MASSIVE SPOILERS AFTER THE BREAK
Not enough taking place at the wedding if you ask me.
As the gang prepares to go to Robin and Barney’s wedding, Ted invites Lily to see the house he’s finally finished fixing up. Meanwhile, Robin and Barney’s night of relaxation is ruined by an obnoxious couple (Casey Wilson and Keegan-Michael Key), and Marshall takes the baby on a last-minute trip to Minnesota to see his family.
Yes, all of this. Disastrous finale, not by the outcome but by the ludicrous “live” format. (Spoilers of the winner within.)
Hate on Fox all you want for canceling ‘Firefly’, ‘Arrested Development’ and every other bold fan favorite, they did one thing right. Whether it was TV audience splintering over the last twenty years (that helped ‘Chuck’ in a very similar fashion), the diehard dedication of the fandom, or Fox putting its trust and time into another experiment, against all odds the weird, strange, wonderful show that was ‘Fringe’ was given five seasons. And a chance to tell its story to its rightful end.
The series finale, while not especially revelatory, was a moving tribute to the show’s history and fans. It packed its running time with call backs and references, brought back once-forgotten characters and gave all of its main cast deep scenes to play. For a show that always delivered on big character emotions (mixed in with its science fiction), it was a return to form in the finale. John Noble particularly capped off a career-defining role with the same skill and dedication that he’s shown for five years, but brought everything full circle and made all of the “finale” moments land without seeming too overt. Noble is the next Bryan Cranston, mark my words. [Special credit should go to Michael Ceveris as well for turning a role that was a glorified extra in season one to one of the most sympathetic, lived-in characters by season five. Seriously, his performance sold so much of these final episodes.]
‘Fringe’ had its fair share of missteps over the years and even tonight’s finale wasn’t flawless. (The generous array of bullets through the fog in the final battle scene felt superfluous, hindered by the editing and staging of the set piece on top of it.) But when you go for what they went for, it’s bound to happen. ‘Fringe’s big swings and big ideas will surely outlast its hiccups and hopefully Fox, the creators and the rest of the television industry will continue to take chances on adventurous network programming.
If you stuck with ‘Fringe’ till the end, I don’t need to tell you how powerful and original the series was. If for nothing else, its creativity will be sorely missed.
Because it’s cool.
[On a personal level, ‘Fringe’ has been one of my favorite shows throughout its entire run and one that I reference most of my taste on. I am immensely satisfied with the ending and so glad that they got a chance to explore the season five story and bring it to its conclusion.]
Traielr: ’Fringe’ Series Finale | THR
Sepinwall asks all the right questions, not only about the (satisfying, mind-bending, and supremely done) Awake finale, but Killen’s two attempts at network drama in general.
Here’s the director’s cut of last night’s pitch perfectParks and Recreation | NBC
This is what May 17th is going to look like. Very peculiar…
8:00 Community — “The First Chang Dynasty”
8:30 30 Rock season finale
9:00 Community — “Introduction to Finality”
9:30 Community — “Digital Estate Planning” (season finale)
If you enjoyed the Homeland finale, I highly recommend watching Julia Loktev’s 2006 independent film, Day Night Day Night.
I’ve recommended it before, but now is as good a time as ever, considering its thematic relevancy to the Showtime drama. Available on Netflix Instant and Amazon (DVD, VOD). If you do end up watching it, let me know what you think.
Also, did anyone else have a strange desire to listen to Next to Normal after watching Homeland’s final scene? Just me? Okay then.
RIP: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Series finale will air 1/13/12. Franchise continues as specials.— Joe Adalian (@TVMoJoe) December 15, 2011
imwithkanye asked: I would love your thoughts on the Entourage series finale and the rumored movie to follow.
As far as coherent storytelling goes it wasn’t very good. Character motivations were wildly inconsistent and disturbingly abrupt. The most appalling being Sophia, who went from pragmatic journalist to sure-I’ll-get-married-after-one-date.
The show fell into the trap of putting forth big changes to seem momentous (Marriage! Babies! Let’s quit our jobs!) when it could have served them better to stick to their roots - a day in the life of a movie star and his inner circle. I would have loved to see something much more subtle and an ending that didn’t hinge on huge change.
And yet there were flashes of what the show was. The episode was kind of funny, in an almost self reflexive way. Ari hiring the opera singers was too grandiose and trite to be taken seriously. The epilogue was perhaps one of the better moments of the entire series (there I said it).
Unless there’s going to be some real earned conflict and none of this superficial “It always works out for us” nonsense, a movie is completely unnecessary.
mattnvryan asked: What makes (or breaks) a good series finale? Happy endings? Closed endings? Open endings? Last minute twists/storylines?
For me a finale should be consistent and true to the overall show. In this regard, a happy ending is only necessary if it calls for one - sometimes a happy ending isn’t going to be in line with the show (for example, Breaking Bad better not have a happy ending).
As far as closed vs. open endings, I prefer a mix of both. With episodic television it’s comforting to imagine that the characters you loved and followed continue to exist somewhere. On the other had, without some kind of closure on the series and an inkling of character development it can all seem for naught.
That said, trying to force unnatural character development or absurd left turns in the finale (Entourage did this to some extent) isn’t staying true to the show and negates years of viewer loyalty, unless they’ve been set up for such.