The Right Way to Hit The End

Posted Jan 29 2013, 7:30 am in , , , , ,

Most people know that I watch a lot of TV. Having a DVR has only increased the number of shows I consume because I never watch commercials anymore. One of the downsides to watching more TV, though, is that I’m not as discriminating when it comes to what I’ll watch. If something sounds vaguely interesting, I’ll give it a try (assuming it’s not up against other things already being recorded in that time slot). I’ve found many, many new and wonderful shows because of this, but sometimes it’s frustrating because a show gets canceled and there’s nothing worse than being left without knowing how things wrap up or what the motivation behind things are.

I don’t feel quite the same about books in a series. I love reading series, but for the most part, each book is a stand alone. Whatever problem or issue the protagonists face in that book is resolved at the end. I enjoy reading series for the same reason I love TV. I like the comfort associated with characters and a world I love. But since each book can stand alone, I don’t think it would bother me if a writer suddenly stopped a series. For example, if J.D. Robb stopped the In Death series, sure I’d miss Dallas and Roarke, but I know that they have their HEA. When Charlaine Harris finishes up the Sookie Stackhouse series, it’s fine because we’ve accepted that Sookie will always be involved with Supes. We don’t care if she chooses Bill or Eric or whatever guy jumps in. She’s more or less accepted her life and we have too.

But many TV shows start with a premise that unravels as the season goes on, and if the show gets cut, I feel disappointed. Two shows that I started watching for the 2012-2013 season both got cancellation notices early in the fall, however, they were allowed to finish out the season. Both of them left me feeling very satisfied.

imagesThe first was Mob Doctor. I first mentioned Mob Doctor here. It was a Chicago-based show where a doctor owed the mob because she needed to get her screw up of a younger brother out of trouble. Each week, Grace would rush out of the hospital (which no one really commented on EVER-until the last episode) and go fix whatever problem the mobsters had for her. The show was not without its problems, but I’m always a sucker for a Chicago show. Anyway, in the last episode, the writers managed to wrap things up quite nicely. In fact, they did it so well, it makes me wonder if they did the last show like that simply because they knew they were canceled. If it had been picked up for a second season, I’m not sure where they could’ve gone with it.

The second show was Last Resort. I first blogged about Last Resort here. When I heard about this one being canceled, I actually stopped watching it. It continued to record each week, but I was hesitant to tune in, afraid that the whole conspiracy would be left unexplained. The premise, if you’re unaware, is that a Navy submarine was given orders to bomb Pakistan. The commanding officer not only questioned the order, but then refused to do it. The crew was labeled traitors and a stand off began. The whole time I watched it, I knew there were bigger things going on. This was not a simple case of one guy going crazy. Last week, I tuned in to catch up. My husband and I did a marathon to watch all the episodes. I have to say that I was really happy with this one too. There were no easy answers and there were still a few lingering questions (Why would the president want to start a war?), but the ending tied everything up in a way that made sense for all of the characters involved.



I wish all shows that face cancellation would learn from these two. What series (TV or book) are you most bummed about ending? Were you satisfied with the last installment?

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