on Jun 11, 2007
In the past I have lamented about the lack of decent story arcs in American television. I talked about my profound disappointment with Sopranos, which I thought would have a coherent arc, but ended up being a soap opera for men. I’ve been anticipating that the show would simply stop rather than conclude. Looks like I was right. The finale has aired:
Yeah, I loved how he played against viewer expectations by not ending the story. How innovative! Maybe Final Fantasy VII should have played against gamer expectations by leaving out the last disc. Maybe J.K.Rowling should have played against fan expectations and just not written the last Harry Potter book. I stopped watching The Sopranos somewhere in season 4, and have been waiting to see what the end would be like before continuing. Based on this, there is no way I’m going to waste my time just so I can follow the tale to this dead end. What a shame.
To be fair, the show has a lot going for it. The acting, casting, and cinematography were on par with that of big-budget movies, and it was an incredible achievement to maintain that level of quality for 86 episodes. But for people like me who insist on a story, a point, a wrap-up, or some sort of closure, it’s still an incredible disappointment.
In this post I talked about some of the ways the show could have gone. One reader dismissed my ideas as “dumb and predictable”. Fine. But I suggest that they are all superior to the end we got, which was dumb, predictable, and pointless.
Someday television writers might get their act together and write a complete story*, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
* Babylon 5 being the rare exception. Can you believe that for all my ranting about complete stories, I have never watched B5? It’s on my to-do list, I swear.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.