Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Finale Word

Last week, at least I think it was last week, Columbus Alive's "TV Diva" devoted her column to a listing of what she considered the best and worst of recent TV show finale episodes. The fact that I'm writing this should tell you that I take issue with at least one of her choices, and I do, indeed, dispute the inclusion of Everybody Loves Raymond's final episode on the "Worst" list.

While I was never a fan of the show, finding it bland and only mildy amusing at best, I felt that the final episode was an entirely appropriate way to end Raymond. Raymond, after all, wasn't a show where big momentous events ever happened; it was, rather, a slice-of-life a sadly typical American family. There were no ongoing plotlines to resolve, loose ends to tie up, or lingering questions to answer, and the episode, especially the last scene, suggested that life would go on for the Barone family just as it always had, even though we weren't going to be watching it anymore. It sort of harkened back to a simple era in network TV, before every series, no matter how short-lived or low rated or just plain awful, had to give itself a big self-congratulatory send off, as, in many ways, did the series itself.
One recent finale that I was quite disappointed in, that of country diva Reba McEntire's eponymous sitcom, Reba, aired just about three weeks ago on the newly forged CW network. All through this final season, the show seemed to be building up to a big finale with several ongoing plotlines; including Barbra Jean's new career as TV weathergirl "Stormy Clearweather," Brock and Barbra Jean's impending divorce, Cheyenne's pregnacy, and Kyra's aspirations to be a rock star; running through the episodes. However, in the actual final segment, the resolution of the divorce storyline was kind of anti-climactic and the other plot threads were simply left hanging loose. All in all, it was one of the most unsatisfying series conclusions ever.

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