Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sparks will fly

The most important piece of business this morning: the first appearance of Matt Seitz's byline in weeks, with his review of the "Rescue Me" season premiere. "Rescue Me" is one of the summer shows I'll be doing morning after write-ups here at the blog, so look for something either late tonight or first thing tomorrow. In other linkage, a mailbag column (link now fixed) that's mostly about the divergent opinions about my "Idol" finale story (I like the woman who declared that I am "absolutely nothing"), but which has a pointer on the second page towards a possible explanation for the Homer Simpson statue on "Lost."

Meanwhile, with the bulk of the TV season over, I could finally get back to "Everwood" -- just in time to see the farewell episodes. Sigh. When the WB stopped showing it on its Sunday afternoon Easy Pass window, I lost track of Andy, Ephram and company, popping back only when the other shows I watched in its timeslot were in rerun. I would always feel bad that I was missing so much of an obviously well-written, well-acted, heartfelt show like this, and yet I never felt the addictive pull that so many other dramas give me. I understand why so many people were passionate about the show -- a few of the reporters at the CW's first press conference looked like they wanted to hop over a rail and throttle Dawn Ostroff for keeping "One Tree Hill" instead -- but I think once the focus shifted from the father-son battles to the town in general, it never felt unmissable to me.

But I would have to have been made out of stone to not get a little choked up at that last scene where Edna broke down after seeing Irv's ghost. The writers never quite knew what to do with Irv, especially after they dropped his voiceovers, but that marriage was always sweet (even when they were separated), and Debra Mooney was just about perfect as Edna begged Irv not to leave. (Like Veronica Mars' occasional freak-outs, it was especially effective because Edna is a rock 99% of the time.)

The rest of the episode occasionally felt labored, as if the writers were trying to make it up to John Beasley by devoting an entire hour to showing just how important Irv was to the community, but Bright with the military recruiter was hilarious, and I liked the broken mug motif.

Since I don't think I've blogged about the show before, not sure how many of you are fans. If any of you are, what do you want to see happen in the finale next week?


Matt said...

If it were only a season finale, rather than a series finale, I wouldn't necessarily want all of these things, but given that it is, I would like:

1. Some form of closure for Ephram/Amy. I don't necessarily want or need to see them together or not together, but no more stringing along.
2. The return of Irv Voiceover, especially in the closing moments of the episode.
3. Closure for Hannah/Bright.
4. Closure for Andy/Nina.
5. Some sort of plot for Delia. What, was Vivien Cardone out with mono the entire year?
6. Sassy nurse Edna coming back to work for Drs. Abbott and Brown.
7. Some sort of full circle with the late Mrs. Brown.

jim treacher said...

Paige Bresett needs a paper bag to breathe into!

So, Everwood is the other show where Brenda Strong plays a dead mom, right?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I like to think of it as the first show where Brenda Strong played a dead mom. Even weirder, in the original "Desperate Housewives" pilot, Mary-Alice was played by Sheryl Lee, whose biggest previous role was also playing a character who died at the start of a series ("Twin Peaks"), then appeared occasionally in flashbacks (or as her identical cousin). Clearly, the producers had a specific type in mind.

Matt said...

Don't forget that in addition to Brenda Strong, Marcia Cross was a semi-regular on Season 2 of Everwood, playing Dr. Abbott's sister and a love interest for Dr. Brown. My favorite Brenda Strong role, however, remains Sally Sasser on Sports Night.

sm said...

Hey Alan, I think that link to your mailbag is broken.

porter said...

Ooh. That letter writer got you good with the "at least they're trying," coupled with the even more cutting "you're just jealous cause they have more money than you."

You, my friend, got served. So the question now becomes: Is it on?

Augie De Blieck Jr. said...

The link to the mailbag has an extra "http//" in it. Go up to the link at the top of your browser and delete the redunancy out, and you'll be fine.

I thought IDOL was very restrained this year with their results shows. They've gotten a lot of grief for them over the years, but they cut it to the bare bones 30 minimum just about every week. I think it only went to an hour once. At 30 minutes, it's perfect, especially when Ryan races through to the final three. It gives them time for their prepackaged video bits and the live performances.

Also -- no Final Three interview special on Monday nights. FOX has become much more restrained with AI over the years, which I like.

Now, I can't possibly justify the Red Carpet Arrivals half hour special. . .

Magnolia said...

Sally Sasser was my favorite Brenda Strong character also, but don't forget Sue Ellen Mischke, the candy bar heiress and braless wonder, arch-nemesis to Elaine Benes.

Laura Holt said...

I loved Everwood. It was one of the few shows on television that made me cry, if not every week, than close enough as to make no difference.

I think the one thing I'd like to see more than any of the other items in Matt's wishlist is closure for Hannah and Bright. I know that the Ephram/Amy and even Andy/Nina relationships have been strung out much longer, but there's something so sweet about Hannah and Bright that makes me really want to see resolved.

And I may be alone in this, but I'm kind of happy with where Amy and Ephram are. It seems ok to me to finish the series, given their age and stage in life with a deep friendship and a little confusion. As a viewer, I have no fear in leaving it unresolved because I just know that around the corner, they'll work it out.

Todd VanDerWerff said...

I've always been of mind of someone at TWOP in re: Everwood: So cheesy. SO AWESOME.

There's a lot not to like about the show (that music?!), but it somehow ALWAYS finds an emotional truth.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I liked the Everwood theme music and thought it hit the right note (no pun intended, ha)

I always found Everwood's theme of change and transformation, parental conflict and relationships more realistic than most, and always a few surprises along the way. Berlanti wasn't afraid of letting his characters be selfish or make stupid decisions. The Ephram/outcast and Doctor/renegade theme may have seemed trite but the writing and acting always made the characters seem real.

Everwood was Marcia Cross's real return to television. I'm sure we'll see a nicely wrapped package to end the series. I hate seeing this one go.

Kate said...

I always remember the TWoP comment--"Damn You, Berlanti!" Even when I knew he was pushing buttons to make me cry, the writing and the acting carried it. The end of this week's episode had us weeping, even knowing what was coming.

I've appreciated the father/son relationship, and the other family and family-type relationships. I think it's particularly galling that this fantastic "family" show is going off the air for that god-awful "family" show--or One Tree Hill-- either way, it's just plain painful and not a little insulting.

vance said...

i always thought this show reached too hard at the start and was good but not great, but since through 4 seasons, this show has completely grown and gotten better with age to what now I think is family drama perfection. At least its going out at its creative peak, which I guess is why Ostroff renewed 7th Heaven and OTH since they have yet to even come close to that point.

Lindy said...

Everwood earned my eternal affection by being the only television show I've ever seen that dealt realistically and humanely with the subject of teenagers having sex -- the episode where Amy and Ephram both get sex talks from their dads is absolutely brilliant.

My finale wish list is surprisingly short. Honestly, I don't want a sense of closure, but one of promise -- something that hints at where these characters might go in the future. I would like to see Andy and Nina take a first step towards being a couple. As for Bright and Hannah, I loved them together, but I would like to see Hannah spread her wings a bit and maybe consider life beyond Everwood, while still maintaining her close ties to the Abbotts.

Last wish: a brilliant scene or two for Harold Abbott, one of my favorite characters on TV.