Page 2: Why Television Series Finales Are Rarely Ever Satisfying

Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn't make the front page of /Film. After the jump we've included 36 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It's like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness.

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Daily Blog Post from Editor Peter Sciretta:

Mad Men

Why Television Series Finales Are Rarely Ever Satisfying

How do you end a television series? It's a question many showrunners have asked, and few have gotten right over the years. The problem is that most television shows begin with a very loose plan.

At most they usually have a season mapped out, and even then unexpected magic happens and things change. It could be that a character that was only going to last a few episodes ends up inspiring the writers in new unanticipated and interesting directions. It could be that something they believed would work on the page just isn't working on screen, and a new direction is created. But even then the writers usually only have one or two seasons of character ark built into a show.

And as you know, if a series is popular it will last many more seasons than that planned first year. This means that further adventures and complications must be created, and often times by the end of a series the story isn't as good as the first couple seasons. A showrunner can only keep a couple that the audience wants to be together from finally getting together for so long, then what? Add some new characters to the mix? After saving the world a few times Jack Bauer finally has his big deep realization, then what?

This is the trouble with almost all the popular serialized television shows I watch. Some shows are deeper invested in the character and subtleties, like Mad Men, and I think those kind of series do better with their final seasons and finales than the more plot driven shows.

I think Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse realized this when the last season of Lost came about, which is why they decided to focus on character over having really clever surprising answers to the series' mystery box plot. Of course, doing this switch pissed off fans who were into the show for the twists, and they seemed to outnumber those who were strongly invested in the character drama.

Fargo tv show

I'm a huge fan of serialized television and I love the season ending cliffhangers that have come from the last generation of television shows — but what has excited me more recently is the idea of one season stories like True Detective or Fargo. These kinds of those let us explore character and plot in a much deeper way than any two or three hour movie is allowed, but without the sacrifice of having to keep the wheels running.

I also love how bold these kind of stories can be when they know that at the conclusion of the season, its over. For instance, Fargo took many exciting turns that I don't believe the show-runners would have taken if they were planning for additional seasons.

Thats not to say I'm not excited about the second season of Better Call Saul or the other various television series on my Tivo one pass. But the one-season stories excite me because their construction feels more complete combined with the weight in their finality, ever on the horizon.

Okay, lets get to today's edition of Page 2.

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If you have any interesting items that we might've missed that you think should go in /Film's Page 2 – email us!