Maybe Your Finale Should Not Suck.

rtb-finale-thumb2Raising the Bar, as I said in an earlier post, is currently my favourite of the new shows this year. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t have some flaws.  Chief among these is a horrible season finale, not because it was a bad episode (it was pretty damn good), but because it just lacked anything that remotely said ‘I am a finale’ other than the TNT watermark. The Jerry/Bobby kiss? moved their relationship forward, but was really not a ‘season finale’ type of event. Neither was anything else that took place during the ep.

pantsless-logan1RtB’s first season isn’t the first time one of my favourite shows has failed at making a finale. VMars series finale did the same, which was especially disappointing after how hard they’d rocked the finale during their first two seasons. Now yes, I know they were hoping for a fourth season, but that’s actually what the problem was here. They were so worried about cancellation, and how to get another season/how many episodes they’d get for that season, that in the end the events of Veronica’s first year at college built up to… a handful of one-off episodes without any major case to solve. Now I know it’s naive to expect them to pull off something as amazing as the season one finale was, not knowing exactly how many episodes the season would run, and sure they were cooking up two different pitches for the fourth season of the show, but ‘Keith probably won’t be elected sheriff’ just doesn’t cut it, sorry.

It’s clear that even good creators sometimes forget about this recent (yet vital!) addition to the television lexicon, the finale. So I’ve decided to give a few handy tips:

  • Do you have some sort of major revelation or big plot moment? Perhaps you should add one of these. Bringing a character back from the dead and/or killing a character would work well.
  • A cliffhanger is always a simple way to say ‘finale!’ though it is probably best to check to see if your show is getting another season before using this one.
  • Are there any ongoing plotlines that you could now end? Or even pretend to end and then revive next season? Nothing says ‘finale’ like ‘finality!’
  • Have a main character break down and cry. Or perhaps blow up something large and impressive-looking. Or both. Ooooh, have someone crying, and then they blow up! Impressively!
  • Has the network suggested adding a ‘season finale’ tag to the show in order that your audience realize there won’t be another episode next week? If so, you may want to consider some rewrites.

Now remember, all of these tips are just ways to change your ‘last produced episode’ into a ‘finale.’ None of this will in any way guarantee the level of quality contained within said finale. You may very well realize after you’ve produced the episode, that your main character is floating naked through space in a glowing geometric shape. If this happens, don’t panic! If all else fails, hire Steven S. DeKnight and force him to write even worse stories in order to make what you’ve done seem better by comparison.


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~ by Jerk on November 23, 2008.

10 Responses to “Maybe Your Finale Should Not Suck.”

  1. I think there were finale-y things in RtB like gay guy is gay! and mom from malcom gives him his job back! and gun buys a sandwich! I think it was the short season and the strange placement of the season that really threw us off. I’m still going to say I like TNT’s litte screw you we dont follow the rules attitude. woo TNT!

    also the exploding crying thing made me think of Leverage which was so awesome it could have been both a premiere and finale in one except i need like 20 more eps in the middle.

    The thing I remember most about the veronica finale was the joke about Rob Thomas being a bitch. That and flying little planes. There was fail there for sure but there’s no way they could out epic season one and two. Also there was another theme for season 3, – and with her as always is rape.

  2. Bug gay guy is gay was at the end of the ep before. He just got his job back in the finale. I was very tempted to go with ‘Jerry practices law while barefoot’ as a finale-like thing from the ep, myself.

    My best memory from the VMars finale was Logan beating up everyone he saw, including the guy who was mobbed up, and then laughing at him and his mafianess. But that could have happened in any episode. Well, any episode after the little girl convinced him to put pants on again.

  3. I was going to say and then they ran in and made an appeal last minute because the building was going to fall down with her father inside but that’s the Eli Stone Premiere. I really do get them mixed up. I think it’s the daughter and the girl from Sorority Boys. They’re too much alike. Plus maggie and bobby, nerdy co-worker guy that wears suits, black dude laywer guy…

    I really liked that little girl. She could have been a really bad story line but she was amazing. That reminds me I want to watch The Boarder.

  4. You want to watch what? IMDB tells me you want to watch an 8 minute short film from 2005. And that it has no connection to VMars.

  5. Sorry the border VMars dad doing canadian tv, does flashpoint. New canadian show the border has grace park looks bad Also? it shoots in toronto, Aaron Douglas is doing a pilot in toronto for another canadian show and hes all Im the star and he’s a cop, i’m hoping its like miniparkman cause he kinda reminds me of greg.

    and now you’ve seen my mind on no sleep.

  6. I totally remember at some point saying that Chief and Grunny should do a buddy cop show. Or perhaps two brothers who work as private investigators together.

  7. like supernatural but with cops? Yes.

    p.s. you forgot to jerk it.

  8. And what’s with this recent explosion of bad Canadian drama ness? I remember back when we made stuff like this, and it was awesome.

  9. I’m really bad for that, I’ve forgotten to jerk it probably close to half the time.

  10. That looks like a collection of bad haircuts. I’d say the influx is because CBS bought Flashpoint and something else. It’s kinda like the United States asked CBC to sit a their lunch table and now they think they’re cool.

    Also $ is less awsome up here now so less work, more canadians left to think up lame stuff?

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