In honor of last weekend’s season finales of Turn: Washington’s Spies and Orphan Black (which were both fantastic), I have made a list of other favorite series finales. Most of these finales are attached to personal memories, and some are just really good episodes of television. All these shows affected me in different ways at different times in my life, but I felt a real sense of loss when they ended. There were a couple great finales this year, but I did not include them because it is likely they will make my list of Best Episodes of 2017. As long as you do not watch the videos, there should not be any big spoilers.
1. Sex and the City: I was in high school when this show started, and I used to watch it at night when my parents were in bed, because my mother would have never approved. When I got to college, it was the show that everyone watched. It ended my junior year in college and I remember watching it with my roommates at our apartment in Elon, North Carolina. I would actually have preferred for Carrie to end up with Aiden, but I was happy with the way the other three women’s stories were wrapped up.
2. Parenthood: Jason Katims knows how to do a series finales, as evidenced by Friday Night Lights also being on this list. I do not like too much ambiguity in my series finales, and this let me know that the Bravermans would all be okay. I watched this finale at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas surrounded by other Parenthood fans for an ATX Television Festival event. There was something cathartic being in a theater full of people, all of whom were sobbing.
3. Sons of Anarchy: I got into SOA in the middle of season three. I had put off watching it because of the subject matter, but could not ignore the critics raving about it. It also came to me at a time in my life when I needed to just completely lose myself in a world so unlike my own. When I moved to Austin, I bonded with one of my new friends over our love of Charlie Hunnam and the show, and we started watching the episodes together each week at my apartment. Obviously, I wish every character could have had a happy ending, but that is not what this show was about. It was about dealing with the consequences of the life each of them had chosen, and the actions they had taken along the way.
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I do not really have a fun story for where I was when I watched the finale of this show. I actually think I was alone in my parent’s basement, which sounds kind of creepy. I got into this show late, and I don’t think I had even caught up on all the seasons yet, but wanted to watch the finale live. I did not really know what was happening at the time, but have obviously gone back and watched the entire series several times since then. This speech still brings me to tears every time I watch it:
I am very excited for the upcoming Supergirl/The Flash musical crossover, and am especially hoping for a Jeremy Jordan/Jesse L. Martin duet of some kind. In preparation for this episode, I started thinking about some of my other favorite musical television moments.
1. Smash – Don’t Forget Me
There were a lot of great performances in this series, but this one still gives me chills. While I do feel that ultimately Ivy made the better Marilyn, I was rooting for Karen when this finale episode aired and this performance, in particular, really moved me.
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Going Through the Motions??
This is not necessarily my favorite number from this episode, but it is the one that set the tone. A musical demon is making everyone sing their feelings, and sometimes those feelings are things people have been keeping hidden from everyone else. Since Buffy was brought back from the dead, she has been ‘going through the motions’ and she’s finally admitting it out loud.
3. One Tree Hill – Brooklyn
This was really the first show that made music into one of its characters instead of just something to set the mood in certain scenes. Grubbs only stuck around for one season as the bartender at Tric, and was played by Wakey Wakey’s Mike Grubbs. For some reason, his acoustic performance of Brooklyn has always stuck with me. I could not find a clip of the actual scene, but here is another performance of this great song.
4. Eli Stone – Faith
Eli is a San Francisco lawyer and he begins to have visions that encourage him to choose more virtuous cases. In this first episode, he believes that God is speaking to him through George Michael. It was a brilliant, but short-lived, series.
I have never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I do not really understand the point of this holiday. In high school, one boyfriend took me on a date to see the movie My Favorite Martian. So romantic. However, I do enjoy watching other people make fools of themselves in the name of romance. Which is why, this year, I made a list of my favorite episodes in which people’s holidays do not go as planned.
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”
It is bad enough to be single on this holiday, but to also be tormented by your ex-boyfriend (who happens to be a soulless vampire), only makes things worse. Also, after Cordelia breaks up with Xander, he blackmails Amy to get her to do a love spell for him. Unfortunately, the spell affects every woman *but* Cordelia, and things turn deadly as the women fight each other for his affections.
2. Friends “The One With The Candy Hearts”
Joey accidentally sets Chandler up on a blind-date with ex-girlfriend Janice. Ross and his date end up at the same restaurant as his ex-wife Susan, and he invites her to join his date when she gets stood up. Meanwhile, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe have plans, so they agree to take part in Phoebe’s cleansing ritual, which has them setting fire to items from their ex-boyfriends. Rachel throws in a bottle of grappa, and the fire department has to be called.
3. Smallville “Persuasion”
Clark accidentally ingests gemstone kryptonite, which makes everything he tells someone he *wants* into a reality. This might sound ideal, but not when it turns your career-oriented girlfriend into Suzy Homemaker, and sets your best friend on a mission to break the two of you up. Also, Zod figures out what is happening and uses Clark’s new ability against him, which puts Tess in danger.
4. Happy Endings “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”
Penny is waiting until after Valentine’s Day to break up with the guy she’s been dating, and then convinces Dave that his girlfriend is doing the same to him. Brad makes big plans for himself and Jane, but goes to the dentist before his big evening and ends up having to be drugged because of a cavity. Alex is the only one excited about the holiday but, while on her way to a party, gets mistaken for a hooker and gets arrested. Meanwhile, Max spends the evening driving his limo and ends up picking up ex-boyfriend Grant.
This has felt like one of the longest weeks ever, and it is still only Thursday. I just wish that I could grab a drink at one of these awesome bars. Okay, you should probably avoid most of these places, but visiting them would definitely make your life a little more interesting.
1. MacLaren’s Pub – How I Met Your Mother
Get hit on by Barney or have him introduce you to Ted, witness many a high-five, and maybe hang out with Nick Swisher (or get the chance to heckle him).
2. The Bent Elbow – Witches of East End
Party with the Beauchamp women, taste test one of Freya’s (hopefully harmless) magic potions, and maybe avoid the painting in the bathroom.
3. The Alibi Room – Shameless
Get drunk with Frank Gallagher and listen to his next crazy idea first-hand, play some pool, or go upstairs to spend time with a Russian prostitute.
4. Boyd’s Bar – Justified
Unless you just cannot find any bourbon elsewhere, the only other reason to be in this bar would be to join Boyd’s crew. Either way, just make sure you are well-armed.
April showers bring May flowers and, while we have not yet gotten an April rain here in Texas, I thought it was appropriate to make my list of favorite scenes that take place during or just after rain storms.
1. Ross and Rachel’s First Kiss – Friends
While on a date, Rachel gets drunk and leaves a message on Ross’s answering machine telling him she’s over him. After he hears the message, Ross must choose between Rachel and his current girlfriend Julie.
2. Doug Becomes a Hero – ER
Doug is leaving County General for a private practice and after his last shift, his car breaks down in the rain. A young boy approaches his car and asks for Doug’s help saving his brother, who is trapped in a flooded storm drain.
3. Angel Turns Into Angelus – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
After narrowly escaping Spike, Drusilla and The Judge, Buffy and Angel return to Angel’s apartment, where they have sex for the first time. This moment of pure happiness causes Angel to loose his soul and turn back into Angelus.
4. President Bartlett Decides He’s Seeking a Second Term – The West Wing
The President is not dealing well with the death of Mrs. Landingham and he has also just announced to the world that he has multiple sclerosis. Now, everyone wants to know if he is running for office again.
Tuesday was the 18th anniversary of the premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That makes me feel old. Although, I actually did not watch the show when it initially started airing. I remember that a few of my friends were obsessed with it, but I refused to watch anything science fiction back then. However, when I got to college, FX was playing two episodes a day and I quickly got hooked while trying to avoid studying. For this anniversary, I attempted to make a list of my eight favorite episodes, but it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Instead, I chose my favorite episode from each season (with an extra one from season three). I, sadly, could not find clips for several of the episodes.
1. The Puppet Show
Someone is harvesting students’ organs during the talent show and Buffy suspects that it might be one classmate’s ventriloquist dummy. Giles has gotten roped into organizing the talent show by Principal Snyder. After Snyder overhears Buffy, Xander and Willow making fun of Giles, he forces them to also participate.
2. I Only Have Eyes For You
There is a ghost in the school and he is reenacting his own tragic demise through the bodies of current students and staff. Buffy does not initially sympathize with this ghosts need for forgiveness, but after getting trapped in the school and forced to reenact the story with Angelus, she starts to understand what he is feeling.
Faith has started working with the Mayor and their latest plan is to steal Angel’s soul and get Angelus to kill Buffy. Faith and Angelus lock up Buffy and are about to torture her until Buffy gets Faith to reveal all she knows about the Mayor’s plans for ascension. Angel then admits that his soul was never taken, and he and Buffy were playing Faith the whole time.
4. The Prom
After realizing that Buffy’s feelings for him are getting too serious, Angel breaks-up with her and tells her he’s leaving after they stop the Mayor’s ascension. To keep herself distracted, Buffy successfully tracks down a student who has bred hellhounds to attack the prom. When class awards are given out at the dance, the students have elected Buffy “Class Protector.”
After watching the first episode of The Last Man on Earth on Sunday, I started to think about which TV memorabilia I would drive around the country to collect if I were the last woman on earth. Once I started thinking of things, I had way more than eight, so these are my top choices. Which items would you want?
1. Tim Riggins’ Truck from Friday Night Lights
After all, I will need something to drive around the country and I could attach a trailer to it to transport all my things.
2. Gilligan’s and The Skipper’s Hats from Gilligan’s Island
Headwear is important and it is always good to have options. I would probably pick up Raylan Givens’ hat as well.
3. Dr. Greene’s Scrubs from ER
If I am the only person left, then my appearance does not really matter, so why not be comfortable?
4. JJ Pryor’s Letterman Jacket from American Dreams
Even though I plan to live in a tropical climate, I would need something to keep me warm just in case it gets cold at night.
I have never been super creative when it comes to Halloween costumes, as a kid I tended to dress as a witch or something else where I could use clothes I already owned, so I always love other people’s crazy ideas. These are my favorite costumes worn by television characters.
1. Ross as Spudnik – Friends
I mostly love that Ross is dressed as a giant potato.
2. Jess as Zombie Woody Allen – New Girl
It is just so random. Costumes like this would never even occur to me.
3. Ted as a Hanging Chad – How I Met Your Mother
I love that he wore the same costume every single year to the same party hoping to run into the Slutty Pumpkin that he met once, even though his costume was no longer topical.
4. Bert as Iron Man – Trophy Wife
Okay, so technically, Bert was dressed in the actual Iron Man costume, but Jackie’s misunderstanding of what costume he wanted is funnier.
There is something you should know about me: I am a crier. I thought about posting clips instead of images to go along with these choices, but I could not even bring myself to re-watch every scene. The current season of Sons of Anarchy is poised to kill off *at least* one major character and I have heard that something major may happen on Parenthood. Every week I mentally prepare myself just in case and I always have tissues ready. They came in handy last week for the unexpected Bones death. With all of that in mind, I decided to create this list of character deaths that have traumatized me.
1. Jenna Sommers – The Vampire Diaries, played by Sara Canning. This show set an early precedent that no one was safe when they killed off Vicki in the seventh episode, but I was still not prepared for Elena to lose both of her parental figures in one episode. John had not really been around that much, but Jenna was the one that took care of Elena and Jeremy day-to-day and she had only just learned of the existence of vampires.
2. Opie Winston – Sons of Anarchy, played by Ryan Hurst. Not only was Opie just a great character but, as my friend Rolee reminded me, he volunteered his death. He knew someone had to die, so he offered his own life to save his friends and help his club.
3. Joyce Summers – Buffy the Vampire Slayer, played by Kristine Sutherland. For this one, it was not so much the death itself that was traumatizing, it was the way Buffy responded to her loss. As the slayer, she was always the one person who could save everyone and this was really the first time that she could not do anything to change what had happened.
4. Catelyn, Robb and Talisa Stark – Game of Thrones, played by Michelle Fairley, Richard Madden, and Oona Chaplin. I only read the first book of this series, so I was not at all prepared for the Red Wedding. I knew Robb was supposed to die at the end of the season, but was not expecting the brutality of their deaths. The image of Talisa getting stabbed in the stomach is forever seared in my brain.