aNewDomain — When the final moments of “Mad Men” dropped off the planet earth, I didn’t care that I could watch every episode over and over, and that Don Draper wasn’t actually going anywhere really. I started to sob myself into a pitiful, pouty, teary, “Old Yeller” mess.
And the last night of “Lost” was like a dear relative’s funeral and memorial service.
The “Lost” before show, the final episode, the Jimmy Kimmel aftershow — it all had to be done. Closure was vital.
The last I saw of “Nurse Jackie” was different. I wanted Jackie to die of an overdose. This is a suburban junkie’s fate more often than not. She was a twisted heroine, and nothing she did deserved a happy ending.
I don’t want to invite any of you to firebomb my home in protest, but I must admit I didn’t care for “Breaking Bad.”
Not because of the actors, who are legends, certainly. It was because I watched the pilot and predicted how everything would go down. And I just didn’t care that Bryan Cranston is a writer’s dreamboat and has the range of Olivier, too. Some of us don’t and that’s just a fact.
But when Jessica Lange steps away from “American Horror Story” after the upcoming series, my grief will be untouchable, and it will bubble to the surface like it was yesterday when I watch “The Paley Center” show six months later.
As the final hour of “Dexter” closed in, my discomfort was so great that I couldn’t watch the last show; I read spoilers in the paper the next day. I was disappointed as I suspected. It didn’t cheapen my investment in the program and every blessed genius connected with its production.
“Six Feet Under” blew my mind and opened my third-eye it was so perfectly in keeping with the cycle of life and it’s random peppering of a death near you.
All of these shows have drama in common.
Sitcoms say goodbye, and it’s a sad but rowdy party.
Soap operas shudder, and you wonder how they lasted so long.
Rom-Coms you dig say sayonara, and it displeases you but only because you won’t be able to randomly watch what’s up with them anymore.
Dramas that punch you in the life and death part of you are almost dangerous to follow.
How many of us who watched the above programs looked for signs of life in ourselves and the confirmation that our choices were right, or that the next big leap will be proof that we’re living an Oprah-worthy authentic life?
Most fascinating in the end was that we watched these dramas and were sure we knew what would happen or should happen to characters we identified with or wanted to be with in real life.
Ultimately we would’ve been truly disappointed had we played script God.
In that way it was very real.
The story of Don Draper wasn’t some backstory to the opening segment animation. It was how an ordinary genius had a chaotic life riddled with horrible choices and irreversible human damage and yet he wasn’t down or done.
None of the people we loved in “Mad Men” had a big final end. It was just where we left them and this is just like your own biography, isn’t it. More is to come.
“Lost” was more of a spiritual parable. There was so much sci-fi and fantasy, the logical ground of smart sci-fi lost the power struggle in the writers room, and the show chose to focus on clipping every heart string like piano wire.
Anyone bitching about unanswered questions was hanging onto the wrong POV for too long and missed the soul of what drew everyone into the saga. Kvetching about lack of logic is like closing your eyes on a roller coaster.
It’s either all in or out.
“Dexter” is a story that held true season after season.
You had to look the other way when reality tapped on your shoulder. If Miami had that many Hannibal Lecter-type serial killers, HLN would move it’s broadcasting production base. The attraction of “Dexter ” was not knowing too much and watching him nearly lose everything and slip out of ensnarement in the final moments of every season finale. Even Dexter’s sister Debra killing LaGuerta made sense and promised so much.
Of course, people would start to lose it as more death presented itself at the main cast members’ feet. But I, for one, was looking for Dexter’s last magic act.
Dexter should’ve David Blained the crap out of that final episode. But he didn’t.
Instead, his sister dies after finding love, his serial-killer lover walks away with his young child (who had a loving set of siblings and grandparents), and Dexter is left alone with a bad fake beard facing his demons — instead of levitating and kicking ass. Sad.
The end of every great television drama is like another small death. Right now I know that “Game Of Thrones” is filming its final season, and I feel like my best friend was just diagnosed with cancer and now I have to watch him die.
For aNewDomain, I’m Viki Reed.
Image credits: “Mad Men” cast via HuffingtonPost.com, All Rights Reserved; “Lost” cast via starpulse.com, All Rights Reserved; “Nurse Jackie” image via Post-Gazette.com, All Rights Reserved; “Breaking Bad” image: ProductionHub.com, All Rights Reserved; Jessica Lange in “American Horror Story” image: IMDb.com, All Rights Reserved; “Dexter” image: RedBrick.me, All Rights Reserved; “Game of Thrones” image: DeviantArt.net, All Rights Reserved.