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Showing posts with the label Series Finales

Gather Up the Dolls: The End of FOX's "Dollhouse"

I've had a very complicated relationship with Joss Whedon's Dollhouse , the metaphysical action series that wraps up its troubled run tonight on FOX with "Epitaph Two: The Return." While I felt that there were moments of genius among the forced procedural element, the convoluted storylines, and gaping plot holes, Dollhouse often just left me pounding my head against the wall in frustration at times. I never felt like Eliza Dushku's Echo became a gripping enough central character to anchor the series, which was always much more interesting when the focus shifted to that of Dollhouse's supporting players like Dichen Lachman, Enver Gjokaj, Olivia Williams, or Fran Kranz. (The latter of which grew on me exponentially as the series wore on.) But rather than shift into a full-blown ensemble, the action continually circled back to Dushku's Echo and Tahmoh Penikett's Paul Ballard, easily the two least interesting of the bunch. (Lachman's Priya/Sierra a

Emotionally Invested Detectives: One Last Look at ABC's "The Unusuals"

I'm really going to miss The Unusuals . Given that the series ended last Wednesday evening without much fanfare, you might be wondering why I'm bringing this up now. I was on vacation so have only just gotten the chance to watch the final installment of ABC's tragically underrated cop drama The Unusuals ("EID"), written by Danny Zuker, and was not only impressed by the way it seemed to effortlessly fuse serious character beats, zany cases (this week's involved a serial accuser and break-and-enter gonzo porn), and off-kilter humor. Throughout its (far too) short run, The Unusuals --created by Noah Hawley ( Bones )--has always played by its own rules. Much like the dynamo partnership of Casey Shraeger (Amber Tamblyn) and Jason Walsh (Jeremy Renner), one of the best mismatched cop partners on television. Ever. Her wounded rich girl shtick was diametrically opposed to his low-key salt of the earth approach but they found a supportive (and, indeed at times, nurt

The Ending is the Beginning: A Night of 1000 Bubbles (and Tears) on the Series Finale of "Pushing Daisies"

In the topsy-turvy world of Bryan Fuller's candy-colored Pushing Daisies , death isn't always the ending but quite often the beginning. This weekend's series finale of Pushing Daisies ("Kerplunk"), which sadly went off the air without much in the way of fanfare after being delayed six months and unceremoniously dumped on Saturday evenings, followed through on this underlying thread, which had deliciously wriggled its way through the entire series. After all, it's a series that began with the resurrection of a beloved dog by a grief-stricken young boy who soon learns that he has the power to bring the dead back to life with a touch. But it's an ability that has deadly consequences for those around him, even if he uses his powers to solve murders and avenge the dead. The death of lonely tourist Charlotte Charles has lasting repercussions, particularly to her aunts Lily and Vivian (or, I should say, her mother and her aunt), who have become withdrawn rec

Evicted: Bret and Jemaine Sing, Herd Sheep on the Series Finale of "Flight of the Conchords"

Was anyone else let down by the series finale of HBO's Flight of the Conchords ? Last night's episode of Flight of the Conchords ("Evicted") marked what is likely to be the series' last installment as Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie have publicly indicated that it's unlikely that they'll return for a third season. In the episode, Bret and Jemaine discovered that, unless they were able to raise roughly $7000 (in US currency, that is) within a month, they would be evicted from their apartment. Unable to do so, they end up moving in with Mel and Doug and launching a bid at Broadway stardom by putting on a play written by Murray about their lives (with a little Star Wars thrown in). Inevitably, however, the play's themes about illegal immigrants attract the attention of the INS and the duo are deported to New Zealand, where they return to their previous lives as shepherds. I wasn't terribly impressed with this installment and it felt almost haph

Deus Ex Machina: The Divine, The Infernal, and The Mundane on the Series Finale of "Battlestar Galactica"

I went into the series finale of Battlestar Galactica with more than a little trepidation. Would Ronald D. Moore and David Eick be able to wrap up all of the loose threads in this five-year-long tapestry of a narrative in roughly two hours? And, more importantly, would it be a satisfying swan song for the series itself, which has attracted millions of devoted followers who have theorized, discussed, and dissected every moment leading up to this ending? I did expect Moore and Eick to deliberately leave some things open to interpretation and discussion with the series finale of Battlestar Galactica ("Daybreak, Part Two") but, while I enjoyed watching the final moments of this intelligent and provocative series, there were a few things that got under my skin. So put on your Viper suit for the last time, unplug the toaster, prepare for some spoilers (if you haven't yet seen the series finale) and let's discuss the Battlestar Galactica series finale. Most of all, I

Channel Surfing: "Doctor Who" Feature Possible, J.J. Abrams Talks "Fringe," Rainn Wilson, and More

Good morning and welcome to your Monday television briefing. Steven Moffat, who has taken over the reins at Doctor Who from Russell T. Davies , has said that he wouldn't rule out a feature film spin-off of Doctor Who so long as it didn't interfere with production on the series itself. "It would be good to see it in the cinema so long as it was great and fantastic," said Moffat, speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. "But a film is on [for] 90 minutes and that is not as important as the series. But so long as it doesn't get in the way of the show we could do it. If it got in the way of the show that would be appalling." The series itself has already had two feature spin-offs in the 1960s: Doctor Who and the Daleks and Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD , both of which starred Peter Cushing as the Doctor. ( The Guardian 's Organ Grinder ) There's a fantastic interview with J.J. Abrams about his new FOX drama Fringe and abou

Over the Rainbow: The "Life on Mars" Series Finale

Oh. My. God. I don't even know where to begin after watching last night's final installment of Brit import Life on Mars , one of the most gripping, thrilling, and jaw-dropping series finales (or series, full stop) around. While I knew that the writers--Matthew Graham, along with Tony Jordan and Ashley Pharoah--wanted to tie things up in the strange, strange life of Detective Inspector Sam Tyler, I had no idea the lengths Sam would go to in order to return to 2006, who he would betray, and what mechanism by which he'd catapult himself out of his future coma-state. If the above sentence made any sense to you, you're obviously a Life on Mars fan. If not, you've missed out on a series, which over the course of sixteen episodes, redefined genre television, blending science fiction, cop drama, romance, metaphysical drama into one groovy package and populating it with a cast of characters that proved themselves misogynistic, racist, pigheaded... and yet having a sort o

Penguin or Flying Fish: The "Extras" Series Finale

I don't know about you, but I was unable to fall asleep last night as the series finale of Extras , Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's brilliant rumination on the fickle hand of fame, fortune, and success kept me thinking all night long. Living in Los Angeles and working in the industry, it's hard to escape the constant whiff of desperation that permeates this town. It's only fitting that the dark Extras , Gervais and Merchant's follow-up to the groundbreaking comedy The Office , would end on such a depressing note. It is, after all, the only way that the story of actor/writer Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais), dim-witted hanger-on Maggie (Ashley Jensen), and pathetic agent Darren Lamb (Stephen Merchant) can end: with more than a few cringe-inducing laughs, some raw emotion, and the potential for redemption. Over the course of twelve episodes and last night's feature-sized Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale , Gervais and Co. have given us an insightful look

Welcome to Promise City: "The 4400" Takes a Great Leap Forward

It's rather depressing to me that the end of USA's seminal sci fi series The 4400 sort of came and went without very many people even noticing. Sure, part of that is what comes from airing a season (or is it series?) finale opposite the Emmys but the other is that The 4400 has long been overlooked by most people . Which brings me to Sunday night's season finale of The 4400 ("The Great Leap Forward"), which played things rather like an episode of the old Twilight Zone, complete with a zinger of an ending that sort of tied things up in an unexpected way but left the door open for an eventual return to the concept, while also possibly being the very last thing we'll ever see of The 4400 . USA, which was always a strange home for this daring, smart series, hasn't yet decided the fate of the series and is said to be in some discussions for ordering a fifth season of futuristic mayhem, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Sure, there are still several danglin

Posh and Becks to Appear in "Extras" Finale?

Could the ubiquitous David and Victoria Beckham, subjects of an upcoming NBC reality special (read: backdoor pilot), turn up in the last ever episode of Extras ? British paper The Sunday Mirror has reported that the overbearing celebrity couple--who recently made the move to sunny Los Angeles so that hubby David Beckham could play for the LA Galaxy team--will play themselves in a cameo role in the Christmas special for Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's HBO/BBC series Extras . Previously announced special will mark the end of the series for Extras , much in the same way that the Christmas special of The Office served as its series finale. (Sniffle, sniffle.) The Beckhams would join George Michael, Madonna, and Clive Owen in the special, which will be written by Gervais and Merchant. "Ricky is over the moon after getting confirmation from David and Victoria," an unnamed source told the Mirror . "He's still discussing how the Beckhams will appear, but they

"Rob Thomas is a Whore" and Other Things I'll Miss About "Veronica Mars"

I really can't believe it's over. While last night's episode of Veronica Mars was touted by the CW as a "season finale," it's clear that the series has come to the end of the road and I, for one, am completely gutted. It's one thing when a show peters out over several seasons and by Season Seven or so you become indifferent to one of your favorite series, but Veronica Mars still had a hell of a lot of potential--despite the awkward, sometimes off-putting single episode mysteries--and managed to restart itself in the two-hour finale. One of the funniest moments in last night's Veronica Mars finale ("Weevils Wobble But They Don't Fall Over"/"The Bitch is Back") was a hilariously tongue-firmly-in-cheek scathing indictment of CW-style product placement as the gang name drop Venus razors ("Veronica Mars uses a Venus razor?"), People magazine, Saturn hybrid cars, and Matchbox 20, allowing Piz to take a swipe at Veronica

Iron and Ashes: "Rome" Ends its Run on a High Note

With all the hubbub the other night with the season finale of Battlestar Galactica and a particularly fractious episode of The Amazing Race , I didn't want you to think that I'd forgotten about the series finale (sniffle) of Rome . If you haven't ever watched Rome , I'm sure the episode in question wouldn't have even caught your notice but for those of us who have obsessively followed the slow burn of Rome, with its intrigues, vendettas, and fractured brotherhoods, the series finale, which aired Sunday (to be repeated a zillion times this week and available on HBO On Demand), was the perfect ending to a near-perfect series, which rarely had a misstep in its two-season history. While I'm sad that this beloved series was drawn to a close sooner rather than later, I do have to admire HBO and BBC for acknowledging that it's far better to go out on a high note than draw out the inevitable with lackluster writing, subpar stories, and off-the-mark characterizati