Do Endings Matter?
Is good writing, great acting, and an intriguing combo of social and family issues from the early 60s enough to make a show good, or potentially great?
Definitely. But like a good or potentially great book, the ending has to work.
Did the Season One finale for Public Morals work?
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Public Morals Season Finale :
Do Endings Matter?
October 26, 2015
Related Categories : Reviews – TV – Books
A recent blog post from Writers in the Storm postulated that “some of the best modern writing is in what used to be the small screen.”
I can’t disagree.
My wife and I enjoy the quality of acting, sets, and stories of a number of TV shows, among them, Indian Summers (BBC), The Good Wife, Black List, The Big Bang Theory, Downton Abbey, and even The Middle.
Equally, I agree with another portion of the article, “Choose carefully! Watching several seasons of even a sitcom is a major investment of time.”
When my wife and I spend time following a specific program for weeks and months, and see that a program is as interesting and captivating as Public Morals, we expect an ending worthy of shows like Downton Abbey and The Big Bang Theory.
They’ve had season endings that have a satisfying degree of closure and some degree of anticipation of the continued story line and plot.
And certainly a show doesn’t have to end on a tragic note to keep our attention.
Both Downton and Big Bang have ended seasons on warm happy notes.
So when a show as good as Public Morals ends with a scene featuring two of the minor (if interesting) characters, without a hint as to the main cop’s story (regarding his job or his family), plus no hint of the fall out from a crime boss being blown up by a disowned son (will the crime boss granddaughter return from California to Hell’s Kitchen in NYC for vengeance?), the let down is almost to write the show off, much as we did Under the Dome, and almost did with Zoo.
How much more of an enticing tease would a thirty-second snippet scene montage have been, one showing the main cop reluctantly moving with his family to the suburbs from Hell’s Kitchen, the crime boss’s grinning disowned son, and the shock of the college bound granddaughter learning of her grandfather’s death. That have hooked us for the next season.
And even if my imagined scenarios above are off base, the disowned son didn’t blow up his dad, the college girl reacts differently, the main cop and his family split up rather than he move out of Hell’s Kitchen, the point is there were no indicators – teasers – or even red herrings to mislead us where ever it was the show was going.
Instead, we get a scene of two minor characters scurrying into hiding outside the city.
That’s not enough.
Rather, it’s an opportunity lost.
TV show producers should take note of the negative outcry from readers of books that end with unsatisfying cliffhangers, much less finishing with two minor characters.
True, serials like Flash Gordon, ages ago in my youth, ended with cliffhangers. But they were back the next week with another episode, not months to half a year later.
And true, Charles Dickens ended his segments in cliffhangers, but not his books.
Do we intend to watch Public Morals next season?
Why should we give away our intentions? (smiles)
Meanwhile, I hope the folks at Writers in the Storm blog continue the idea of pointing out the story enjoyment and learning opportunity that good and some times great TV provides.
namaste´- con dios – god be with you
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