Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How they ended their seasons

Well, I still haven't gotten to "Grey's" (please continue to maintain the Cone of Silence until instructed otherwise), but a middle of the night bout of insomnia gave me the chance to watch the Fox dramas, and I had already seen "HIMYM," so I'll hit those shows, then comment on the ABC schedule when I have a chance in a little while. More after the jump.

Now how's that for a role reversal from "How I Met Your Mother"? Ted and Robin are together, even though we know they're destined to split up, while Marshall and Lily are on the outs, even though it's been implied that they're a couple in the future.

And you know what? I'm cool with it. The creators have already said the focus next year won't be so much on Ted 'n Robin, and I think the two are interesting enough as a couple that the show can probably go a season or more with them together but without their relationship taking over everything ala Ross 'n Rachel. And while the Lily/Marshall break-up was sad, I'm in favor anything that gives Alyson and Jason more to do. Plus, Craig and Carter showed that they could work laughs into the heavier stuff with that brilliant "On Pause" idea -- something Marian and I are planning to steal in the unlikely event that we ever argue about anything.

I don't think this was nearly in the class of "The Office" finale, but on its own goofier, more sitcommy terms, Ted's summoning of the rain storm was a really nice moment, and I loved the music throughout. And I greatly prefer Amy Acker when she's snogging Barney than when she's pretending to be an ass-kicker on "Alias."

On to Fox, it's been nice knowing you, "Prison Break." I'd been saying throughout the year that I doubted I'd care enough to stick around once the guys got out of jail, and the finale put me firmly in the Life's Too Short column. It's not a bad show, just uninspired, and shock moments like Abruzzi chopping off T-Bag's hand aren't frequent or exciting enough to make me suffer through the rest. As the man with the plan, Michael was a cool character, but I haven't really liked him since the show came back from hiatus. And even if the "24" season ends with Logan dead or in jail, does Fox really need two evil presidents in one season? Really? Unless the show is in a timeslot with absolutely no conflicts for me next year, I'm done, and I think I'm okay with that.

And speaking of "24," last night made me wish they hadn't kept Peter Weller on the sidelines for so much of this season. Having Jack go up against his opposite number, someone every bit the bad-ass as him, only smarter and subtler (I honestly couldn't tell which side he was lying to in the hacker sting operation), is about the only new idea the show has had this year. I'm hoping he survives and is a key player next year. Pretty decent episode overall, with Bierko randomly stealing a submarine (why not?) and Aaron returning to once again establish himself as the series' third most essential character (after Jack and Chloe). Will no one in Hollywood listen to my pleas for an Aaron/Ron Butterfield buddy show?

As I said above, I'll get to the ABC schedule in a little while (the big news: "Grey's Anatomy" to Thursdays at 9), but in the meantime, here's my column from today about the NBC schedule, mostly making fun of having the "SNL" clones on back to back nights (because, as Fienberg pointed out to me, it worked so well last year with "Apprentice"s on the same back-to-back nights last fall).


Marsha said...

Alan, I mostly agree with you on HIMYM. I loved the parallel ending, I lvoed Amy Acker, I love that they're not afraid to be silly (the rain dance was silly as all hell). But they need to stop channeling Ross and Rachel. Comparisons are inevitable and it's not their fault, but the final Robin/Ted scene was so much like the scene where Ross and Rachel kiss for the first time it was unbelieveable. The swell of vaguely-familiar contemporary music as she opens the door and he's there. The fight beforehand over another budding relationship. For heaven sakes - even the damned rain! It's almost as if they said "well, they're gonna say it's Ross and Rachel Part Deux anyway, so we might as well make the shout out obvious." Sigh.

That said, I was satisfied with the finale, which I did enjoy, and I liked the way it ended.

I may be done with Prison Break as well. The second half of this season didn't do it for me, and it looks like they've done away with one of the most interesting characters (Sara). I've kind of lost interest since they redeemed all the prisoners. What was so bad about a show about bad guys breaking out of jail? And I really don't follow and don't care about the President thing. So maybe I'll join you in being done. If I can quit Desperate Housewives (which I am doing next year) I can quit this.

There is a GA thread at ALOTT5MA. I shall say no more.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Oh, and I should add, why wouldn't Abruzzi just shoot the handcuffs apart? Have these guys never watched a Western in their lives?

Marsha said...

Yeah, I thought that too. I assume he's afraid of hitting Michael, who is the only person he still needs.

Louis said...

Jean Smart as First Lady Martha Logan in 24: as hammy as Easter dinner. I loved her first scene, when you thought she might kill herself, but not only could she not swallow the pills, she couldn't even get them in her mouth. Three or four stuck to her lower lip, like toilet paper on the sole of a shoe.

The other endearing moment was when Henderson went to the bad guy's super-condo and had to pass through about three security checks to get in the front door. Meanwhile, Jack crawled up on the roof and pried open a skylight with his nail clippers. Damn, he's good.

jim treacher said...

"Prison Break" seemed even more stretched out than usual. And that's for a show that took 21 episodes just to get to the actual prison break. (Have they really redeemed T-Bag, Marsha? He seems pretty irredeemable to me!)

"There is nothing you have said or done that is acceptable to me in the least, sir." Aaron rules.

Marsha said...

Ok, they didn't redeem T-Bag. He's the token bad guy. They have a token everything else, so why not...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Marsha, back to the handcuff thing, the way they always do it in Westerns and other chain-gang movies is they stretch the cuffs taut against a hard surface (rock, table, whatever) and fire the gun point blank at it. I have no idea how safe that would be in the real world, but I imagine it'd be at least as safe as Abruzzi chopping T-Bag's hand clean off with an axe.

caitie said...

I feel like Abruzzi just chopped off T-Bag's hand for revenge as well as necessity. (Man and I love T-Bag.)

Honestly, I would have been totally happy with them ending the season finale right there and pick up next year with a "six months later" kind of thing. T-Bag with a hook and all.

But I love everyone on that show way too much to let it go. And I'm dropping so many shows next season (I'll be VCR-less and thus unable to tape anything), that I'll need PB to fill in some time.

I actually found 24 a little boring last night. Besides Aaron being the BEST secret service agent ever in existence, I didn't really care what was going on.

Anonymous said...

I'm really digging the Secret Agent concept.

-Aaron Pierce
-Ron Butterfield
-Kate from NCIS (before she got shot)

They would make a nice team!

Anon said...

HIMYM did a smart thing. They can't really deny there's some chemistry between Robin and Ted, so they've faced it head on. I also like that they've allowed the rest of the cast to be completely horrified by the idea, like audience surrogates (but ones who don't know for sure that things don't work out). Causing an upset in Marshall and Lily's plans was a nice touch, too, emphasizing that next season is not just going to be about Ted and Robin. Here's to hoping they deliver next season.


DonBoy said...

"Kids, here's the story of how I nailed the woman who you know as 'Aunt Robin'."