Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
(which I guess will forevermore make it impossible to talk about The Shield
in Whedon fandom without causing confusion): ( Vauge spoilers for the first two eps )Breaking Bad
. Other people have said it better than I could, so I'll just note that damn, that was a brilliant, brilliant series finale.
...OK, I do have a few words.
Now, everyone loves a good anti-hero. Or anti-villain. Let's face it, apart from The Middleman, uncomplicated knights in shining armour are boring (which, again, most action series...) We love those shades of grey, we love to see good people do bad things... and bad people too. A lot of great TV series of the last 10 years have spent season upon season digging deeper into the souls of people doing horrible things for, what they maintain, are good reasons. At the centre is usually a man, who more-or-less genuinely Loves His Family, who has his own Code Of Honour, who does things for what he things are The Greater Good, who is trapped in a Culture Of Violence, etc etc etc. Basically, he is Just Like Us. Except he's also a (check any that may apply) racist, misogynist, sociopathic, mass-murdering, drug-dealing, hit-ordering, raping, self-righteous, hypocritical, wilfully-blind-to-the-effects-of-his-
actions villain. Fine; those make for good stories. But sooner or later you get to the point where you need to end
this story. And then what? You can't end it with our anti-hero retroactively turned into a knight in shining armour; that would be dishonest. Yet you can't end it with him simply getting his just desserts either.( Spoilers for Breaking Bad, The Wire, The Sopranos, The Shield (the Shawn Ryan series), Angel, Dexter... )
Did that get long? Sorry. I did it because I liked it.
Speaking of making excuses, though, the current season of The West Wing
running on all channels really sucks. I know the Sorkin years were criticized for making caricatures of republicans, but it's nothing compared to this. When your supposedly adult characters start acting like 3-year-olds holding their breath until mom buys them ice cream, you need new writers.
And speaking of endings, How I Met Your Mother
is just phoning it in for the last season, isn't it? Don't get me wrong, HIMYM phoning it in is still better than 90% of the sitcoms on TV, but we know this plot and we know these characters and we know how it's going to end and they should just have made a 2-hour movie and been done with it.
But at least I'm still watching it, unlike Under The Dome
which never managed to breathe even a spark of life into a pretty good idea and seems content to be a poor man's Lost
. Give me an ambitious failure over a competent bore any day.
Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing
was pretty neat, though. And on one final musing on endings, The World's End
does a neat job with a loosely connected film trilogy - building not on the characters but on the themes, and aging (or refusing to age) along with the actors.