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Old May 12 2010, 01:43 AM   #1
Joe Washington
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What makes a final season?: the comeback

Using your knowledge of TV shows, what makes a final season according to you. Which final seasons of shows do you think reached your expectations or went above them?
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Old May 12 2010, 03:48 AM   #2
Temis the Vorta
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

Lost is doing it now.
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Old May 12 2010, 08:07 AM   #3
Obiwanshinobi
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

Personlly I think Lost has been on a steady climb since the beginning. But what makes final seasons usually good is either the writers and show runners know they gotta go out with a bang in risk of being canceled prematurely liked Angel for example. Who's to say if they stayed for a 6th season that that season would have topped
season 5 But it's subjective I guess
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Old May 12 2010, 08:11 AM   #4
RoJoHen
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

Well, I definitely think it helps when shows know when their final season is going to be, rather than just randomly getting canceled one day and scrambling to wrap everything up. DS9 had a really awesome final season, and I think LOST is doing an awesome job now. I like it when final seasons try to be epic and try to bring closure to as much of the overall story as possible.
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Old May 12 2010, 08:18 AM   #5
Caliburn24
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

I disagree about DS9's final season. I thought it was a major step down from prior seasons.

Unfortunately, I don't think television, due to the nature of the medium is good at producing satisfying endings. Very few television endings are planned out well, and often times just serve as a way to give fans what they supposedly want, without resolving or addressing the true needs of the story.
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Old May 12 2010, 08:26 AM   #6
Snaploud
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

We're culturally inclined toward a three act story structure:

1. Act 1: The set up (location, style, characters, catalyst, central question, main action beats)


2. First Turning Point: Development (unexpected twist, new details, propels into Act 2)


3. Act 2: Main Storyline, The journey, The quest, the focus of the story)


4. Second Turning Point: raises the stakes, propels viewer into a dramatic climax, speeds the pace


5. Act 3: Resolution, ties loose threads


Source:


http://academics.smcvt.edu/journalis...ure%20HOME.htm

Granted, most shows spread out the various acts, but we still want that final season to simulate an Act 3 (resolution, the tying of loose threads).
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Old May 12 2010, 10:18 AM   #7
Aragorn
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

^ Heroes does it differently.

ACT I: The set up

TURNING POINT: The plot and characters all reach a dead end

New ACT I

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Old May 12 2010, 02:45 PM   #8
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

I thought Frasier, Cheers, Monk all had perfect final seasons.
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Old May 12 2010, 03:09 PM   #9
Star Wolf
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

Can American TV with its season concept really do a final season well? First they have to know it is he final year and Jay Leno won't move back to late night and the show would get drafted for another go. Then their is a fear of destroying a character before the movie is done if the show really had such a cult or mainstream following.

Ideally a school based show dies in four years when the class graduates. Jack Bauer takes a sniper's bullet to his head. The doctor finishes his training and moves on to his practice
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Old May 12 2010, 04:27 PM   #10
Mistral
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

I liked DS9's ending because it tied up many loose ends. I liked Quantum Leap's ending because it strolled down Memory Lane with the viewer. I am loving LOST and where it is going.

A good series ending should be planned carefully. MASH springs to mind for that-or Cheers. The writing should recognize the emotional investment of the audience-particularly on long-running shows. In a pinch, it is possible to end gracefully but it isn't easy without sufficient warning. One good example of that is Journeyman, which managed a wrap despite little notice.

Answers should be given, old faces return(if it makes sense) and the characters should be allowed to move on in a believable manner. (Friends did that last bit fairly well.)

The ending should only be epic if the show was epic-a quiet finish has its place, too.

Personally, I'm a fan of "in jokes" so I love it when the series finale can pull it off.
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Old May 12 2010, 05:15 PM   #11
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

I definitely think that a final season will work best when the creative team knows that it's the last season, and they can map out the story in advance. Once the writers know that the show has a set end date, they can (hopefully) begin to bring the storyline to a climax and then offer resolution. If there's anything that they've been putting off, now is the time to do it. If there are questions that need to be answered, now is the time to answer them. Bring everything to a climax, add in a few twists and turns, ramp up the drama, and then give the fans and the characters some payoff at the end.
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Old May 12 2010, 05:28 PM   #12
Broccoli
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

Stargate SG-1's season 8 would have been a great final season with the finale having a nice, little "Wonderful Life"-style trip down memory lane.

However, Sci-Fi disagreed...
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Old May 12 2010, 05:38 PM   #13
Smiley
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

One could argue that everything after Season 8 was Stargate: SG-1 2.

All I ask from final seasons is that the level of writing stay high. Of course, given that cancellations usually happen because the audience has lost interest, the odds are not good that a show will be of great quality during its last season. It works better if the show runners have a planned end point due to design of the show or contract length.
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Old May 15 2010, 12:34 AM   #14
The Borgified Corpse
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

Mistral wrote: View Post
I liked DS9's ending because it tied up many loose ends.
Except for, ya know, the original question of whether Bajor was going to join the Federation. But other than that and some of the stupid stuff with Gul Dukat getting posessed by the Pagh'Wraiths, I thought that DS9 did a good job resolving the big stuff with the Dominion as well as some of the smaller stuff, like Rom becoming the new Grand Nagus and Garak returning to Cardassia and General Martok becoming the new Chancellor of the Klingons. I liked the advancement of the Bashir/Ezri romance and the bittersweet ending of the Bashir/O'Brien bro-mance. I didn't much care for Odo leaving though. I just have a hard time imagining him ever leaving Kira's side considering all the heartache it took to get there.

Broccoli wrote: View Post
Stargate SG-1's season 8 would have been a great final season with the finale having a nice, little "Wonderful Life"-style trip down memory lane.

However, Sci-Fi disagreed...
I agree that Season 8 would have been a wonderful ending. However, I did enjoy Seasons 9 & 10 as sort of a separate series. Col. Mitchell was lame and I missed Jack O'Neill but Vala Mal Doran was a hoot!

Angel had a good final season, although it was very different from the rest of the series. It needed to be, since there was just no way to top Season 4 in the old Angel Investigations format. Still, it brought Angel and Wolfram & Hart back to the forefront, after the Beast/Jasmine & badass Wesley diversions of Season 4.
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Old May 15 2010, 04:53 PM   #15
Broccoli
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Re: What makes a final season?: the comeback

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
Broccoli wrote: View Post
Stargate SG-1's season 8 would have been a great final season with the finale having a nice, little "Wonderful Life"-style trip down memory lane.

However, Sci-Fi disagreed...
I agree that Season 8 would have been a wonderful ending. However, I did enjoy Seasons 9 & 10 as sort of a separate series. Col. Mitchell was lame and I missed Jack O'Neill but Vala Mal Doran was a hoot!
Oh, don't get me wrong. I liked Seasons 9 & 10 too, but it just felt so tacked on when looking at the series as a whole.
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