Last night was the season finale of the best night of television: NBC's Thursday night comedy - Community, Parks and Rec, The Office and 30 Rock. Four hilarious shows back-to-back featuring likable characters, entertaining story lines and all the snarky retorts you desire.
Naturally the idea of the season finale offers up a wide range of emotions for me. Excitement for new comedy, sadness for the end of the season, comfort in two hours of comedy gold, and disdain again for the end of the season, then confusion over my absurd range of emotion, followed by surprise at the realization I have actually been taking a hormonal replacement supplement instead of Ibuprofene, then sadness again (probably due to the imbalance of testosterone in my system), then rage and, well, you get the idea.
After I stopped crying and finished rearranging my sock drawer I turned on the shows and settled in for what should have been two hours of comedy magic.
Let's just say 'supremely disappointed' doesn't even begin to describe my feelings.
Here's the thing- a season finale should accomplish at least one of three things. It should either A) answer a ton of questions viewers have about the season while posing a few more setting up the next one (i.e. Lost); B) resolve the action of the season and tie up all the loose ends (i.e. 24); or C) get you right to the cusp of something they've teased you with all season and then throw in a twist that will crush you and then excite you about the next season (i.e. The Office).
The Office has mastered the finale category. They were brilliant at season finales. I would say Lost was just as good at it, but let's be honest- when you can make up anything you want and defy all the laws of logic or reason it isn't that difficult to come up with an exciting cliffhanger.
All four shows, yes, ALL four shows used the same gimmick to end their seasons. Its so formulaic. Continue season as planned, add light comedy, and end with an unexpected twist in a relationship between characters. This has been done successfully with only one couple:
Oops, I mean...THIS couple
Community centered its entire episode around Jeff Winger choosing between two women and then at the end of the show...TWIST! Parks and Rec was finally going to resolve feelings between two characters until....TWIST! The Office, which has been sub-par lately, had a regular episode until they remembered:
Writer 1: "Crap! This is the season finale! We didn't prepare! Um....add something about Jim and Pam at the end."
Writer 2: "But...they're married, they have a baby and they're happy. There's nothing else."
Writer 1: "Fine! Just pick someone people like and put it in after the episode."
Writer 2: "I'm bored and my paycheck is huge. Someone get me a latte."
Then there's 30 Rock, which is usually a good source of non-conformity, but has centered its past 6 episodes around Jack's sorted romances and Liz's inability to meet the right man until....TWIST!
4 for 4! Are you kidding me?! First of all, no one is watching these shows for the relationships. It's comedy first, Dwight second, and the relationships way down near the bottom to give the show credibility and ensure it can last for 8 seasons. Come up with something original!
They even advertised the 'after-the-credits' part of The Office because that's usually when they drop some bomb on you. This season's was so predictable that Michael Scott's reaction wasn't even noteworthy. Such a disappointment.
Do you know the worst part about the whole thing? This morning I see on Twitter and Facebook that the season finale of Grey's Anatomy featured some sort of sniper shooting people in the head! And I missed this!? For the first, and last, time ever I wish I watched Grey's Anatomy instead of NBC's Thursday night line-up. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
Bring back the Scranton Strangler for The Office season finale for Pete's sake. Don't toy around with tired old story lines.
I mean, at least make Troy from Community eat a giant cookie, or have Andy Dwyer flip his motorcycle over a car and break his arm, maybe even have Dwight devise a plan to buy the Scranton office or bring in Matt Damon to be a hilarious pilot. Something!!
What's that? All that already happened? Oh. Um...spoiler alert?
I knew I loved these shows for a reason.