Wholesome series finales

Watching the “Ted Lasso” series finale reminded me of why I couldn’t get through the “Parks and Rec” finale. In wholesome, upbeat series, the finale saccharine levels are unbearably high, like cheesy high-school valedictories.

Like weddings, graduations and IPOs, they push the illusion that life is about reaching specific milestones rather than a continuous process. In screenwriting, this drives unrealistic endings of character arcs—too neat, tied up with a bow.

A wish-fulfillment, fan-service finale is also just a poor episode of its show: no conflict / drama, no setup for future payoff. Feels like the cap on the end of a shoelace, but superfluous, an especially poor example of its genre.

Drama finales, however: 🤌🏽

This week brought us the Shakespearean series finale of a f’d-up family committing emotional violence in a Darwinian scramble to the top. “Barry,” of course—I assume that’s what everyone’s talking about :)