Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Would Have Made a Great Series Finale...

I hold few things as sacred as a series finale.   While MASH claims to have the best ever (way too long but redeemed in the final 2 minutes) few series finales have lived up to the entire run of the series.

How this show USED to look!
Which brings me to last night's ninth-season-premier of "Two and a half Men".    The show starts with a funeral for Charlie. His trademark bowling shirt and khaki shorts (also my trademark) are hanging next to the closed coffin.  Most of his on-camera girlfriends are present, all saying horrible things about him. Alan (John Cryer) is giving the eulogy explaining how Charlie died in Paris.   Next Rose (Melanie Lynskey) explains how Charlie proposed to him, then she caught him with another woman, to which all the women in the audience sympathized.  Then she explains how he "accidentally" slipped onto the rail in front of an oncoming train.

This is exactly why 28 million people tuned in last night, despite an NFL game on ESPN (my cable isn't working so I didn't have that option).

So, we've resolved how Charlie Sheen is no longer on the show.  Do we care about anyone else in the house?  Not really, I was willing to leave it at that.  Charlie leaves the house to Alan and Jake, life goes on and if my cable was functioning I could have tuned away and not cared.

But My cable is not working so I continued watching.

The new man!
Alan can't afford the upkeep on the house and goofy internet billionaire Waldon Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher) enters, and after some mildly amusing antics buys the house.

Okay, now things are resolved.

Except for some reason we were left "to be continued..." though, if Schmidt is going to buy the house and he seems popular with the ladies (though I didn't need him to be so naked the whole episode) we now see that the house will continue to be a revolving door for good-looking loose women.

Life goes on and I wish I could tune to ESPN!

So this would have made a nice series finale. Charlie dies, Alan gets on his feet and Jake says something stupid (though that shtick hasn't been funny since he was a cute chubby kid).

Much like a bad car wreck causes people to rubberneck on the freeway, the real-life Charlie Sheen caused a media rubberneck as his life turned into a forty-car-pileup last spring.  People wanted to see the end result of how things fallout.

This episode is how the show should have ended, and if my cable gets fixed by next week, it will have ended here for me!

But how would it have stood up as a series finale?   Well, first off, there was the absolute lack of the star character.  So the finale seems a bit forced.  But at least all the loose ends would be tied up. And that's usually what an audience is looking for.   If they had sent Charlie off to get married or join the Peace Corps or beamed up to Mars by aliens, that would have left questions.  But he's Dead and I think most members of the audience are cool with that. More-so, I think at least half the audience tuned in for the closure on this show that seems to be persistent on every channel at all times. I expect at least a 50% falloff in the ratings for the next episode.  So instead of a single episode series finale, you get a whole season.  At least I have my closure.

RIP Charlie Harper, RIP Two and a half Men!

No comments: