How often do you get attached to a television show or its characters? If you’re like me, it’s pretty often. I have invested myself into countless shows. The most notable of which are Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, The Office (US), and, lastly, Parks and Recreation.
Week to week, we watch these televised relationships and antics unfold, and we grow deeper in our connection with the characters and, on occasion, the actors themselves. But how do we or (better yet) the producers say goodbye to these fictional friends after seven to nine years of living alongside them? Is it even possible to do so properly?
Every show has its own way of closing out a series. Some are better than others. Some are downright awful.
****WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW****
Scrubs did a beautiful exit scene with JD meeting with all the important people from his life:
…followed by a video montage of his future:
Hold on. Ill be right back. I’m crying my eyes out.
Ok, I’m good now. Scrubs did an amazing job closing out the series. However, they followed it up just a few years later by doing another season, which is (in most people’s opinion) terrible.
The Office is another show that did a great job closing out the series. The approach the writers took was to fast forward a bit to Dwight’s wedding. Michael had already left the show a few seasons prior, and the show was, in many viewers minds, going downhill. The finale did a great job at rectifying this downhill progression.
How I Met Your Mother: Many of you may know some of the controversy behind this series finale. After 9 years, the creators, Carter and Bays, decided they would throw a curveball into the story. They had thought up the idea years prior and actually had the actors who played the children of Ted Mosby record numerous twist endings back during season 3. Not even the actors knew what the real ending would be. However, some ingenious sleuths on Reddit broke the code months prior to the finale.
However, a sad ending does not necessarily equate to a bad ending:
That brings me to the point of this article: my initial reaction to the way NBC and the writers and producers closed out one of my all time favorite series, Parks and Recreation.
Earlier this week, NBC aired the finale of Parks and Recreation. After 7 years, the show finally came to a close. The writers handled the finale in much the same way as Scrubs: they summed up the series by giving insight into the futures of the characters. However, they did it over the course of the entire episode, one person or couple at a time. From Andy and April finally having children (“Burt Snakehole Ludgate Karate Dracula Macklin Demon Jack-o-lantern Dwyer… Jack for short.”) to Tom becoming a best-selling author, and more. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire episode. I felt the writers did a great job of wrapping up the series.