The Dad gets on a flight, then comes back off, and says it's been cancelled, and the family says, "Your flight ?" And he says "No, our series." It's fucking awesome.

8. Kids In The Hall: The boys being buried alive, and Paul Bellini dancing on their grave ? How does it get any better than that ?

EDIT: 9. Twin Peaks: How the fuck did I forget Twin Peaks ? Cliffhanger after cliffhanger-never to be resolved !! Agent dale Cooper, inhabited by BOB ? "How's Annie ? How's Annie ? How's Annie?" The finale was brilliant. The show was brilliant. It still is. they just need to release it all on DVD, those bastards !!

Okay, I think that's all I can think of right now. Did I miss any ? Please, share your favorites as well.


Avitable said...

I might have to use this one - it's a good idea.

For those of us who don't know, how did Quantum Leap end?

Paticus said...

Avitable- Feel free. I look forward to reading it.
Quanum Leap- The final episode, Sam leaps into a bar, and actually sees himself in the mirror. The owner of the bar is named Al(played by Bruce McGill.) and seems to know about Sam.(is he god ? maybe maybe not-they never really say) Then several of the people that Sam has dealt with in the past come in, but they are all coal miners in this town, they are not the people he remembers them as. And his Al(Dean Stockwell) cannot find him. Al does eventually find him. It turns out that Sam leaped here at the moment of his birth.There are all kinds of coincidences with names and such.
Sam spends the episode soul searching, and helps save some miners who are trapped. Then, he sees one of the coal miners turn blue and disappear, just like he does when he leaps.
Sam thinks that the bartender is the one who has been leaping him, but he eventually comes to realize that he(Sam) has been at least partly in control all the time. sam wonders about the use of helping one person at atime, and Al(god ?) says that he ahs dione more than that, the people he touched, touched others, and those people, others.
The bartender asks Sam where he wants to go, and Sam says "I want to go home.But I can't. I have a wrong to put right for Al. But you knew that, didn't you ?" The bartender puts his hand on Sam's shoulder, and says "God bless, Sam." Then Sam leaps.
He leaps into Al's house(where he had been in an earlier episode, but refused to tell Al's wife that Al was still alive and a POW, and that he would eventually come home, because it was not why he was there. Al's wife thinks that Al is dead, and gets remarried. Al is never the same)and tells Al's wife that he has a story to tell her.
He Then says, "Al's alive, and he's coming home." She starts to cry. The camera closes in on a picture of AL, which turns all blue like when Sam leaps.
Then there a a few frames of text.it reads(i'm paraphrasing)
Beth never remarried.
She and Al ahve 5 daughters, and will celebrate their 39th anniversary.
Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home.

I glossed over some stuf.I would suggest you try and see it. It's a really great episode.

Avitable said...

Cool, thanks for the summary. I really enjoyed that show and to a lesser extent Sliders, when they were on the air.

Feral Mom said...

Does the last show of a series that only had one season count as a "season finale"? If so, I'd add "Freaks and Geeks" to your excellent list.

Paticus said...

Avitable- You are very welcome. i don't know that I really did it justice. I never watched Sliders, i'll have to look into that.

Feral Mom- D'oh !! Of course "Freaks And Geeks" counts. i can't believe I forgot that one. even if it wasn't one of the all time greatest shows on television(which, of course, it was- Stupid NBC), just the fact that the series finale was built around "American Beauty" would qualify it for the list. Good call, Feral Mom.