Indoor Cat’s Guide to… Finale Season and CBS Fall Previews
UPFRONT WARNING: This column is going to discuss finales, and will contain “spoilers,” except they’re not really spoilers since most of these shows aired a week or more ago.
Sorry for the radio silence, imaginary readers. Indoor Cat went outdoors, all the way to Wyoming!
The worst part of taking trips in May is missing TV. I know that sounds crazy, but missing TV during finale season isn’t like missing TV during regular times. Big changes happen- deaths, pregnancies, huge cliffhangers. Luckily, when you’re on vacation, you’re less likely to encounter spoilers because you’re busy with your vacation activities, but there’s still the risk of learning something major and then being super sad you have to wait to see it. Thank goodness for Hulu!
While away, I was able to check out a few finales, and spent the last couple days catching up. Let’s start with one of the most hyped finales, since it was a series finale: House. When I learned the title of the episode was “Everybody Dies,” I was excited thinking they were going to kill off House. I thought that was the perfect ending. I was wrong-ish. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, House is a doctor loosely based on the character Sherlock Holmes. He’s brilliant and deduces things no one else can, but he’s quite the difficult character. Fittingly, the finale was very Homes-ian- House faked his death so he and a cancer-ridden Wilson could literally ride off into the sunset together. Overall, I thought the episode was very lackluster, but it was a fitting nod to the inspiration of the show.
Here’s something to keep in mind next finale season, or any sweeps season really- if someone is complaining about stomach cramps, thinks they have the flu, are having strange cravings or foods they normally love taste weird- they’re pregnant. Case in point: Modern Family. While I enjoyed the finale very much, that just seemed like lazy, obvious writing to me. The Mitchell and Cam adoption stuff was brilliant; the Haley-college-Dylan stuff was realistic. I know they were playing off telenovelas and the over-the-top drama of them, but I was just very annoyed when they had Gloria realize she was pregnant after complaining all episode about feeling sick in the stomach. Oh well.
Finally, the best finale of the season, IMO- Community. I’m not sure if they’d shown the last three episodes separately if I’d feel the same, but together I thought they were a masterpiece. The “Digital Estate Planning” episode, which was Community meets Super Mario Bros., was one of the best episodes of the show ever. Not only was the gimmick just ridiculously awesome (even epic, dare I say), but the actual storyline was very good. The heist episode was hilarious, but felt mostly like a set up for the final episode. The final episode was incredible for true blue fans, fans who have seen every episode (generally multiple times). There were many nods to previous seasons and stories, and those last few minutes were absolutely perfect.
The things that worries me is that when the show does eventually end (two more seasons and a movie), they won’t be able to top this ending. Nothing will be as emotionally satisfying as seeing Shirley finally start her business, with Pierce of all people, or Jeff having finally grown enough to start looking for his father. I like to be optimistic about shows I like, but also practical- I realize unless there’s a miracle, next season is likely the last. It’s moving to Friday nights (aka the death night), and there are new show runners being brought on to broaden the appeal of the show, so even if it does go on, there’s a chance it won’t be the same. I think firing Dan Harmon is one of the biggest mistakes NBC has ever made, because he WAS that show through and through. And you don’t want to mess with a fan favorite like Community.
But, enough looking at the past. Let’s look toward the future one last time, shall we? I finally watched the CBS fall TV show previews, and was surprised by a few of them. Partners is a sitcom about two childhood friends who have formed an architecture firm together and their relationship with each other and their significant others. It looks like it’s going to be a little broad in the humor, but I think the cast is going to do a good job- Michael Urie, David Krumholtz, Brandon Routh, and Sophia Bush- and that it will be a good fit with How I Met Your Mother. My concern, though, is that it will be like Mad Love, which had a good cast and decent humor, but missed that spark that a show needs to really hit big.
Made in Jersey makes me think more of a USA show than a CBS show, based on the preview. It reminds me a little of Fairly Legal with a little Erin Brokovich and One For The Money thrown in. Jersey girl makes it big at a New York law firm, using her street smarts to notice clues and lies in alibis that the polished New York lawyers are just too fancy and sophisticated to ever notice. Don’t get me wrong, I think it looks fine, but only fine. I’ll probably watch at least a few episodes, but unless there’s a better hook somewhere, I’m not sure I’ll watch week-to-week.
Vegas is about Vegas sheriff Ralph Lamb. It looks Western-y, and it’s hard to argue with the awesomeness of Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis. Again, I’ll check it out, but I’m not sure I’ll be tuning in week-to-week. My dad will love it, though.
Finally, Elementary, dear Watson. Another modern day Sherlock Holmes, but with Lucy Liu as Watson! Holmes (played by Johnny Lee Miller) is a recovering addict, and Watson is his sober companion, meant to help him facilitate the transition between halfway house to his everyday life. Sherlock was a consultant for the Scotland Yard before coming Stateside, and wants to start consulting again. I’m torn on this one, because I’m concerned Holmes will be too annoying, if that makes sense. Watching Robert Downey Jr. play him for a couple hours every few years is one things; watching those same selfish, arrogant, smarter-than-thou tactics on a weekly basis may prove to be too much. However, the same could’ve been said of House, and it just wrapped after 8 seasons.
So, there ya go. Next time, I think I’ll discuss my plans for summer TV viewing, since the season is finally upon us. I’ll also post a vacation recap!!