SPOLIER ALERTS FOR EARL, OFFICE AND ER!!! SPOLIER ALERTS FOR EARL, OFFICE AND ER!!! SPOLIER ALERTS FOR EARL, OFFICE AND ER!!! IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THEM YET, TURN AWAY!!!
This is pretty much it for me, the end of all of my TV shows for the season. I might check out some other finales of shows I never watch next week just to check in on them and blog:
My Name is Earl: Big comeback for the show that wins TV’s award for Show That Has Taken the Biggest Step Backwards This Year. (Prison Break almost repeated its 2006-07 win.) We finally get back to basics: Earl, list, Randy, in that order. Billie was finally shown in her true form and what she should have been all the time, as an adversary and someone who is there just to move the plot along, not a major character. It’s about time. And I gotta admit, the second I saw Earl momentarily flash back to that %*#$ fake sitcom, I groaned, grabbed the remote and was prepared to fast forward. But other than that, this was Earl the way it was meant to be. And the final scene where the sun peeks out and we’re left with Earl and The List and nothing else might as well have been the writers admitting, “We effed up. We’ll be better next season.” Let’s hope so, guys and gals. You nearly ruined one of the funniest shows on TV. Or at least what used to be one of TV’s funniest shows. Season grade: D. Finale grade: B
The Office: First, the Scranton/NEPA references you may have noticed:
Gerrity’s: It’s a local chain of grocery stores in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It hasn’t made it out here yet. They bought the Insalaco’s chain, if you remember those stores in the region.
Glider Diner: A 24-hour diner on Providence Avenue in Scranton, across from Memorial Stadium. It made the news recently when Barack Obama ate there, didn’t finish his meal, then the person who picked up the leftovers tried to sell them on eBay.
As for the episode, too much going on to bunch it all together.
–The Kevin-as-a-”slow person” thing was about the funniest throw-away plot I’ve seen in years. What makes it even funnier is he wasn’t acting any differently than he normally does. “I do the numbers.” “That’s a button.” “We’ll eat pie.”
–Jan being pregnant was pretty easy to predict — how it happened was not. Michael at a Lamaze class and already considering himself a daddy is enough to make you awkwardly laugh just thinking about it.
–I jumped the gun on Pam and Jim getting engaged (I predicted it yesterday). Should have known there would be some kind of twist to keep Jim from popping the question. Smart thinking, too, to draw this one out as long as they possibly could. With an Office spinoff planned for next year, I thought it set up perfect for Jim to quit and go with Pam to New York for “Joanie Loves” err, I mean “Pam Loves Jim.” I’m glad that’s not happening. Although now it sets up for Andy to find a new job in the spinoff.
–With so many cast members, it’s hard to get everyone involved in every show, but I think they did a good job of giving every cast person at least one good, funny line, like Creed forgetting what he does, Oscar saying “Ryan’s only crime? His beard,” Toby screaming for a camera and Kelly making fun of Ryan (which is always funny).
–The cliffhanger wasn’t as good as last year when Ryan broke up with Kelly as the show cut out, but Dwight and Angela sneaking some alone time — right after she got engaged to Andy — will do. At least I won’t worry about it as much over the summer.
Another good comeback for what started out as a pretty blah year for the Office in September. Season grade: C+. Finale grade: B+
ER: Up until last year, I never watched ER full-time. I would catch bits and pieces, but I never got into a full season or barely even a full show. But hey, 14 years later, I’m in, and all it took was one of my favorite ladies, Maura Tierney, being turned into more a sad sack than Abby Lockhart ever was. Certainly more than Lisa Miller ever was. And now she may be gone? More on that in a second, but first, why put Neela and the blonde doctor guy together? We all knew it was happening, so why bother? No one wanted it. It didn’t have any basis. It just seemed forced and pedestrian. I hate both their characters, so maybe I’ll enjoy this. But I doubt it. As for the boom-boom, the end was predictable, if not lazy. So now the question is — just who was in that ambulance? Sam? Pratt? Was Abby too close? I thought the show did a very good job of setting it up so that in true ER fashion, it would be a true tragedy if any of them were in there. Sam was finally in love — even if Gates wasn’t. Pratt spent the entire season with tears ready to come out of his eyes, but with his girl, his job and his family life finally coming together, he called it “perfect.” Perfect for an ambulance explosion! They might as well have just said, “We may kill him off” right there. And Abby — who did spend the entire season in tears — finally got Luka back, finally smiled and now could have been a random victim of the explosion too. You could easily make the argument none of them were in there — you could just as easily say all of them were. As for me:
Abby’s alive: Maura — yes, we’re on a first name basis — is signed for next year, I understand. There’s just too much of her storyline still to be told for her to get offed that quickly, there is too much to wrap up. Though it would be a perfect exit strategy for Luka to be gone and therefore take care of two characters at once.
Sam is dead: A couple times this year, they tried to make Stamos a main character with real problems. When they did, he knocked it onto Waveland Avenue. The emotional pain he’ll suffer with Sam dead before he could fully commit to her would be the stuff TV writers have wet dreams over She was a tertiary character in the first place, and easily the most expendable. Adios, Sam.
Pratt is alive: Again, just too much story left to tell. Plus, his brother could have been on the ambulance, which would make it a double drama, of him making the choice to send Sam and leaving his brother in there.
We won’t know until October now. Have fun debating this one. Season grade: B. Finale: B-.