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May 06 2006

(Un)Happy endings, Angel makes the list of best and worst of series finales.

The Worst:

"Angel" (2004): This wasn't as rough as it could have been, since executive producer Joss Whedon got ample warning from the network that the end was nigh. Still, it wasn't the happy ending some fans may have wanted. Vampire-with-a-soul Angel (David Boreanaz) and his demon-fighting team went down swinging against supernatural foes, but at the cost of some of their lives. Maybe all of their lives, in fact, since we never saw the end of the fight.

It seems the article is saying that if a series ended happily, or with a clear resolution, it would be considered "good". Just because "Angel" didn't do that doesn't mean it was a bad way to go. Sure, we'd like to know who lived to fight another day, or night, but the point was they kept on fighting....and if not for the WB, we would have seen what happened next.
What's with all the discussion of end times ? Is there another millennium rolling over that I don't know about ?

Yep, agreed impalergeneral, just because there's no pretty bow doesn't make it a bad ending. Did we want a 'happy' ending ? Maybe, but I think i'd rather have a good one, especially one that fit the show so perfectly.

Got to agree about the X-Files ending though. Just terrible. The show was a very pale imitation of itself towards the end and having an episode called 'Jump the Shark' just felt like Chris Carter was taking the piss.
I had some real issues with that season and was seriously doubting the whole Whedonverse, but that ending just kicked me right in the ass. Best TV moment ever, in my humble opinion.
These people must be Republicans!

The series finale of "Angel" was the BEST ending I've ever seen to a series - and I've been around almost 5 decades.
Got to agree about the X-Files ending though. Just terrible. The show was a very pale imitation of itself towards the end and having an episode called 'Jump the Shark' just felt like Chris Carter was taking the piss.

Yeah, The Truth wasn't the greatest, but I've been rewatching Season 9 recently and was quite surprised at how good the majority of episodes were.
Hmm, maybe i'll give it another chance then. It's way down my list though cos i'm pretty loathe to buy the DVDs (the ending disappointed me so much it kind of soured me on the whole show though I must confess it started to lose me when Samantha was 'in the starlight' and I didn't catch every episode after that).
I think writers are doing the best/worst "finale" thing because so many shows are ending this season.
X-Files lost me at around season 7... I thought the stand-alones were still sometimes good, but the mythology just completely fell apart. I watched season 8 and 9, but while I appreciated a few things, the show had lost what made it great to begin with.

Back on topic, the Angel finale imo was absolutely fantastic. I thought the idea of giving everyone character specific send-offs really worked well. Thematicly, the way the show ended really struck me as quite brilliant, and the writing throughout was crisp (plus... Hamilton vs. Angel and Conner was amazing.)

It just seemed to wrap it all up for me, not narratively.. but thematicly. Even for those who didn't appreciate it, I think calling it one of the worst finales ever is kind of ludicrous. The reasons the writer has for disliking it (ie. it's not a "happy" ending, and not definite) seem suspect to me. To be perfectaly honest, a happy ending to Angel would have seemed.. well like a lie. The whole show was about how the struggle, even if there was never a victory.. is all important. That was the point of the "epiphany" Angel had in season 2, and one of the major themes of the series. To end with a definite happy ending (ie. We have defeated Wolfram and Hart and Angel gains a soul) would have not only been less interesting than Angel giving up hope for his destiny and fighting anyways, it would have contradicted many of the shows more interesting themes. Personally, I think it would have soured the series for me the same way the deterioration of the X-Files soured that show for me. At the very least, it would have ruined much of the depth I got from the story.
The only reason it should have been on the worst list is by virtue of it being the finale, not the finale itself, which was awsome.
NFA was a glorious two fingers (or the middle digit if you're North America) to something or other. Wouldn't have had that ending any other way.
I loved the ending of Angel. I found it very uplifting. I might be delusional but I'm convinced Spike, Angel and Illyria got out alive to fight another day, which was the message of the finale: the war never ends.
I can't say I loved NFA the first time I saw it. I like it more and more each time I see it though.
The "Angel" finale was excellent, no way does it belong on anyones "worst" list. Joss wasn't going for a definitive ending, leaving a lot open for us as fans to fill in the blanks. I guess some folk just don't like to think for themselves.
Televison rarely if ever has episodes which end with an indefinite outcome yet have something to say with that indefinite outcome. So maybe that threw these guys off. I was stunned to see these people just didn't get what the ending to NFA was about.

I thought it was both poetic and rousing. It left me saying "damn straight" while being moved by the final moment--Angel's sincere act of genuine honor. It was very powerful.

Writing an ending like NFA's and getting right is extremely difficult (seems to me it is, anyway). Getting those of us who appreciated it to cheer in spite of the circumstances...well, that's why I'm a Whedonite.

Sidenote: I thought NFA was a classic example of a Pyrrhic Victory. Because I thought a Pyrrhic Victory meant going down fighting honorably. But it doesn't mean that. A Pyrrhic Victory is an actual victory; just one in which the victorious suffer heavy losses.

Since the outcome of NFA's final moment is in suspended animation, by either definition it's not a Pyrrhic Victory.

However my hunch is that in Joss' mind Angel, Spike, and Illyria go on to become Seeley Booth, Brainiac, and Kelly Peyton----oops, lost my train of thought there.

Seriously though, my hunch is that Angel, Spike, Illyria are alive and someday Joss is going to tell us how. Canonically. If this turns out to be the case, it will be a true Pyrrhic Victory since we know how heavily sustained the losses were.

I will now stop babbling about Pyrrhic Victories.

Thank you for your patience.
Since this is ZAP2it, I'm thinking that they were as appalled as the rest of us by Angel's cancellation. I'd make a guess and say that this probably refers more not to the actual ending, but to the fact that it was cancelled. Then again, some people don't like it when everyone just goes to their death and would prefer a happier outcome.

It was very Butch/Sundance, but in my mind, Illyria/Angel and Spike made it, with one of the boys shanshuing, no doubt. I'm not so upbeat about Gunn, but then I thought he was wanting to die in payment for what happened to Fred. (and I think that's terribly sad) As I said in the other thread, this was not a happy episode but made sense for the characters involved.
The ending? only one word, perfect, I leapt from my seat and punched the air scaring my family to death!! anyway, as far as I'm concerned they all survived including Connor, Wesley and Gunn, if it makes me happy to believe that I don't see the problem, Joss knew exactly what he was doing, see how we're still debating it after all this time?

Angel and co. going out fighting the good fight, what could be better, although I'd have loved to see a little more of the actual fighting but thats just me, watching Angel in battle gives me a *happy*, if you know what I mean!!
These people must be Republicans!

Won't even try to guess what that's supposed to mean, Nebula -- but this very conservative Republican thought the finale was a jaw-dropper. It didn't make me happy (-- hello? "finale"?), but it was superb: by turns funny, shocking, suspenseful, touching, and I still tear up thinking about moments from it.
To me it was even more powerful as a series finale than it would have been as a season finale. As a season finale we'd know that they weren't really going to their death, even if they didn't. The message of "what matters is the fight" would have been obscured, I think, because the focus would have been on the eventual outcome of the fight (in the season 6 premiere) rather than the fact that they were fighting. I wish Angel hadn't been cancelled as much as anybody, but as it stands I remember NFA as one of the best of the series, and I don't know if it would have stood out to me as excellent if I had known there would be a conclusion.
When I watched it the first time, I figured it to be one of the best finales to a series that I had ever watched. As time has passed, and on subsequent viewings... I’m gonna remove that “one of” and just let it stand as the best finale to a series that I have ever watched.

(Now Buffy’s finale... not so much.)

To think that NFA was a bad series finale speaks to a lack of understanding of the series. The ending Jay and Kate seem to be calling for would have been counter to what Angel was all about.

I say that they are even worse than Republicans... they have to be Democrats. ;)
NFA, as I've stated before, was a perfect way to end the show. Not just a great ending, but a beautiful ending. And I agree, gilraen, I think that it would have lost much of its power if it had merely ended a season rather than the series.

And besides, regardless of what the article says, it DID give each of the characters his/her own "coda" of sorts, even if we didn't actually see the end of the big battle. Spike's effulgent poetry finally got a rousing ovation. Connor and Angel reconnected. Angel made a decision that the world was more important than his own happiness. Wesley was Wesley. All of the characters made individual decisions that were absolutely true to who they were, in sometimes surprising but never disappointing ways.

One side comment about this article: the St. Elsewhere finale was truly a "huh?" moment, both in terms of narrative and in terms of "what in the world were the writers thinking?". There's a great website that establishes, using crossovers with different TV series, that a vast swath of TV programming past and present exist within young Tommy Westphall's mind (including Cheers, Law and Order, and the X-Files). It's quite impressive (although there can be much argument about some of the interprogram connections): http://home.vicnet.net.au/~kwgow/crossovers.html
I'd rather avoid any partisan labels, which really aren't germaine here... I do agree that NFA was, for me, the best series finale ever. It got better and better every time I watched it.
Can we keep to the subject of series finales and save the political opinions for elsewhere please.

Oh, and in no way did X-Files season 9 jump the shark. It was not the same series but it didn't jump, it evolved. Had they tried to keep to it going under the weight of the first seven seasons, it really would have floundered.
I would have enjoyed NFA more as a season finale myself. That being said, the only thing missing imo, was the army of slayers around the corner. NOT to save the day but offer support, much like Angel did at the end of Buffy.

I'll admit, I am a huge fan of seeing both series combined into one kick ass drama. Hopefully if Joss ever brings SMG as Buffy back on the big screen, that is exactly what we'll see.
Buffy, Angel, Giles, Xander, Spike, Willow and Illyria. Knowing full well that Illyria has the means to manipulate time....others could return as well.
I was incredibly uncertain how I felt about the finale of Angel when I first saw it. It left me kind of numb, with that, "Wait, what happened next?" feeling, because it wasn't finished. And that annoyed me at first. But, the more I thought about it, the more I really realized that was the point. And the more I loved it. And now it just gives me chills to think about that last scene. Let alone the Wesley/Illyria moment- that just makes me want to cry.
kishi -- I had the same sort of reaction initially, but I think I went through all of the stages of realization in about 5 minutes. "WHAT?!? That's IT?? But...Woah. No, Wow. Wait -- did they just pull a Butch and Sundance? REWIND!"

(In fact, I may have said all of the above out loud. I'd have to ask my wife.) The deeper meanings, and the way that almost every part of the episode echoed and reinforced the "let's go to work" message, settled out in my head within the next day or so.
OKAY, since WHEN did fans expect a HAPPY ending from Angel? Come on. That was the perfect finale for that series. And it's really disheartening to see that years later people still are marking it as bad simply because it didn't end in the conventional tv fashion.
Totally ditto to kishi and Cranston. I was so focussed on the plot when I watched it for the first time. I wasn't looking for metaphors and themes. I should have known by then that Joss doesn't just "end" things. I love NFA now, almost as much as Chosen which was THE perfect ending for Buffy (IMO.)
Whoever put this list together is seriously lacking in grey matter. What garbage. Angel one of the worst? It should have been heading the BEST list! So, so much better than MASH.

Oh, and by the way, Nebula1400: Excuse me?
The ending of Mash was perfect. The show itself had kept getting better and looking back, was the first show to do what Joss became famous doing - combining humour and drama and real life all in a package that you cared about.
I loved the MASH finale, too.
Cranston wrote:

One side comment about this article: the St. Elsewhere finale was truly a "huh?" moment, both in terms of narrative and in terms of "what in the world were the writers thinking?".


The producers had originally written a much different finale - one set ten years in the future, to avoid ever having to make a reunion movie. But the network deemed it too expensive and not what they wanted... so in a way the dream ending is a retaliation against the network.

I'm sure at the time viewers felt cheated, although I'm sure with hindsight they realised it didn't really destroy the six years of television they watched prior to that.

There's a great website that establishes, using crossovers with different TV series, that a vast swath of TV programming past and present exist within young Tommy Westphall's mind (including Cheers, Law and Order, and the X-Files).

Also including Buffy, Angel and Firefly. And it didn't take jumping through too many hoops to make that work either. Tommy Westphall's Mind is my shared insanity project.

It's quite impressive (although there can be much argument about some of the interprogram connections):

Thanks for the kind words. Discussions about Tommy at this LiveJournal community, where I am known as crossoverman

[/self-pimp off... i feel all dirty ;-)]
I loved the triple ending of St. Elsewhere. I thought the "snow globe" capper was a wickedly sarcastic meta-commentary on the creation of the whole series: Tommy Westphal = executive producer Mark Tinker (the "slow" son of the man in charge, MTM head Grant Tinker).
Call me crazy, I think they all survive the alley, Gunn included.
I love the "MASH" finale. It also happens to be improbable and overblown--the first two hours, in which there is a desperate attempt to put every character through something, is almost like a condesnation of a season's worth of storyline ideas into the last episode. And they are mostly good ideas, but I think it's sloppy writing to feel the need to do something so grand: most of what happens in the first part of the finale (Hawkeye's mental issues, Klinger's falling-in-love) has nothing to do with the end of the war. But I love the characters and the dialogue, and the last half-hour--which IS genuinely related to the end of the war and everyone going home, devastated me when I first saw it. But officially, I have to say that it's flawed.

Oh, but "NFA"? Awesome. So, so, awesome. Possibly my favourite "Angel" episode--and probably in my top five or so for television as a whole.
Using my first post to echo the sentiments posted here. This type of article only proves why shows like Angel, and Firefly flounder...If viewers need their shows dumbed down to this level, a new medium or format/venue is desperately needed. Admittedly, I was a little nervous viewing the final episode of Angel, but I what I took away from that finale was a feeling of hope, that perseverance in and of itself, is enough to commit to the ultimate sacrifice. If that's not a worthy message, then point me to a more valid mission statement.

"If nothing we do matters...then maybe all that matters, is what we do." Angel
"If nothing we do matters...then maybe all that matters, is what we do." Angel

Which is the ultimate in circular reasoning and has always struck me as a hollow argument. But, then again, NFA also treads a fine line between the characters bravely taking on the world... and being driven to a desperate act by Wolfram & Hart.

Which is why the ambiguous ending is perfect.
I think a bit like 'survival of the fittest' (which wasn't coined by Darwin, BTW) it's circular in its present form if you're not careful about defining the terms.

'If nothing we do matters in the grand scheme of things then the only thing that matters is what we do here and now'

seems like a perfectly sensible statement to me and not at all hollow (though it may be to people who don't like the idea of there not being a 'grand scheme of things' to matter in).

Oh and jam2, you're crazy ;-).
How the Angel finale could be on any Worst Finale List actually shocks me. It is a great finale for all the reasons my fellow Whedonesquers (is this the way you spell this word?) have stated above.

jam2 I don't think you are crazy, just very optimistic! I believe Wes and Gunn died, I think only the characters with "super powers" could have survived that fight.

BTW - I am in the "I loved the Buffy ending" camp, it was perfect IMO. I am watching season 7 right now and am enjoying it immensely.
I go along with all those here who think rating the Angel finale as a worst ending is absurd. If it had all been sewn up with a definitive ending, that would have been the end. We'd have all forgotten Angel and moved on. Keeping them hanging there, still waiting for the fight to come to them, keeps the myth alive, keeps us wanting more, imagining more outcomes. It's like Arthur and his knights sleeping in their barrow waiting for Britain to be in peril when they will wake and save the day again!

Had Joss sold out and given us a happy ending we'd have lost all respect for him, now wouldn't we?

I believe that Angel, in the long run, is going to hold up better than much of BtVS. Don't all jump on my head. I know Buffy was seminal, was at times brilliant and it's brilliant best episodes were arguably better than Angel's best episodes. But as a whole package, Angel has so much going for it: the coherence and resonance of its mythology, the noir style, the character development and yes, dammit, the ending. All for me so much more satisfying overall than Buffy however much I loved her parts.
I think my favorite line from NFA is actually Angel's penultimate line. They're choosing targets, and Angel says "Well, personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon." Perfect setup for "Let's go to work."

Definitely Joss's best ending so far (including Serenity).
"I believe that Angel, in the long run, is going to hold up better than much of BtVS. Don't all jump on my head. I know Buffy was seminal, was at times brilliant and it's brilliant best episodes were arguably better than Angel's best episodes. But as a whole package, Angel has so much going for it: the coherence and resonance of its mythology, the noir style, the character development and yes, dammit, the ending. All for me so much more satisfying overall than Buffy however much I loved her parts."

I couldn't agree more. While "Buffy" at its very best ("The Body", the musical, "The Gift", etc) may be better than any single "Angel"-episode, as a whole, I prefer "Angel" to "Buffy" (though only slightly, of course, they're both magnificent). There are far fewer "weak" (a relative term, a weak episode of either series is usually far better than even a good episode on most other shows) episodes on "Angel" than on "Buffy", in my opinion, and while on "Buffy" the seasons are mostly only held together by character-arcs, "Angel" has the additional coherency-giving factor of a constant enemy looming in the back-ground and by its choice not to have obvious season-villains. (It had season-arc-villains, of course, but they're usually far less obvious about it than on "Buffy")

I love "Buffy" more than I can possibly put in words, but I still think "Angel" is just that slight nudge better seen as a whole. During its entire run, I think "Angel" had only three episodes I felt cheated, annoyed or disappointed after seeing, while "Buffy" had far, far more. While "Buffy" may have had higher highs than Angel, it had lower (and more common) lows, too.

And, of course, "Angel" had "Not Fade Away".
I loved the endings of both shows, and I think that they fit both shows perfectly.

Buffy was always about growing up and becoming more mature, and figuring out your place in the world. At the end of "Chosen" we saw most of the characters reach a new level of acceptance and understanding. Buffy and Willow created a massive change in the slayer mythology to benefit the entire world, not to mention freeing Buffy and Faith from the burden of being the only slayers.

I felt like Buffy earned a major victory over evil, destroying The First's chance to destroy the world, and making the world a safer place in the future. Just as in "Becoming" Buffy had to face the harsh reality of the world, Buffy managed to overcome all the difficulties she had faced since then and finally "become". Willow learned to control her power and was able to move on from Tara without forgetting her. Xander was able to accept Anya's death because she died defending humanity, and they managed to reconcile before her death. Faith and Spike earned their redemptions.

"Not Fade Away" was very different but no less brilliant. Buffy's conclusion was more neat, more final. Everyone involved was ready to move on, and the story ended by completing each character's story arc. That's not to say that they couldn't be involved in future projects, but just that at that moment everything was wrapped up neatly and positively. Buffy was always about rising to the challenge, and that's how the show ended. Triumphantly.

"Not Fade Away" was an entirely different, but equally potent message. Buffy always had a pretty strong sense of direction, driven by school and university and seasonal Big Bads. Angel's seasons were less structured in that way, with a generally more bleak outlook. This was about finding your way when you have no idea which way to go, and fighting the good fight even when you knew you couldn't win. Even when some of your closest friends have been killed.

Whereas the Scoobies did score a major point against The First, we don't know whether Team Angel triumped or whether they all died horribly. And that's exactly the point, it doesn't matter what the outcome was, the important part was that these characters decided to make a stand and fight, regardless of the odds, and faced it together. And that the war against evil never ends. Even if they did survive that particular battle, there will be many more and there is no end goal in sight. The fact that Angel signed away the Shanshu prophecy emphasised that fact. Had that still been in play then the message wouldn't have been as clear. But even if there was some way of Angel being Shanshued, the fact that he chose to give up his own reward in order to protect others was the important part, even if there may have been some sort of loophole, Angel wasn't aware of it.

I think that the message of redemption, camraderie and courage was so potent that it eclipsed any disappointment anyone might have had that we didn't actually get to see the battle. And I do think in part the ending was so ambiguous because Joss intended to return to these characters in some medium that it wasn't necessarily the last battle that Team Angel would face, but it was basically the mission statement of the show throughout its five seasons.
I'll be perfectly honest. I think the Fang Gang went down fighting in that alley...every single one of them. And I think that the Senior Partners had a reconstituted Circle of the Black Thorn up and running quickly with second-tier players. And I think that Lorne finally realized what cause he had just abandoned, felt awful about it, and drifted around reading people and "helping the helpless" on a small scale--and retelling stories of his adventures with Angel. (The frame story of "Spin the Bottle" makes perfect sense if you view it in this context, by the way...as Lorne post-NFA.)

Would that be a depressing ending? Hell, yes. But it's also a fitting one. If you put your life and fortunes on the line enough times, there will come a point when your number is up, and Angel and Co. were lucky enough to have their moment come as the inevitable coda to a powerful statement of defiance. And as Holland Manners pointed out, evil has no intention of winning; it just plays to exist. Of course the Circle would be back.

But who cares? As CobbCrony quoted above, "If nothing you do matters, then all that matters is what you do." If Angel sacrificed himself to destroy the Circle of the Black Thorn, and they were back within weeks, then truly, his actions didn't matter. But the fact that he was willing to stand up to evil, even at the cost of his life and the lives of almost all he held dear, is the ultimate statement of his heroic nature.
Truthfully... the finale was o.k. and I loved the message, maybe it was more that I wasn't ready for it to be over. Just like Buffy. It's never gonna be enough.
Joss lit a fire that burns and burns and burns.

Joss didn't close any doors with either finale and that is something we can all cheer about.
I loved everything about NFA. I thought it was much better than the ending of Buffy, which actually felt like an ending. To me, when you think back about the Buffy characters, it feels like their stories are over, but when you think about the Angel characters, it feels like their stories are still going on. I like that about it. I like that they're still fighting, and I even like that Angel signed away the shanshu, so that he'll never become human and have to quit fighting.
Oh, and by the way, Nebula1400: Excuse me?

It was a joke, guys! Lighten up. I was just paraphrasing a line Buffy once said.
This guy is a moron on two counts. First, he put Not Fade Away--which was my favorite finale of all--on the 'worst' column, and second, failed to put All Good Things (TNG) in the 'best' column. I absolutely love both of those episodes.
All Good Things was indeed good, Resolute. I especially appreciated the interesting use of the grandfather paradox, and the framing device of having Picard once again on trial as the voice of humanity. (Though at the time, I didn't know it was a frame. I saw Encounter at Farpoint later. Hazards of falling in love with a series in the middle, etc.)

However, as far as finales go, I think DS9's was better...especially since it did in fact leave some storylines open should they ever be able to lure back Avery Brooks. TNG's was more of an absolute close. And if you're talking Star Trek finales, neither of those comes close to touching Star Trek VI as a great sendoff for the original crew. Not a TV show, I know...but for my money, the best farewell to any group of characters ever.
The other thing I liked about DS9's finale was that they weren't afraid to let the characters move on to different things (instead of keeping the world the same and the characters in the same places) - a similarity it shared with the Buffy finale, even if we didn't find out what the Buffy characters were up to till later.
Agree about "All Good Things." Another great bookend finale. And the funny thing is...it actually is, technically, one of those "put the characters on trial" finales!
Resolute, that's a little strong. Our rule here is to criticise the writing, not the writer. Ta.
Hmm, the page has a place to leave your feedback, and alot of it is in defense of Angel's ending. And that Newhart had a good ending. But still, alot of people defending Whedon.

if anyone's interested, here's the link to their board: http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-bestworstfinales-board,0,1667779,comments.graffitiboard?slice=9&limit=10
Thanks for that link.
You know I have never felt like Buffy was over. I don't know if it was because Joss wrote the bit about another Hellmouth or because I simply don't want to let it go. Buffy will always be my favorite Jossian project.

I think the Season 8 Buffy comic, that Joss himself will write, is proof enough that Buffy's story isn't over. It's a new beginning. I can't wait.
Agree about "All Good Things." Another great bookend finale. And the funny thing is...it actually is, technically, one of those "put the characters on trial" finales!

Cranston | May 08, 02:48 CET

Actually, it's not a bookend finale, because with the changes resulting from the time travel involved, the future that we see is not the future that will happen. So anything could happen. The same technique that got used for the finale of Voyager which, surprisingly to me, never seems to get mentioned in these best of articles. I think it was a great series ender - a plot with lots of action and character development that's true to everything we've seen before, Janeway's heroism, the final showdown between Janeway and the Borg Queen, and the return home. And once again, a future that can hold anything. It was terrific.
Yeah, as Picard says in TNG 'the sky's the limit'. The future's not written, it's up to them to create it (or as Spock might have it, 'There are always possibilities').

I agree barboo, I think Voyager's finale was quite good (though I would've liked to actually see some of the crew meet their loved ones on Earth, especially Tom and Harry). Maybe people have trouble separating it from the series itself which I thought was quite poor (apart from a few stand-out episodes and, of course, the Doctor ;) and a bit of a waste of potential.
Saje,
I didn't see the episodes in order, and I'm not sure I've seen all of them yet. I did see the first two seasons from the get-go and thought they were pretty lame, but the show really picked up when they got rid of Elfin-ear Girl and brought in Seven-of-Nine. Seven-of-Nine was such a great character that she dragged the whole series UP with her. Initially I thought she was just added as a female who looked really hot in skin-tight spandex - I still think that had more than a little to do with her casting, but Jeri Ryan put so many layers into the character, she made Seven-of-Nine utterly compelling. Kind of a parallel with what James Marsters did for Spike, making him such a major player in the series. Also interesting parallel that both are characters in the process of recovering their lost humanity.

And of course they both look good in skin-tight spandex. Now, there's a cross-over I would like to see. Imagine the possible sparkage between Spike and Seven-of-Nine.

[ edited by barboo on 2006-05-08 18:28 ]
Just a quick note before this thread goes off the first page.

Although ATS was never a favorite series of mine, I am a BtVS fan first and foremost, I thought NFA was an excellent and fitting ending. The reason in this article for putting it on the worse list seems not just weak, but seems to show a total misunderstanding of what the show was about. I can understand someone who "gets" Joss's work not liking things that happen in NFA, but it seems odd to me that they would not see the quality of the episode or that they would resent it either as a cliffhanger or an unhappy ending. As was said, a conventional happy ending would have been resented by (I'm going out on a limb here.) most hardcore fans and a lot to most regular fans. As far as the cliffhanger, it is hard for me to see most fans not getting that it is not a cliffhanger, that the fight just goes on...once all the weeping/shock was over, of course.

It seems I've seen very few finales . Saw Seinfeld and did not like it, but I did not like the rest of the series either. Saw MASH and remember being a little disappointed though I don't remember why. Loved Newhardt. Saw Voyager but do not remember an opinion, which makes some sense since I generally did not like the show much. (Yeah except for the Dr., and I'll add 7 of 9 as well.)

With all its flaws I like Chosen and love parts of it. I absolutely love the crater with the sign falling into it for instance, but it is a lot of work suspending my disbelief enough to get there. (Does anybody else want Xander to go get couple bulldozers and the wreaking ball from The Gift and tear down the school before they open the hellmouth at noon on a sunny day?)

Hmmm. Not as short a post as I had planned.

ETA:Barboo posted while I was writing/dithering. Spike and 7 of 9. Interesting thought, though I think Spike and Illyria would have a similar vibe without the crossover pain. (Since I ama straight female the slight variation in the hot babe factor does not impact my enjoyment of the imagined fireworks. ;-) )

[ edited by newcj on 2006-05-08 18:55 ]

[ edited by newcj on 2006-05-08 18:56 ]
Not that anyone will pay attention to this now it's off the main page, but TNG most certainly did have a bookend finale. What Cranston and I meant was that the pilot and finale both played off the same basic setup...the crew of the Enterprise (specifically, Picard) being put on trial by Q with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. So in a sense everything had come full circle. As for the changeable future, that's obvious frm the moment Picard sits down to play poker with the senior staff, innit? =)

Can't comment on the Voyager finale, as I stopped watching Voyager circa Season 4 because the show held no interest for me. It was just too boring. It did not, however, actively piss me off like Enterprise did, and though I tuned in for THAT finale I was mostly unimpressed. And finally, I've never been able to see why the MASH finale was all the rage. Sure, the last half-hour was excellent. But it was a bloated episode that seemed to underscore the pomposity which had become MASH. I'm of the opinion that the more power Alan Alda got, the more out-of-touch and less comedic MASH became, and I will not soon forgive him for being the Berman/Braga of his show. Although, to be fair, with his excellent turn as Senator Vinick, I can forgive a lot.

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