With all the talk centered around the final episode of Lost, Simon’s not on American Idol anymore, 24 is done after 9 seasons, you’d think television, as we know it, will cease to exist with the beginning of the 2010-2011 season. A couple of years ago, it was the end of The Sopranos and we all seemed to have television the next year, so it can be done. That said…
Forget Lost, 24 and The Sopranos
The real series ender to pay attention to is Ashes to Ashes (A2A) which quietly just ended in the UK after 3 seasons. DCI Gene Hunt takes his Audi Quattro on it’s last journey. This series is simply “great television”. Like it’s predecessor, Life On Mars, just another example of how the British just know how to do brilliant television.
From a writers standpoint, the ability to go into a final season and know it’s the final season is very rare but can also be very satisfying. While there’s a sense of closure from the writer’s perspective, writing a finale does have its challenges when you are on the viewers side of the equation. As the writers of the aforementioned American series will attest, this isn’t easy. As A2A co-creators and co-writers, Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah, explain, “It’s very satisfying. There was so much more we wanted to write at the end of Life on Mars, but John Simm (Sam Tyler) didn’t want to do a third series.” On the finale of A2A, Graham added “Some fans will be horrified….but we know it’s the right ending.”
Never saw one episode of Lost so may be unfair of me to think that television will exist now that it’s gone, but I believe it will survive. Stopped watching American Idol after the Kelly Clarkson won and television survived. Gave up on 24 several seasons into the series and, again, television survived.
The interesting thing to note is that with series like Lost, 24 and The Sopranos, hardly a viewer seems happy or satisfied with the ending as it was written after investing 5+ years in to a series only to not like the ending. With Ashes to Ashes, I haven’t run across anyone in the UK that has seen the A2A series finale that didn’t think it wasn’t the perfect way to end it. DVD comes out in July. Can’t wait! And, television will survive…I promise.