Drop reality, add quality
Sex and the City is coming to an end, and
it’s not the only TV show to do so.
The popular HBO series aired its last episode over the weekend,
and unlike most long-running shows, it is ending at exactly
the right time. Most programs either end a few years past their
expiration date (i.e. Frasier, Friends) or are cancelled while
they still have plenty of gas in the tank (the soon-to-be-returning
Family Guy or the soon-to-be-ending Angel).
Sometimes a show will be cancelled for an idiotic reason,
like when Politically Incorrect was shelved because Bill Maher
(GASP!) said something politically incorrect.
In a perfect world, every show would end on just the right
note that logically concludes the “story” of the
series. Perhaps the best example is Newhart, whose final episode
was one of the most original in TV history; the show ended
with Bob Newhart waking up in bed next to Suzanne Pleshette,
his wife on the original Bob Newhart Show.
More often than not, however, the last episode is a weak link.
Just look at the infamous finale of Seinfeld, which was well-written
in the sense that it provided some closure to the show “about
nothing.” The episode, however, had barely any of the
trademark Seinfeld humour and ended up being more ironic than
funny. If only every show could have the “quality, not
quantity” attitude of HBO’s 13-episodes-per-season
Whether you’re sick and tired of seeing Carrie throw
back her cosmopolitans or if you still can’t get enough
of Chandler’s wisecracks, the end of any long-running
show often marks the end of an era. For most of us, Friends
has been a staple since grade school. Women everywhere are
mourning the loss of the show that celebrated the single life
in the Big Apple. Angel’s cancellation means demon hunters
everywhere no longer have a program to relate to... OK, the
analogy isn’t perfect.
TV keeps losing the witty, well-scripted programs and replacing
them with more and more crappy reality shows. No matter how
popular a show like American Idol or Average Joe gets, there
just isn’t the level of emotional involvement you get
from characters you follow for years and years. The characters
on Friends get referenced so often in everyday conversation
they seem like real people: “Hey, this is like that time
when Joey... ” And Kelsey Grammer isn’t the actor
playing Frasier Crane; after 20 years, he IS Frasier Crane.
So we bid a fond farewell to Angel, Frasier, Friends, Sex
and the City and any other favourites we’re failing to
mention. May we meet again in years and years of syndicated
reruns. At least you all lasted much longer than the average
Canadian TV series. It’s hard to drum up emotion for
the likes of Mike Bullard, especially when nobody actually
watched his show.