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Old May 19 2010, 01:16 AM   #1
DarthPipes
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The end of a television era

Sunday is the series finale for both Lost and Law and Order. Monday is the series finale of 24. In a span of twenty-four hours, three of the most influential television shows of the past twenty years (all-time too I would argue) will be over. That is really something when you think about it.
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Old May 19 2010, 01:21 AM   #2
Temis the Vorta
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Re: The end of a television era

And everything in the fall season sucks!

Okay there are a few promising shows - The Event, No Ordinary Family, Hellcats (haw) - but none that sound like they can be a breakout new kind of show.

Aw well. There's always Dexter. Only really good show left!
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Old May 19 2010, 01:27 AM   #3
The Borgified Corpse
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Re: The end of a television era

And I thought TV was kicking me in the balls last year when they cancelled Battlestar Galactica & Stargate Atlantis, reduced Torchwood down to 5 episodes (although they were infuriating & fantastic at the same time), and reduced Doctor Who down to a handfull of specials. I used to say, "At least I still have Law & Order."

Now I'm not sure whether I want to see Jeff Zucker menaced at the hands of Jack Bauer or brought to court on trumped up charges by Jack McCoy.
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Old May 19 2010, 01:31 AM   #4
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Re: The end of a television era

DarthPipes wrote: View Post
Sunday is the series finale for both Lost and Law and Order. Monday is the series finale of 24. In a span of twenty-four hours, three of the most influential television shows of the past twenty years (all-time too I would argue) will be over. That is really something when you think about it.
24, L&O, Heroes overstayed their welcome and should have ended years ago.

LOST is actually one of the very very few tv series that is exiting the stage at the right time. Many stick around too long replacing castmember after castmember and running on fumes when it comes to storylines.

I can definitely see that happening to LOST if it were to stick around passed this season. But you are right LOST is the end of an era. It was the most enjoyable series in the last decade for myself. It ushered in a whole new storytelling format and style with its non-linear puzzle style storytelling with a massive cast, dizzying pacing, dense plotting. It truly felt like the first series made just for the internet fanboy who overanalyzes, nitpicks, screen captures, reads spoilers, loves theorizing and communing with others like them. It started the craze of webisodes and supplemental materials beyond just the weekly episode viewing experience. It really took advantage of the internet.

Many shows have tried to emulate it--nBSG, Heroes, V, Flash Forward, Daybreak, Invasion, Surface, VANISHED, Threshold and out of that bunch only season one of Heroes came the closest.

It was an enjoyable viewing experience with the twists, cliffhangers, OMG moments. I spent many an hour studying it and picking it apart and wouldn't change that but I'm happy that it is ending now. It has been as exhausting an experience for the viewers as it has been for the writers.

Yeah networks did a lot of spring cleaning and most of it rightly so although I'm still unhappy with Legend of the Seeker's cancellation--the only series canned this year that didn't deserve it. As much as I loved LOST I'm not really interested in tackling another series quite so time-consuming and complex anytime soon. It would be nice if tv shows might take it down a notch and get back to more traditional serialized dramas with a smaller ensemble and fewer storylines with more depth. I want to get back to the days of just being able to watch a show and not having to dissect it to give up all its secrets. The thing about LOST is the writers made you do a lot of the heavy lifting.
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Old May 19 2010, 01:35 AM   #5
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Re: The end of a television era

I won't argue about overstaying their welcome but it's still signifcant that they're both coming to an end.

HBO's Luck series with Dustin Hoffman about the world of horse racing sounds intriguing. I'll check out The Cape too and Breakout Kings.
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Old May 19 2010, 01:38 AM   #6
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Re: The end of a television era

Funny thing is that the shows I enjoyed this year are pretty much all I'm interested in next season based on all the upfront reveals this week--Chuck, Life Unexpected, Human Target, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Fringe. The Event might be promising.
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Old May 19 2010, 01:43 AM   #7
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Re: The end of a television era

"That particular form of entertainment did not last much beyond the year Two Thousand Forty."
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Old May 19 2010, 01:57 AM   #8
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Re: The end of a television era

DarthPipes wrote: View Post
Sunday is the series finale for both Lost and Law and Order. Monday is the series finale of 24. In a span of twenty-four hours, three of the most influential television shows of the past twenty years (all-time too I would argue) will be over. That is really something when you think about it.
I've never seen 24 or L&O(HATE police/lawyer/doctor shows)and Lost lost me and a whole bunch of people this year with its metaphysical chain jerking.

Absolute bollocks.

I will not miss ANY of these shows.
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Old May 19 2010, 03:03 AM   #9
Kirkman1987
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Re: The end of a television era

With a movie on the horizon, the end of 24 isn't too troubling. It's had a great run.

The more pressing problem is the end of Ashes to Ashes on Friday. We will likely never see Gene Hunt again, who is just as much of a legend as Bauer is in my eyes.

At least Dexter will return in the fall.
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Old May 19 2010, 03:27 AM   #10
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Re: The end of a television era

Yeah, this is definitely the end of an era. Aside from all the good sitcoms being on, what the hell is left in the hourlong drama department come this fall? I barely care about Fringe or Human Target or Chuck. There's nothing new and exciting coming. "No Ordinary Family" is the only one I'm remotely interested in. "Terra Nova" might be decent but it's not until midseason. I seem to recall Fall 2004 looking just as barren, with the only promising new show being some weird thing called LOST...
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Old May 19 2010, 03:31 AM   #11
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Re: The end of a television era

startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
Many shows have tried to emulate it--nBSG, Heroes, V, Flash Forward, Daybreak, Invasion, Surface, VANISHED, Threshold and out of that bunch only season one of Heroes came the closest.
Honestly, the fact that Lost ushered in the era of serialized goes-nowhere mindfucks that networks have been pumping is reason hate it. It is guilty of one of the worst crimes against television.

Granted, I actually liked BSG, but even I can acknowledge that certain things should have been thought through and planned
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Old May 19 2010, 03:42 AM   #12
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Re: The end of a television era

Isn't L&O on Monday?

And L&O should have ended years ago, but recently got really good again!
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Old May 19 2010, 03:43 AM   #13
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Re: The end of a television era

All this has happened before and will happen again
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Old May 19 2010, 03:49 AM   #14
Temis the Vorta
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Re: The end of a television era

Samurai8472 wrote: View Post
All this has happened before and will happen again
I clearly recall thinking when the last frame of DS9 series finale faded out, "Well that's it. I'll never see a show that good again."

And now DS9 looks a little pathetic compared with Lost, which after all, never had any Ferengi comedies mucking things up, really only had one bad episode in its entire run (Jack's tattoos) and so far, nobody's eyes have turned red. Inconceivable as it may be, someday there will be better shows than Lost or Dexter.
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Old May 20 2010, 03:53 AM   #15
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Re: The end of a television era

DarthPipes wrote: View Post
Sunday is the series finale for both Lost and Law and Order. Monday is the series finale of 24. In a span of twenty-four hours, three of the most influential television shows of the past twenty years (all-time too I would argue) will be over. That is really something when you think about it.
I never did care for Lost or 24 but I will agree they were influential. Both probably should have ended a couple years back, though. 24, by what I've read from fans, had passed its sell-by date around the time they did that TV movie. Lost, to its credit, announced an exit strategy well in advance. More shows should be as bold. Not that I want to see it happen, and boy people would bitch about it, but if Steven Moffat were to say "We're ending Doctor Who at the end of Season 33" (they're in #31 now) it would be sad, but also quite exciting. Sort of like how Lost fans no doubt feel.

As for Law & Order as far as I'm concerned that show was timeless. Arguments over "it overstayed its welcome" I think are pointless because the series continually reinvented itself with new cast, and with plotline ideas being provided mostly by the daily news. Some combinations of actors worked better than others - no one could top Jerry Orbach as the veteran cop, while the Sam Waterston/Jill Hennessey team should have stayed together for a few more years. And having real-life senator Fred Thompson play the DA was just cool.

The sad part is we'll never see a scripted show make it this far again. The Simpsons made it, of course, and will continue to be the standard bearer for long-lived American shows probably for a few more years (I expect it'll make it to 25). But even though we have a few shows entering their second decade like the original CSI I don't expect to see it go the stretch.

I was thinking back to where I was and what I was doing when L&O first went on the air (I don't recall watching the first episode, though I did start watching not long after). I was midway through my B.A. in university. I'd never encountered the Internet (though I think we were just playing around with dial-up BBS'es in the days when it took an hour to download a JPEG if a heavy truck didn't pass down the street outside). Bush Sr. was president. Mulroney was Prime Minister. Terms like global warming, collateral damage and weapons of mass destruction were unknown to most people. 9/11 was just a typo for the emergency phone number (and many places didn't even have 911 yet). Videogames were clunky cartridges. I still had a full head of hair and the energy to go all night without sleep and still work a full day afterwards.

It's amazing how much water has passed under the bridge since L&O (and for that matter The Simpsons) started. How many people we know (famous and not famous) who weren't even conceived when L&O hit the air.

So, yeah, it's definitely a major end of an era. Inevitable, but still sad. I read that there were some people upset that L&O didn't get a finale episode. I'm actually glad it didn't because its strength was the fact it thrived on completely standalone episodes with little or no backstory or ongoing continuity. There was some, and the writers tossed in tantalizing clues here and there (most notably the love affair between Jack and Claire), but for L&O to just end with no great "going off into the sunset" moment, I think is completely appropriate for the show.

And we also don't know yet what the plans are for LOLA. If all they end up doing is transporting characters from L&O out west, then it could be argued that LOLA could really be simply Season 21. Which is great if it doesn't turn into the 21st century equivalent of AfterMASH...

Alex
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