Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Five TV Shows That Need An End Date

Hey, remember when Lost first premiered, and it was really, really cool? With the WTF-polar-bear and mysterious monster and “Guys, where are we?” And then it got really confusing and half the characters died and the other half got arrested for DUI and we all kind of got over it? Well eff that, because Lost is back. Sure, it kind of sucks for you if you got into the show because of the specific characters from Season 1, because most of them remain dead and the rest have to share screentime with newer characters of varying quality. But the mysteries are kind of intriguing again, and answers are finally getting doled out at a decent pace. Clearly, setting a specific end date was the best thing that the show has ever done creatively because it has allowed them to focus on a specific story arc and stop, you know, sucking. Which got me thinking, what other shows would benefit from knowing when they’re going to end? Not counting, of course, Two and a Half Men, whose end date should have been somewhere in the same year it premiered.

1. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
This show kind of boxed itself into a corner, because pretty much every episode has to deal with the evil robots gunning for John Connor, and you know John’s gonna be fine because a few years later he’s yelling at some poor schmuck on the set of his next movie. Picking an expiration date will let them work towards tucking all those nasty loose ends into the movie continuity and save us from lame, supposedly nail-biting cliffhangers where we’re supposed to wonder whether this will finally be the episode where the evil robots win. (Hint: it’s not.)

2. How I Met Your Mother
Is she the mother? Wait, no, is she the mother? No, she’s the mother, right? It’s hard to tell whether the writers are teasing us intentionally or stalling for time. Eventually, they’re gonna have to reveal who the mother is, or the title of the show will just be silly. “Kids, let me tell you about the time I impregnated a transient behind a dumpster on Central Park West...” Setting an end date will let everyone breathe easier knowing roughly when the big reveal will come.

3. Gossip Girl
An end date? But we’ve only just met! True, Gossip Girl is only in its second season, and its quality is comparable to its first season – good news if you’re a fan, bad news if you’re not – but it can’t stay like this for long with so much drama and partner-swapping and scheming. They’re about one season away from an incest storyline. It doesn’t help that the kids are in theory going off to college in a season or two. So pick an end date and stick with it, because no one is gonna stick around to watch the adventures of Little J, aka Scrappy-Doo with the crappy ‘do. No one.

4. Heroes
Confession – I stopped watching this show last year. For all I know, they already set an end date, and it was two months ago. But on the off chance they’re still plowing ahead with this dreck, I heartily advise Kring and Co. set a stop date on this sucker and work on making a coherent story that builds into a larger arc, stat. Or, you know, keep hemorrhaging viewers, whatever.

5. Big Love
This would be a preemptive strike, because I feel like this season is the best one the show has had to date. But are you really able to keep track of all the Juniper Creek crazies? There’s a ton of them floating around, most just kind of doing their own thing while Bill builds his harem. This show needs to end with a bang, and that means laying the seeds now for an awesome finale two or three seasons, max, from now. Because, like Gossip Girl, Big Love is one tequila away from an incest storyline, and believe me, the therapy needed after that kind of thing is expensive.

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