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Thursday, May 20, 2004

Series Finale - Angel vs. Friends

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS. Turn back now if you haven't watched Angel yet.

It's amazing how some shows do well with a series finale, and other shows really totally blow it. I think blowing it is far more common.

Last night, I got home from work really late, but still wanted to sit down and catch the last episode of Angel. I wasn't disappointed. Joss wrapped it all up, and made it worth every minute. The best part for me was how true to the characters he was, especially Wesley. Throughout the Angel series, whenever Wesley tries to do the right thing, tries to do something noble, it turns out that the right thing is pretty much opposite of what he did. It's been true since he joined the cast midway through the first season. He's so woefully human - alternately cocksure and self-loathing, hopeful and cynical, highly educated but unwise, and both sides of these conditions conspire to lead him astray frequently. He fails at his task in the finale, being the only one of the gang unable to complete their job, and yet was the only one who openly stated that he had no intention of dying that night. It was a perfect end to a well developed character. His intentions always seem to work against him. As a Watcher, he learns first to separate truth from fiction and live only in truth, but in the end, the fiction is what comforts him in his final moments. Perfect. And that was just one element of the finale! The rest of it rocked too. The battle between Hamilton and Angel was perfection. Going badly, witty banter, one false word, and whammo! Joss Whedon at his best.

On the other hand, the series finale of Friends was a slow sort of torture. There was this huge hullabalooo about Rachel going to Paris, which just ultimately seemed totally overblown. I mean, come on, plane tickets to visit are cheap, especially for tenured faculty, and cripes, it's not the end of the world! Heck, living without each other for a year or two is probably just the right sort of crucible for that relationship. But no, it had to be this huge get off the plane drama and it was all just so unbelievable and maudlin. It was a feeble ending to a show that was past it's sell by date.

And then there's the shows that are still on the air. Could someone please explain to me how Enterprise keeps not getting cancelled? Firefly - 13 episodes. Enterprise - 3 years. Firefly - pure sci-fi genius. Enterprise - consistently almost good, almost entertaining, yet ultimately, a wasted hour because aside from the occasional cute beagle moment, it ends up being totally awful in the long run. The theme song also is the worst on record. How is it that Joss Whedon has nothing on the air now, and Enterprise lives on? It's a crime against humanity.

Oh well. Poor little Tivo will be ever so bored next year. The only thing keeping him warm will be Gilmore Girls and ER, and I'm afraid ER is past its sell by date too.


  • Well, I cried during the Angel finale. It was sad in some parts and I loved it.

    Friends has never been a favorite of mine. I thought it was overrated and I was glad to see it finished.

    By Blogger vile, at 8:54 AM  

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