Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cue the happy endings!

Seems like a week for TV taunting. First there was that "Sopranos" finale, where the writers kept teasing viewers with the idea that something huge was about to happen, then made damn sure that it didn't. And then last night, the WB peppered the "Everwood" series finale with commercials for the CW -- a network where "Everwood" will be the only notable WB show that's absent. Ya think those ads are going to suddenly convince the "Everwood" fans that it's okay you killed their show? More after the jump...

As I said last week, I've never been a week-in, week-out "Everwood" obsessive, but I always enjoyed the show when I saw it, and Rhina Mimoun and company did right by both the fans and the casual viewers like me with the finale. While arguments could have been made for keeping any of Hannah/Bright, Nina/Andy and Amy/Ephram apart in a character-consistent way, there's something to be said for giving the people what they want. Yes, Jake has turned out to be a good guy, and yes, Steph was a much more normal, drama-free girlfriend than Amy, but the fans have invested four years in waiting for these people to get together. The only change I would have made was Hannah's college decision; much better if Hannah had decided to go to Notre Dame anyway and Bright found a way to attend a school not far from South Bend. (If Rudy could go to Holy Cross, why not Bright?) I know sometimes in life you make compromises to be with the one you love, but since we were going with the wish-fulfillment ending anyway, why not find a way for Hannah to have it all?

(Then again, wasn't the Amy/Ephram ending with the carousel the only thing specifically made with the end of the series in mind? If they had planned to go another season, they couldn't do it with Hannah and Bright in Indiana. While they could have done a second insert shot with a Notre Dame envelope, they would have also needed to shoot an alternate scene where Bright offers to go with her, and I don't know how much money they had to film extra material.)

Debra Mooney is always so damn good, and while the abandoned baby was melodramatic, it wasn't any more than most of the series (Marian hadn't watched since season one, so throughout the finale I had to explain things like Madison's baby to her, and out of context a lot of this sounds really soapy), and it provided Edna a reason to stick around and a purpose in life without Irv.

It's been four years, so I don't remember how definitive Brenda Strong's last appearance was (did Julia's ghost specifically say she was never coming back?), because it would have been nice to have her back to give Andy the seal of approval. I know he's not crazy anymore, but still. Plus, having known a number of widows and widowers who remarried, Andy's vow to never again visit Julia's grave rang very false; I think if Nina heard him say that she would have smacked him upside the head.

I'd say more, but I'm already running late, so let's take the rest to the comments. What did everybody else think?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think Julia's ghost did say she will be gone forever. In Season 1, Episode 2. (I watched the first three episodes over the weekend to prepare for last night.)

Hank said...

The finale was about as good as I could have asked. Personally, I would have had a voiceover somewhere, with Dr. Abbott doing the honors. And I wasn't bothered about Hannah's college decision. It doesn't mean she was expecting to get back with Bright. Maybe she'd realized that they had moved on, and that she wanted to have that strong support group as she faced this big life experience. I took her expression as she mailed the acceptance letter as feeling good and comfortable with her decision, not anxious over what might or might not be.

Anonymous said...

I didn't take Andy's farewell at the graveside as never visiting the grave again, more as a farewell to the part of Julia he'd been holding onto that stopped him from moving forward with his life.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Hank, the only real pro Hannah could give about going to A&M instead of Notre Dame was the proximity to Bright. Amy's her best friend, but it's never felt like one of those unbreakable bonds that she couldn't live without. I think it would have been cool -- and consistent with Bright's character -- for him to acknowledge that Hannah's future is brighter than his and that he's willing to follow her wherever that future takes her, whether as friend, boyfriend or both.

vance said...

I completely agree. Other than the Hannah should have gone to Notre Dame part cause Bright and others would still always be there for her, the finale was PERFECT. It gave us what we wanted even though it went the traditional happy ending route yet still never felt like it rang false to normal Everwood life.

Anonymous said...

The montage of Amy and Ephram? So Awesome. On the topic of Hannah going to college, I, too would have preferred to have Hannnah go to Notre Dame because I think a friendship can be sustained long distance. It's only four years, and there's vacations and breaks. The reason she stayed though, I will chalk up to her attachment to the community of Everwood and her closeness to the whole Abbott family, not just Bright. She hangs out with Nina, has a special bond with Harold, and wants to be roommates with Amy. I knew a lot of high school friends who chose to go to a certain college only because of their boyfriends (and eventually broke up) but Hannah isn't one of them.

Lindy said...

The finale was a sweet goodbye to our favorite Everwoodians, but it left me wishing the show had gone on longer. Parts of it felt rushed (no fault of the creative team, I'm sure -- cancellation came pretty late in their process) and I would have loved to see the Andy/Nina and Ephram/Amy arcs play out over a longer, more natural period of time. C'mon, CW, you couldn't give us even a half season?

Even so, the big sap in me loved seeing that final kiss between Amy and Ephram, and loved Andy's proposal to Nina. I wish Hannah had picked Notre Dame, but I can always tell myself that her giant A&M envelope contained the "no, thanks" card telling them she'd chosen a different school. (Yeah, right!) And Harold Abbott still remains one of my favorite TV characters. I was so happy the finale included a scene with Harold and Andy -- those two have such a great dynamic, and never fail to make me grin.