Thursday TV Season Finales

Tons of reviews from last night’s TV at the bottom, but not before we talk about … THE LIVE POP ROX CHAT AT 11 AM TUESDAY! Have you heard about it at all? Feel free to drop me some questions about TV, movies, whatever, or just come by to talk 24 finale from Monday.

Some quick news:

later, lost

later, lost

On the virtue of Lost fans picketing, producers saying things like “Eff the Emmy voters, eff them right up their butts” and President Obama threatening to order a White House decree, Emmy voters have decided the finale of Lost will be eligible for acting and directing Emmys. OK, I lied. No one even knew the finale wouldn’t be eligible, so this is almost non-news. The Emmys have a two-hour time limit for eligible series, but the finale is 2.5 hours, so a special exception had to be made. Here’s the only reason this should be of special note to Lost fans: Producers and writers apparently feel so strong about the finale, they must have went to the Emmys to make sure it would be considered despite the length. They probably did this before the announcement a couple weeks ago that the finale would be extended by a half-hour. That’s got to be good news.

Stories like these are why I read AV Club just about every day. You can’t always weave a string of sarcasm gold, but the AV Club does it more consistently than anyone else. When I heard the Parents Television Council was coming out against Bleep My Dad Says, I had the same “Duh!” thought. But here’s something else: Why wait so long? This thing has been in development for months, there was highly publicized news about it last year, and more news about it this year when William Shatner was cast. So instead of trying to work with CBS over the last couple months when they probably could have been scared into not picking it up, you wait until it’s been officially announced on the schedule to let the network know you broke through their military code and figured out what the “Bleep” actually stands for? It’s at the very least stupid, but probably more along the lines of “professionally laughable.” I was going probably going to skip out on the show, but now out of spite, I’ll definitely watch it. Thanks, PTC.

Craig Kilborn lives! For some reason I started wondering what happened to him while I was on a run the other day, so it’s good to see he’s got a new gig. He ranks as my favorite SportsCenter anchor of all time, his 2 a.m. SportsCenters well always well-attended in my college dorm lounge in the mid-90s. Loved him on Daily Show, not so much on the Late Late Show, but I’ll always have an affinity for Craiggers.  

OK HERE COME THOSE REVIEWS FROM LAST NIGHT’S FINALES, TURN AWAY OF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THEM YET!!!

Let’s get this out of the way, here’s the word on the Grey’s Anatomy finale. There, that’s better.

wait, who won miss tranny!

wait, who won miss tranny!

COMMUNITY: After espousing on the virtues of going retro and just ending a sitcom season on a light-hearted high note — no cliffhanger, no unresolved issues, no introduction of new plotlines to make sure we come back next year — my favorite new show this year went so far off the end of the other spectrum it can’t no longer see the spectrum. Dallas wouldn’t even dare something like this. Every show deserves to end however it wants. But Community just went so far off the edge, it reeks of desperation and is a stark contrast to how secure ABC’s Wednesday comedy block feels within itself and how worried Community feels about its chances. Community apparently feels the need to pull a pretty ridiculous stunt — Jeff in a love triangle with Britta and Hot Professor, only to have it turned into a love square with the show-ending make-out scene with Annie(!) — to make sure the few fans it does have come back next year when they could have just given us one of the hysterical stand-alone episodes in the vain of the Goodfellas show a couple weeks ago. Every character on the show departed from their normal pattern of behavior and went into totally different behavior, all in the name of building to a cliffhanger that Cheers did more than 20 years ago. That’s frustrating for fans who stuck by this show when it wasn’t very funny to start the year, but reaped the reward when in April it entered the conversation of funniest show on TV. Still, it’s not enough chuck the show out the window over one sub-par show when it gave us about 12 very funny episodes in a row. It’s just frustrating, is all. FINALE GRADE: D-. SEASON GRADE: A-, and it was an A Thursday afternoon.

 

PARKS AND RECREATION: Which side of Ron Swanson is the one we saw last night trying to save Leslie’s job? Was it the one that truly cares for Leslie, or is the one that is trying to make sure he can stay lazy? Which side of Ann is real, the one that swore off men, or the one that kissed her idiot ex-boyfriend in Florence Nightingale moment type thing? Which side of April is the real one, the crazy, jealous side, or the romantic side that was ready to get over herself and take a shot with Andy? A show that prides itself on silly fun grew some pathos last night, in a good way, giving its secondary characters believable layers that in the end will make it a better show. It’s just too bad we’ll have to wait for about eight months to see if that bears out. On a side note, I feel for Andy, because I, too, am an idiot. I’ve never said the right thing to women even when I think I’m being noble, so watching Andy last night was like looking through a moron mirror. FINALE GRADE: B. SEASON GRADE: B+.

you and me, right now!

you and me, right now!

THE OFFICE: So I’m kicking back, watching the finale, when BAM! — my wife was mentioned on the show. OK, so not by name. But Darryl said he let the beans slip to a girl at a bar and it turned out she was “a copy editor at the Trib.” I can only assume he’s talking about the Scranton Times-Tribune, the only newspaper in The Office’s fictional home of Scranton. By that logic, he’s talking about my wife, the only female copy editor at the Times (not the “Trib”). I take serious issue to Darryl saying my wife isn’t attractive though. Like, I wanted to fight him and his stupid Hot Tub Time Machine right then and there. Other than that, it was nice to have an Office season finale without some crazy Jim and Pam cliffhanger. The minor cliffhanger of possibly bringing back Michael’s love interest Holly — even though she’s now married — is a recipe for disaster, but we’ll see how it plays out. The Office isn’t the funniest show on TV anymore, which is understandable after six seasons. But it’s still in the top 5 comedies on TV and has stayed consistently funny this year with only slight dropoffs, whereas the show following it often seems to have run out of ideas. FINALE GRADE: B. SEASON GRADE: B.

30 ROCK: Which brings us to 30 Rock, arguably the most disappointing show of the year. If no comedy improved as much as community did this year, no comedy dropped off as much this year than 30 Rock. It’s still funny — it’s just not as funny as it was the in its second or third seasons. The show always had a long list of high-profile guest starts, but they never relied on those guest starts to bring in the biggest laughs of the week, they just fit them in pretty naturally. But for the last third of the season, most of the big laughs were saved for the guest stars, like Michael Sheen’s Emmy-worthy Wesley Snipes. And Jon Hamm. And the surprising appearance of Matt Damon in last night’s somewhat average finale. In the Sadowski household, one of the biggest complaints has been the constant self-deprecation of Liz Lemon about how much she eats and how out of shape she is. Meanwhile, she can’t be bigger than a size 6 (if that) and rocked her blue dress to Floyd’s wedding. All of that is getting a little old, and Tina Fey should know better. FINALE GRADE: B-. SEASON GRADE: C-, but only by its own standards. When compared to other TV comedy, it’s a solid B.

hold on, which one are you now?

hold on, which one are you now?

FRINGE: Ah, standards. They’re tough sometimes. Like when you pull a mind-bending, chill-inducing, HOLY S—! season finale from seemingly nowhere in your first season, you’ve established a standard people will be expecting the next year. That’s the blessing and the problem with last night’s Fringe episode. I’m sure more people watched because last year’s finale was so good — but those same people probably had frowns on their face after the end of last night’s second season finale with its predictability. With about 10 minutes left in the show, if you didn’t know how it was ending — with the Olivias switching worlds — then you just weren’t paying attention. It’s too bad it fell apart like that, because the Olivia-Peter kiss actually elicited an out-loud “Awwwwwww” from me even though I was watching it alone. But all that did was seal the fact that something bad would happen to keep them apart. Then it did. Getting the Walter-William Bell answers was refreshing, even if Bell brought up some new ones, like saying to Peter “you’re holding together better than I thought you would” or whatever it was he said, eliciting the “TELL ME MORE BUT WAIT YOU CAN’T BECAUSE THE EPISODE IS ENDING!!!” look from Peter. On the bright side, I’m not going to spend the whole summer wondering about a second world, I’ll just forget in a day that real Olivia is stuck in solitary confinement in the other universe. Holy crap that must sound strange to someone who’s never seen this show. FINALE GRADE: C. SEASON GRADE: B+.

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