Monday, December 3, 2007

Endings

[First, an update on the alcoholic environment of my job: we're having our holiday party on Thursday at the office (strike = no extra money to go someplace fancy). We got more details today: "Cocktails and heavy hors d'ouvres. Taxi vouchers will be provided for those who require car service home." Niiice. If only I wouldn't have to pay $40+ for a cab ride to get to work again Friday morning.]

I finally caught up with season three of Weeds. Overall the season was a bit disappointing, but the finale was fantastic...and strangely final. My friend Lee, Entertainment Weekly and I all agree that it would have been a perfect series finale. It's funny, because usually series finales disappoint and annoy me. One of the things I love about television is that shows can live on for years while features tend to fade away three weeks after they open. Characters on TV have the chance to grow and evolve in ways we never anticipated - while watching the Friends pilot, did you ever think Monica and Chandler would get married? Nope...but it makes perfect sense later on. However, this all makes ending a series - especially a long-running one - a difficult task. While screenwriters generally envision their ending before even writing Fade In, TV writers can't think this way because of so many outside forces (networks, actors, etc etc). But back to why I hate most finales - it's because the shows try to do way too much. They'll unnaturally fast forward twenty years in the future (ahem, OC, Will & Grace) even though each season spanned a few months at most. They'll try to wrap everything up in a neat little forced package.

But WEEDS. (SPOILER ALERT!) My goodness. It was characteristically hilarious and tragic - and relevant - as wildfires ripped through the neighborhood, threatening to torch Nancy's house, Celia's house, the grow house, the marijuana plants, the places that simultaneously constituted every character's livelihood and every character's unhappiness. It was all so fucking poetic. And it all came back to the beginning, the very reason why Nancy started this dangerous life in the first place: Judah's death. "I tried," Nancy tells him breathlessly, spilling gasoline all over the kitchen floor, hoping she can move on from this three-season detour from her normal life. No neat little package. No unnatural passage of time. Just the characters as they always have been, living their equally comic and tragic lives, realizing how they've come so far just to be right back where they started: grieving, struggling, making mistakes.
Don't get me wrong, I'll be thrilled to watch season four...but I doubt any finale will be more perfect than that episode.

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