One More Episode

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Last night my wife was watching television.  Thank you and good night. Just kidding – there’s more to the story. Anyway, she was watching a rerun of “30 Rock.”

In the “30 Rock” episode, Jack (Alec Baldwin) has hooked up with Liz’s (Tina Fey) former friend from Chicago, Claire (Jennifer Anniston). While I enjoyed this part of the episode, the segment that really caught my attention featured Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) and Tracy (Tracy Morgan).

Kenneth is depressed because he has to wear a different jacket as part of the pages’ new wardrobe. To cheer Kenneth up, Tracy brings together some of the cast members of “Night Court.” Kenneth always wanted to see the wedding of the characters Judge Harry Stone and Christine Sullivan, but the show was canceled by the network.  Anyway, Kenneth and Tracy come up with a script which of course will end with the two getting married.

This got me to thinking – if I could arrange to have another episode/scene for a favorite show, which would it be?

First, let me tell you what it wouldn’t be. I loved “Seinfeld.” However, the last 2-3 years were uneven. Some great episodes were mixed with mediocrity. It was time to say goodbye. I could not take any more “ER” drama and was ready for that show to end. I enjoyed “Friends” but how many years can Ross and Rachel go between a couple and something else.  Ditto on “Moonlighting” and “Northern Exposure.”

I loved the final season of “West Wing” and could have seen it go on, but the show would have been very different from the original due to a new president. Nah – no need for it go ala “AfterMash.”

I have it down to two shows.

I watched the show “thirtysomething” regularly. As a college age male, I was miles away from the demographic. There weren’t even beer or car commercials while the show ran. Yet, I was hooked on the show. Besides the Philadelphia connection (my hometown), I identified with Michael (Ken Olin). We looked a bit alike, but I empathized with his internal struggles. What can I tell you – I was a sensitive guy. Now, I wished it would have helped with the women, but that’s a sad story that I’ll stay away from for now.

The second show is the “Wonder Years.” I was hooked from the very first episode.  I loved the voice over of the adult Kevin (Daniel Stern) talking to/at his childhood Kevin (Fred Savage).  I was much closer in age to the young Kevin, yet I found myself talking to him as well. I advised, goaded, and smiled when Kevin did the right thing.  It made me wish I had done the right thing when I was that age. I particularly liked the episodes that had the 60’s overtones.  Then, of course, you have the great theme song.

Both “thirtysomething” and “Wonder Years” ended too soon for me. During the last episode of “thirtysomething,” Michael and Hope are again having problems and seem to be on the verge of breaking up. Hope has a job offer and Michael has a career opportunity as well, but they are in different cities. At the end of the show Michael seems to choose his wife and family and is putting his career on the back burner for the time being.

The Wonder Years tracked Kevin (and Winnie) from middle school till 11th grade. How can it end in 11th grade? Let them graduate. During the last episode, Kevin and Winnie (Danica McKellar) break up and then get back together again. Sort of. Anyway, in the last few minutes of the final episode, the adult Kevin peers into the future and discusses everyone’s fate. It felt rushed and too neat.

Any show you would reunite for that one final scene/episode

20 thoughts on “One More Episode

  1. I never watched those shows more than once or twice, so I’ll fully support your thoughts on one more episode for them! Most of the shows that I watch that have ended had plenty of notice – so the last episodes were able to bring closure. Except Alphas – I was as disappointed as Sheldon (The Big Bang) when that was cancelled without notice after the first season!

    • Even if the show has notice, I sometimes wish for more or don’t necessarily like how it was ended.
      I never even heard of Alphas.

  2. Sorry, can’t agree about Thirtysomething. Did like it at the beginning but was happy to see those whiners go! There were definitely not enough episodes of Freaks and Geeks and I do agree about Alphas.

  3. For me, it would have to be HBO’s Carnivale. It ended with a superb cliffhanger, and then was cancelled. I was enraged. The creator has said many times that he doesn’t want to do a movie to try and wrap things up. There are no novels or comics or anything. Just a cliffhanger. Dammit!

  4. A lot of people hated the ending of Lost because it didn’t explain everything that happened. I think because I could actually see the writers paint themselves into a corner, I wasn’t as upset by that and I thought the emotional element was far more important anyway. But the best series finale was Monk. It could not have ended any better. And it ended just in time.

    On the other hand, Scrubs had the most unceremonious ending of any series all time. I’m still not even sure it ended. My wife had never seen them, so we watched every episode in order in syndication. There was some random episode – of course without JD or Elliot or Kelso or Janitor in it – and the next night was the series premiere again. I had to actually check imdb and confirm it on Netflix that this was, indeed, the series finale. I understand Zack Braff probably wanted to do other things with his life, but I feel like one final episode NEEDS TO HAPPEN. Veronica Mars got a movie out of kickstarter. Can’t we just lobby for a TV movie or hour special or something? Maybe just a graphic novel even?

    And I’ll throw Breaking Bad in there if they don’t at least reference Kid Charlemagne in the last 8 episodes. Walt: “Is there gas in the car.” Jesse: “Yes, there’s gas in the car.” That would do it for me.

    • I never got into Lost. It seems that people loved it or hated it.
      I enjoyed Scrubs but only watched it here and there. Funny show though.
      A TV movie or hour special sounds good to me. Bring on the reunion.

  5. I am totally with you on Wonder Years. That was a great show and we needed more! I never watched thirtysomething. Your post brought up a memory for me. I was an avid Friends watcher. I never missed a single episode (I either rearranged my schedule or taped it on a VHS tape). My Dad used to say that my circle of friends was exactly like the Friends cast. I was Monica. Anyway, if I remember correctly, the last episode aired on a different night than normal….and I missed it! I have still never seen the final episode of Friends!

    • Cool – thanks for the Wonder Years validation.
      Monica was a bit loony but she was also a great cook and things centered around her. She was certainly a memorable character.

  6. I know I am about to lose my street cred would be OC and 90210. I was devastated to see those shows go away. What can I say? I’m a California girl.

    • Not so sure about your street cred prior so I am glad you spilled it.
      I never watched the OC but did see 90210 occasionally. They run the reruns all the time and my wife has it on in the background. Anyway, was there something left unresolved?

  7. I enjoyed Thirtysomething too! I do recall that it was also loathed by a good number of people. Occasionally I could understand why. I remember in the 90’s catching a marathon of My So-Called Life on MTV and thinking, “This is like Thirtysomething for teenagers.” The mood and the dialogue were so similar. Later I discovered that the two shows had the same creators, so no wonder!

    As far as the Wonder Years, I loved every minute of that show. I don’t ever recall seeing a bad or boring episode, do you? For some reason, it seems to me that there was a resurgence of interest in 60’s culture in the late 80’s. I have a few theories as to why. But I do recall being very interested in it all.

    • What are your theories?
      I really do think the Wonder Years had another year in it. It felt like there was more to the story. Oh well.

  8. Well, when you think of the late 80’s, that was a 20-year anniversary for the hippie movement that spanned from about ’67-’70. There was some hoop-de-la surrounding the Woodstock anniversary. I think that was a time when a lot of people who came of age during the 60’s were becoming nostalgic and retrospective. Also, a lot of the bands from the 60’s and 70’s reformed and started touring – The Stones, The Who, etc. It all seemed to create a lot of interest in the era. I remember having tie-dye clothing, peace symbol jewelry, and hippie sunglasses at that time.

  9. Tough question. I get so attached to the characters in the TV shows I watch. If I was to pick one show that was canceled too soon it would be Firefly. One season was not enough of this sci-fi Western by Josh Whedon.

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