[I hope this topic belongs here. I don't want it to be deleted because I put it in the wrong place]
How should current TV shows end? What should happen in their final episodes.
Here is my idea for the series finale of 30 Rock next season:
Goodbye to 30 Rockerfeller Plaza
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Laura Campton
James Marsden as Criss Cross
Dustin Hoffman as Levi Anderson
Barbra Streisand as herself
Jack Nicholson as himself
Kelsey Grammer as himself
Cynthia Nixon as herself
Hank Azaria as Joyous Noise
Ellen Page as Murphy Tyler Cross
Evan Peters as Don Donaghy
visits Liz in her office and informs her of the latest decision from the NBC
executive board – TGS needs to end. In three weeks, a new show will take its
emotional Liz reveals this to the cast and crew of her show, who all begin to
cry with the exception of Tracy, who stands up and motivates the cast and crew
to “do the best show they have ever done”. They get hard to work on writing the
flashback to a week earlier.
is at Sardi’s lunching with “Joyous Noise” (Broadway’s top female impersonator
played by Hank Azaria) convincing him to be on TGS to save the ratings. It is
outside he meets Laura Campton (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), the president of CBS.
They go to a cheap diner (Monk’s from Seinfeld) where she explains that she has
a brilliant new show for her network but can’t find a place on her highly
successful network. The show is “Dinner with the Roosevelts”, which stars
Kelsey Grammer and Cynthia Nixon as the Roosevelts. Jack says that NBC will be
fully willing to help it find a place. He realizes that he needs to cancel one
show on NBC in order to add the new one. He decides that TGS has ran its course
and that it will be replaced by “Dinner with the Roosevelts”.
to the current time, Liz has managed to secure Jack Nicholson and Barbra
Streisand to appear on the final episode of TGS. Tracy is unhappy with the fact
that he has to appear in a supporting category to the legendary Nicholson.
Tracy and Nicholson begin a vicious cat-and-mouse game of wits.
Kenneth (who is still a janitor) is visited by Levi Anderson (Dustin Hoffman),
the elderly head of the complaints department at NBC. Noticing Kenneth has the
ability to effectively take care of complaining viewers, he offers Kenneth a
job in the Complaints Department.
and Laura have fallen for each other, but they have to keep the romance a
secret from Laura’s stay-at-home son Ricky (Jonah Hill) who does not approve of
Laura having a boyfriend after his father left him five years earlier.
complete with the script for the final episode, Liz discovers that she is
pregnant with Criss’ child. They celebrate by going for dinner at Sardi’s where
Liz runs into Joyous Noise, who is revealed to actually be a former boyfriend
of Liz when she was in college. The three eat dinner together, much to Liz’s
dismay. Concerned that Joyous is trying to break her and Criss up, Liz
confronts him where he reveals that he has been happily married to a woman who
impersonates male performers. They say their goodbyes as Liz and Criss return
home. In an alley behind her apartment, Criss is attacked to a street hobo, who
actually turns out to be a romantic singer (played by Elton John). He sings as
Criss proposes to Liz.
is the night of the final episode. Jack and Laura are in attendance with Ricky.
Kenneth receives many complaints about a TV show that aired previously. He goes
in to report the volume of complaints to Anderson. He finds Anderson had died
of a heart attack an hour earlier. Jack enters to find Kenneth upset but names
Kenneth the new head of the complaints department (mostly because he is the
only other worker there apart from Teri, an elderly woman who exhibits signs of
minutes before the airing, Liz cannot find either Tracy or Nicholson. She finds
them out on the roof crying because they cannot handle all the pressure of
being dignified actors now that they have both won Oscars. Liz convinces them
to perform their best tonight.
show airs without a hitch and receives critical acclaim. As they are leaving,
Ricky talks to Jack in private, saying that he was doubtful of him at first but
then notices what a good man he is. He tells Jack that he approves of him dating
his mother. Jack hugs and him calls him “the son I never had or wanted”'
forward to twenty five years into the future. Liz and Criss have been married for
many years, and their daughter Murphy Tyler Cross (named after Murphy Brown and
Mary Tyler Moore) is now the head writer for “Dinner with the Roosevelts”. Jack
and Laura’s child Don Donaghy is a successful actor/producer has replaced Kelsey
Grammer in the role of Roosevelt. Tracy and Jenna have gone on to win Academy Awards
and became legends in the industry, particularly for their directorial efforts.
The final scene shows Murphy and Don taking the elevator up to the office of the
president of NBC, who is revealed to be Kenneth.
That is a brilliant ending for 30 Rock. Also, I agree with Mr Taloson, something really weird should happen involving Kenneth. They have been alluding throughout the show that Kenneth is something different. The most logical explanations seem to be Alien, Immortal, Insane, Evil Twin (I repeat, logical explanations).
I would like to bring up two other shows, one definitely ending next year and one not: Fringe and Community.
Personally for Community I think, in keeping with all of the meta-comedy and self-awareness of the show, they should make it something really out there. A good twist that makes fun of other past shows that had terrible endings would be that as it ends Abed wakes up in bed on his first day of community college and reveals it was all a dream. Or, more preferably, the shows ends with a cut to black, a la Sopranos. But more than that, I would want an episode that offers closure but keeps it open to a possibly continuation: movie style.
I always imagined Mad Men would end with Don Draper falling out of his office window much like in the credits. Being pushed would be a little too campy for the show so I think suicide would be the most likely reason. Notice in the credits how he's falling while women are "rising" in a sense. Perhaps Peggy could take over the office with Joan as a fellow partner, Betty could get full custody of the kids and he's left powerless, a broken shell of a man with no other option but to take the leap in a city full of unfulfilled, broken dreams. A morbid ending for sure but since when has the show been anything but melancholic?
Or it could just end with a huge flash forward into the future with a wrinkly, out-of-shape Don in a nursing home pitching ads about nylons to confused, dementia-ridden old women. One or the other.
There are some good ideas in that 30 Rock finale pitch (love the last imagine), but mostly it symbolizes why I've come to like the show far less than in the earlier seasons. The finale should refer to the show's roots and be about the main characters, not a wealth of celebrity guest stars (brief cameos are fine, but even then I'd rather past guest stars plus a new surprise or two). Having any actual Jenna plot would be far more quintessential than all those stars; the characters make enough pop culture references and use meta humour enough that that would be overkill. Literally every key moment in your outline rests on a moment between a regular and a guest star (usually with the guest star presumably giving the speech), when really the Jack/Liz, Liz/Jenna, Liz/Tracy, Jack/Kenneth, etc. dynamics are what typify the show story-wise. You kind of have a convoluted story too, compared to what is usually going on in one 30 Rock episode. Some of those characters/plots may be better if they were season-long story arcs/guest arcs instead of introduced in the finale, but still I think making it far more about the main cast is essential. You also have very little lasting conflict at all, which is unusual for comedy or 30 Rock.
The Jack/Liz dynamic is the backbone of the show and you're barely even giving them a scene together. The premise of Jack deciding TGS should end works, but I was expecting it to lead to some huge fight between him and Liz or something remotely dramatic. The show can be wacky, sure, but it also successfully employs emotion at many key moments. All the best episodes, including the funniest ones, are about Jack and/or Liz evaluating facets of their own personalities and generally being conflicted.
The first is to kill Meredith off in the first 10 minuets of the finale and have a "Defending Your Life" type situation (refering to the old Albert Brooks movie) and show Meredith having to defend her life to gain enterance into heaven. Through flashbacks we could resolve the series storylines as Meredith discusses her final interactions with each character.
---Or another way to go would be to have a flashforward to 25 years later when a new group of interns shows up a Seattle Grace. One of whom is Zoila, another is Sofia and lastly, George Stevens, Izzie Stevens son, who was raised by his single grandmother after his mother died of a reoccurance of cancer, prompting him to become a doctor to find a cure.
--------Parks & Recreation:
It is thirty years later and Leslie Knope is retiring from her career as a state senator and reflects on her life. She and her husband, Benn Wyatt are also preparing for the marriage of her daughter, Hillary Laura Knope-Wyatt to the son of their next-door neighbors, Tom Haverford and his wife, Anne Perkins Haverford. Ben and Leslie have four children together; three boys and a girl. Anne and Tom have one son and one daughter. As they meet to discuss wedding plans, they reflect on their years at the Parks & Rec department; and recall how they were all forced out of their jobs after Eagelton, Indiana bought Pawnee and turned it into an extensive garbarge dump/parking garage, forcing all Pawnee residents to find housing elsewhere. After this everybody moved out of Indiana, except for Ben and Leslie and Anne and Tom who moved over to Eagelton, despite Leslie's promise to herself that she would never move there.
The wedding approaches, and it's a week long event, as Tom Haverford has maintained his love of lavish stunts, and has hired Jean Ralphael to plan and execute the wedding festivites. Everybody from the P&R department is reunited and fall into old habits. A still single and lookin Chris Trager is sure that the right lady is coming his way someday. Andy & April never married, as April doesn't like weddings. They don't bring a gift because April hates people that ask for gifts. Ron Swanson returns from his home in Texas where he has married his latest wife, Tammy #3, the twin sister of Tammy #1, who is the exact opposite of Tammy #1, she is sweet, demure, loving and lets Ron do whatever he wants. This makes Ron MISERABLE as he misses the mind-games, mainpulation and hatred that comes with Tammy #1. The wedding planning hits a few bumps as Jerry, who is Leslie's personal assistant forgets to book the reception hall. However, they overcome everything and the wedding goes off without a hitch.
Next, Leslie awakens to reveal the whole episode has been dream, the camera pans down revealing she is in a hosptial bed and has just given birth. She looks at ben, sitting in a rocking chair, holding their newborn daughter, Hillary Laura Knope-Wyatt.
"Hearts are often broken When there are words unspoken In your soul there's answers to your prayers"- Whtiney Houston, Exhale