2008: A Farewell to the Giants

Category: By Rev/Views

2008 has been a year where a lot of TV shows have ended, some prematurely, some intentionally and some were cut short but still given a chance to finish.

The first of the shows to end was The Wire of course, it's hard to believe that it's still been less than a year since that final season aired and everything was brought to a close. The Wire was and still is the greatest narrative show to ever air, it had such depth and richness to it's stories and characters alike. The fifth and final season wasn't The Wire at it's finest, it did have a few bumpy moments but it was still head and shoulders above everything else. Some day in the future I might be writing about a show that's 'better than The Wire' but for now this show with it's huge tapestry of events and rich deep characters is most certainly the best thing produced for TV so far. The knock on effects of the show are already being felt, with an increasing number of ex-Wire cast members being pulled into other more popular shows for guest or reccuring roles like House, Heroes, Lost and Prison Break.

Next up to end was The Shield, I think I've pretty much said it all as far as this show was concerned by now. The final season was just phenomenal, with top level performances across the board from the cast but a particularly special shout out for CCH Pounder, Walton Goggins and of course Michael Chiklis. The Shield never had a duff episode and the final episode finished so pitch perfectly with some of the most powerfull silences ever televised. It will be sorely missed.

Then there was Boston Legal, this time last year I was wondering if Boston Legal had watered itself down too far. The constant cast erosions had weakened the synergy in the cast interactions and left the viewer disconnected from making an attachment with quite a lot of the newer characters. But then came the news that Boston Legal was having one last season and things were looking bleak. The show seemed like it would end up going out on a low note.

Fortunately this was not the case at all, Boston Legal kept the cast which worked last season and developed them further. The final result was the show Boston Legal should have always been, silly, clever, self-aware and touching. Boston Legal managed to go out on a serious high and saved it's most ridiculous fun for the final few episodes. Plus it gave me exactly the resolution I was seeking where Katie and Jerry were concerned.

Then came the news that Pushing Daisies, a show which I really worked at to like (and did in the end) was cancelled, most likely a casualty of the writers strike, and while Bryan Fuller will move back to try and save Heroes from the dire mess it's become I don't really find that a silver lining. I could take losing Heroes as it's had all of it's chances now and really should be put down. But Pushing Daisies was just beginning to bloom, I was really beginning to enjoy watching Olive and Emerson in particular and I'm hugely disappointed with the show getting cut down. It's a real victim of the times and we might not even get to see the final few episodes and have to wait for them to come out on DVD. It was a unique and light-hearted show that had a real feel good factor to it. Just the kind of show people need in trying times.

Other lesser casualties/Endings this year included Eli Stone, The Riches, My Own Worst Enemy and Jericho. Some of these are shows I was intending to watch if they ran for longer. There are more shows besides these ones and they can be seen here.

In the new year I'll look at a few shows which might fill the void that the departure of these shows has left. Maybe you'll find something in amongst them to enjoy.


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