Just three for today.
NPR: I told you I'd just finished New York 2140
. There was a great interview with him on Science Friday: Kim Stanley Robinson Tackles How to Keep a Drowning City Afloat
The New Republic: The Powerful Reticence of Elizabeth Bishop
. The argument being made by some is that the poems and letters Bishop didn't want published in her lifetime shouldn't be put in print after her death, because if she had wanted that material published she would have done so herself. Okay, but if Emily Dickinson's surviving family had respected her last wishes, nearly all of her poems would have been burned after her death. Can you imagine?
Vulture: TV Is Moving Away From Finale Fever — Which Is Making for Better TV
. This piece is by Matt Zoller Seitz, my favorite critic, and I'm not sure I agree with him. See what you think.
Not too long ago, the ending was everything. It put a frame around the entire seasons-long adventure of watching a show. It made viewers argue, sometimes angrily, about whether the finale “stuck the landing” or just stunk. TV shows used to have to end on a note that satisfied everyone or risk being tarred as crushingly anticlimactic (Lost), incoherent (Battlestar Galactica), incoherent and pretentious (The Sopranos), or a violation of the spirit of everything that came before (Seinfeld). The arguments would rage on for weeks, months, even longer. In the case of David Chase’s gangster saga The Sopranos, which ended ten years ago this summer, the arguments have still not stopped.
Now, however, the ending is no longer the be-all and end-all of TV storytelling. With the final episode of The Leftovers, you may have wept grateful tears or thrown something at your screen in angry disappointment — but what you likely won’t do is carry the show’s ending around with you for years like sweet vindication or a festering grudge. You won’t do it when Twin Peaks: The Return ends. You won’t do it for The Americans, or Better Call Saul, or This Is Us. You might not even do it for The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, ongoing hits that probably get closest to capturing the ride-or-die tribal factionalism of programs like Lost and The Sopranos.
So, I didn't watch The Sopranos
, therefore I cannot comment on its ending. You thought everyone watched The Sopranos
, didn't you? It was on a premium channel, plus I quit gangsters cold turkey after The Godfather, Part II
. Following episode three, I didn't watch Lost
, either. I was all Yes! to watching PLANE CRASH SURVIVORS ON A DESERTED ISLAND. But that initial enthusiasm rapidly changed to OMIGOD NO EFFING WAY?! once that premise was complicated by their crazy-ass supernatural reasons for it. Sadly, the section of my brain that allowed me to cope with that kind of plot was destroyed by The X-Files
. As for Battlestar Gallactica
, I quit in the middle of its third season, so I never made it to the "incoherent" finale. (I still bought the DVDS, though, the mark of a True Fan, even if I've never opened the box.)
However, I've been carrying resentment about the terrible final season of The X-Files
around for over a decade now, as well the beyond terrible second movie, and the so-bad-there-is-no-word-for-how-bad-it-
was revival series from 2015-16. Though I thought my beloved Fringe
went downhill after the middle of the fourth season, I hold its finale close to my heart, because they made everything okay again. Well, nearly everything. I am still bitter about the death of a certain character whose first name is the last name of the greatest American President. Bastards.
Here's where I part company with MZS: I just don't understand how he can be so lackadaisical about The Americans
. If its show runners don't tie up all of their dangling plot threads in a satisfactory manner in the final season, it won't be as though the series never existed a mere day after it airs, not for me it won't. Maybe Matt will have moved on, but I will be beside myself for months, if not years.
Between us, I'm already pretty unhappy with how things have been going for my characters this season, so unhappy, in fact, that I am seriously considering quitting the series today
, still two episodes short of watching the season four finale (PLEASE NO SPOILERS IN COMMENTS). The problem is that I have a very specific series ending in mind, one that I feel the writers have been foreshadowing from the beginning. If they don't provide that kind of closure, then hell yes, I will be pissed off. For the sake of my mental health, I might be happier if I go ahead and break up with the series now.
~/~/~The 1x07 discussion post
, "Windmills," is up at rocinante
Happy Monday, everyone.