Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jericho Finale: Nothing Feels Right


Jericho's CBS series finale has now come and gone.

While I am sure some people may be satisfied with the story that aired, I am not.

I feel cheated.

I feel like I was in the stands for a world series game with the every star player stepping up to bat except they were being pitched wiffle balls.

So much talent packed into a stadium and someone decides to short change their performance by taking away a vital piece of equipment and replacing it with cheap plastic balls filled with holes.

Jericho was packed with talent -- from the producers to the writers to the cast to the crew.

As I watched the finale I found myself struggling to stay in the moment, to appreciate what was playing out before me. My thoughts kept traveling down the path of all the things that just didn't feel right.

The Friends finale felt right.

The MASH finale felt right.

The Seinfeld finale felt right (odd, but right).

The Cosby Show finale felt right.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show finale felt right.

Nothing felt right about the Jericho finale.

And that is because the story lines and the characters still had so much farther to go.

OK, the horrible product placement of the Sprint phone didn't help either. As a consumer, the shot of the Sprint phone backfired on me. I did not appreciate that blatant incorporation of a sponsor's product into the story line. If Sprint's advertising contract included a form of product placement, a more creative shot may have blended in with the story line and been less intrusive. And to have held that shot on screen for such a long period of time...well, as a filmmaker, that cheapened the quality of the production for me. It felt like a plastic ball with holes in it had just been pitched to a major league baseball star. Jericho's incredibly talented production crew and actors deserved better than that. And so did the audience.

Jericho was one of the most intelligent, finely written, brilliantly acted, and expertly produced series on television.

All the stars were in the stadium, the game was being played, and then someone cut the game off in the middle of the second inning and told everyone to go home.

Huh? Go home?

Wait a minute there's still 7 1/2 innings yet to play in this game.

No wonder nothing feels right.

To be continued...

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