Sunday, March 27, 2005

Final Moments

So, I read today that The Sopranos season five is coming out on DVD in June, and that the sixth season will begin filming in April, even though it won't air until 2006. It's good to hear some stuff happening with the series since it's been a year since season five aired, and there didn't seem to be much news on the show since. It's up there as one of the best shows of all time and I'm really looking forward to seeing everything wrapped up.

There's always a strange feeling when you reach the end of a long TV series or comic series. When I start a series I know is limited, I'm always curious about how it's going to end, and as I'm moving along, part of me is always thinking about what the series finale is going to be. But, when I actually get to that last episode or issue, the ending seems like the worst thing possible. In comics it's most apparent because you can see exactly how many pages you have left, and the closer you get to the end of the book, the more you realize you're never going to see these people again, their world is ending, and even though you can travel back to their earlier adventures, there's never going to be the thrill of discovering a new plot twist or character development. On Preacher it was really apparent, I remember flipping through those last pages, and feeling really sad that there was no more left in their world. With The Invisibles, I loved the last issue so much, I was emotionally overwhelmed, and everything seemed to blur together into a really fitting ending.

With TV series, there's no physical measure of when the show will end. You're just sitting there, and as time passes, there's an increasing feeling of sadness, because things are coming to a close. On Buffy, when they had the core four repeat their dialogue from the end of 'The Harvest,' it hit home that they very likely would never be together like that again. Even though I think Buffy overstayed its welcome a bit, at the end I would have given anything for just a little bit more. Same with Angel. Even though it has a much stronger close, at the moment the final credt appeared there was a moment of sadness before I realized how great the ending was. And all throughout you get these moments that you just know are endings, notably Lorne's 'Goodnight folks,' the first time I saw the episode, I knew he was not coming back.

With Twin Peaks, I was just sittng there stunned for five minutes, thinking about how I'd never find out if Audrey survived the bank explosion, or whether Ben Horne was dead, not to mention the whole Cooper/Bob thing. It's very strange that throughout the whole series, you're racing to find out what happens in the end, and then when you get there, you'd give anything to have new episodes to watch again.

But that's a feeling that's not just applicable to the end of a TV series, it's what happens at the end of any big project. Like, all through high school, you're racing to the end, and then in those last few days, you're thinking, I'll never go to this class again, or I'll never eat in the caferteria again. I'd imagine at the end of college it will be even more apparent, because there's a lot of people I'm just never going to see again, people I know, but aren't that close friends with, and if they live far away, we'll just go our seperate ways and gradually be forgotten.

When you're at that ending, you can only think of the fact that there's not going to be anymore, but with a little time, you adjust to the fact that even though whatever experience you've gone through is over, it's really the cumulative that matters. Like, when I think of The Invisibles, I don't wish there were a few more pages, I look more at the cumulative effect of the whole series, and remember moments from throughout it that were great. And even Buffy, which I don't think concluded quite satisfactorily, I don't think of the incomplete ending or lack of character resolution, I remember more the great moments from throughout the series.

I think finishing something takes you out of a linear time perspective on it. When you're in it, you can only look at where you are now and what's next. What came before doesn't seem as important, but once you finish something, you see it's not what you ended up that matters, it's how you got there. So, bringing it back to the top, when I get to the end of The Sopranos, it's going to be tough, and I'll be thinking, ah, I'll never see Tony again, or Christopher or Carmela, and when that final credit screen does appear, I'll probably be a bit mad, but already I can appreciate the fact that there have been 75 brilliant episodes of the series already, and even though I won't have anything new to watch, there'll still be rewatching to do, and new shows to come.

1 comment:

Raúl! said...

Patrick, nice blog you got going. Thanks for linking us. I will do the same. Later.