Finales that Blew Me Away

I seem to be one of the few authors who loves TV.

Oh, I know that’s not really true. Probably only half of us have sworn off TV as a time management tool. I *used* to be one of those, back when I was working full time and had small kids and wrote in the evenings. And then LOST changed everything. Now, I have lots of quality programming recorded weekly on my DVR.

Three of my favorite shows have recently wrapped up. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. Don’t read if you are a fan of Fringe, Haven, or Wedding Band and haven’t seen those finales yet.

Fringe was the little show that could, a sometimes-masterpiece science fiction drama that reinvented itself every year without losing it’s core. The series finale last week made me cry three times. When Walter told Peter they’d never see each other again, when he told him their time had been stolen and Peter was his favorite thing, and when they cried, saying goodbye.

I cried again when Donald/September, the Observer who had regained his humanity and chosen to be a true father to his son in a way the son could understand, was killed on the cusp of saving the world. This meant Walter had to go, too, and when Peter mouthed, “I love you, Dad,” it brought the show full circle to that first season and the Peter’s resistance to having anything to do with his father.

And who could keep the tears at bay when time was reset and Peter and Olivia were reunited with the daughter they’d lost twice?

Then there was Haven. I have to say thank GOD I already knew this show was renewed. Is there anything more delicious than a love triangle among people who all deserve each other? After so many seasons of mystery, this finale gave us tons of answers but left so many more questions that I can’t wait to explore.

“Agent” Howard told Audrey that when she’s “in the barn,” the Troubles are held at bay. But eventually, she weakens and has to leave the barn to recharge with love. When she goes back in, everything is calm for another 27 years. After falling in love with Nathan, rediscovering her son, and spending three years caring for the people of Haven, it’s no wonder Audrey doesn’t want to lose herself again. But she has no choice—if she stayed out of the barn, the town would be destroyed unless she killed the man she loved, in which case, the Troubles would be gone forever. Who the hell designed THAT curse?! At the end, a whole bunch of people got shot, most of them got sucked or jumped into the barn as it went away, and poor steadfast Nathan was left behind. Next fall is way too far away.

The other show is, at its surface, nothing like those two. Fringe and Haven both use extraordinary worlds to explore truths of humanity, love and relationships and the sacrifices people will make for them. Wedding Band is an almost farcical comedy about four guys who, uh, play in a wedding band. There’s the almost-slacker who’s full of charm lead singer, the family man guitar player with a real day job, the schlubby drummer who’s smarter than he looks, and the cool base player who’s actually highly successful and just wants to be part of something with heart. And that’s where Wedding Band grabbed me. These guys would do anything for their clients and their friends. During the show’s 10-episode run, they helped a couple of high school geeks capture the attention of the girls of their dreams, and saved the dissolving marriage of their first wedding couple.  The finale started with them digging up the groom’s grandmother to get the ring she’d promised he could give his bride, but had been accidentally buried with her. The show never fully dissolved into messy ridiculousness, and even with some nearly over-the-top characters, it was full of people you had to love.

So I’m really despondent that it’s been canceled. You’d think that even with the killer (in a bad way) Saturday night time slot and lack of promotion it got, a network like TBS could have given it a little more time to find an audience. And I’m REALLY sad that Brian Austin Green, with whom I fell in love as Derek Reese in The Sarah Connor Chronicles,  won’t be on the air anymore. But third time was the charm for Alex O’Loughlin, so I won’t give up hope!

So what TV shows inspire you with great writing and lots of heart?