Just finished season 2 in my current rewatch. This time it really struck me that this is a series full of the sort of stuff I really don't like. The lead character is a goody-goody, it's often overly sentimental, can be quite moralising, the rules of the time travel don't make any sense (is he in their body or his own? That sometimes doesn't stay consitent even within the same episode- like him leaping into a pool player with poor eyesight whilst keeping his own 20/20 vision but wearing the leapee's presumably strong perscription glasses with no problems at all) and is based around a nostalgia for American history that I'll really not old enough to remember. I should, in theory, despise it as much as that Touched By An Angel
crap that used to clog up Saturday afternoons on ITV. Or Timecop: The Series
But I really, really, really love this series. You've got two exceptional main actors, with Backula especially making far more of the potentially bland Sam than's on the page (watch him play a monkey convincingly and wonder what went wrong with Captain Archer), generally smart, funny scripts that can go into serious places without it getting too Moral of the Day. And the fact it often addresses the problems of the past stops it being too Peter Kay.
It also has two moments that genuinely make me well up everytime I watch them, despite my cold dead heart. The first was the end of the episode M.I.A
, which again should be really cheesy but Dean Stockwell is just extraordinary and it's utterly heartbreaking.
The second, unsurprisingly, is when this moment is revisited at the end of the last episode.
And it's really is more of a bittersweat ending than an out and out downer. Al gets happiness, Sam makes the choice to go on helping people (which is exactly right for his character), the main sorrow to counter than just comes from the breaking up of the team rather than it being an out and out disaster for everyone.