Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Everything Ends

Queue creepy music. Go. Zoom in on wobbly gurney wheel. Stop. Pan back to silhouette of man disappearing in hallway. Go. Insert clip of foot with toe tag. Stop. Tight focus on eye being wiped with a cotton ball. Roll credits. Overlay red on small tree. Steady to crow flying horizontal.

Fade to white.

In case you don't recognize that familiar sequence, its the opening to what has become IMHO, the best show on television.

It was Home Depot Guy who originally recommended this show to me. We were supposed to watch the five season series together but then he up and moved to NYC. It was ironic but nonetheless enjoyable that he was back in town to watch the final episode with me last night.

I love The Fishers, this family in the business of grief management, leisurely strolling through the worst time in other people's lives, while they can barely keep their basic day-to-day from unraveling.

Its hard to describe what one thing made me love this series. The writing was phenomenal, the directing even better, and the acting was uniformly brilliant although Claire (Lauren Ambrose) started out and ended up being my favorite.

The juxtaposition of the living and the dead was interesting angle. Seems like every show you would see some character who died coming back to guide, play devil's advocate for or sometimes just console someone still living. Each time the reaction of the living was that of business-as-usual, at once de-mystifying death and bringing its inevitability to a palatable level.

The frequent use of minimal dialogue was also another creative twist. Sometimes a situtation would be just begging for a conventionally long monologue or detailed explanation but more often than not the sequence would just end with characters looking at each other in dead silence. Perfect, let the audience fill in the gaps!

The season finale was fantastic, particularly the last 15 minute sequence surrounding Claire's I-10 exit to a new life. I'd tell you how the show ends, but you already know - its the way every living thing ends.

Fade to white.


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Blogger Ryan Charisma said...

I loved this show as well. It was great and finale was so heartfelt and touching, I think I actually found an emotion in my non-empathetic body somewhere to muster up a tear. Of course, my eyes may have been just sweating.

Great show, I was sad to see it go.

9:16 AM

Blogger Jim said...

I was sad to see it go too but I will look forawrd to Alan Ball's next creation (whatever, whenever that is)

11:27 AM

Blogger JC said...

That's really sweet that Home Depot Guy was back for y'all to watch it together...
I have caught it a few times when i am at my daughter's in College Station, but we don't have it on our cable...partly cause I am too cheap to pay for more than the minimal package and partly cause if I did fork out the big buck for all the channels, I just sit on my butt and wear out the remote control watching 'em all ...and believe me, the buttons are already a little funky and my butt is bigger than it should be.
However, back on subject, I did enjoy ever episode I ever saw...

8:21 PM

Blogger Jim said...

JC, its more like creepy that he just happened to be working in town this week and the season finale came in the mail this week.

I rented all of them from Blockbuster online since I dont have cable.

9:16 PM

Blogger john said...

I watched a few of these shows. They are pretty good.

3:04 PM

Blogger Rachel said...

im glad you enjoyed the show. it is the best isnt it? coincidently, our last name is fisher and i accidently named my 2nd daughter claire :)

4:32 PM

Blogger Jim said...

A few, John? I recommend compulsively watching all 5 seasons in a three month period :)

6:22 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Rachel, that's great! I wonder if your daughter Claire gets comments about her name (or maybe she's too young).

6:23 PM

Anonymous Jason said...

My absolute favorite show!

The show really helped me learn how to deal with death, and the randomness of it all. The mom on the show just cracks me up. I have all of them on DVD, and have watched the full series a few times. I think I may start them up again here soon. It is on Bravo now too, which is cool. The ending of the series was brilliant. O.K., I'm rambling...enough ;)

6:53 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Right Jason, the randomness! I forogt about all those create opening with someone dying, usually something completely unexpected - like the stripper who's kitty pushes her hair dryer into the tub while shes taking a bath. Ooopps!

9:43 PM

Anonymous Thom said...

The ending sequence to the finale was incredible. I had taped it for a friend, and ended up watching the last fifteen minutes or so over and over during the following week, crying every time I did. Among the best fifteen minutes of television that I've ever seen.

10:06 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Agreed Thom, it was stellar work. It almost makes me want to watch other TV shows!

8:14 AM


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