The last time I think I was this sad to see a TV show end was with Angel a couple of years ago. Angel died a stupid, premature and tragic death with WB, the network, decided they no longer needed a show about a vampire because they had one in development - Dark Shadows - that they were optimistic over. Besides, Angel was getting long in the tooth, they had enough episodes for syndication and it was expensive so they canned it.
Never mind that the rating were good. Never mind that it was enjoying easily its best season. Never mind that fans were howling blue murder, the killed the show....
...and have regretted it ever since. They admit they made a mistake. Dark Shadows never saw the light of day. They could have easily gotten a sixth season out of it. It would have been good. They were working on some interesting plot threads. Hell, the show basically ended on a cliff-hanger. To this day I'm amazed the police never showed up at our apartment when myself and Cathy were watching it, such was her howl of indignation once she realized how the show was going to end.
West Wing wasn't quite like that. Everyone has known since last December the show was over and done. Most of the cast looked ready to move on. They've had months to cue up the plot threads. And it ended in a good place. If they had done one more season and then ended the show, it would have been weird and awkward.
Still, I wanted more. I guess that's a good thing. Always leave them wanting more, as the show biz saying goes. I just wish NBC had given the show the retrospective instead of repeating the pilot. It's weird that the show's tribute was done by Ellen this week (and was a lot of fun, which is something I never thought I would hear myself say about an hour of Ellen). I wish they had given them two hours, or even 90 minutes, to cue things up. I don't know how an episode so quiet, respectful and laid back could feel so rushed.
I wish we could have seen everyone's reaction to Josh and Donna hooking up.
I wish we could have seen Toby's reaction to getting a presidential pardon.
I wish we could have seen more than the 20 seconds of Sam.
I wish we could have seen something with Josh and the president.
Having said that, they did handle the president's scenes well, along with CJ and Santos.
It was a good show. It really was. It won't go down in history as one of the classic final episodes off all time, but it was still respectful and well done. And it has a very good last line.
It was a great show. We won't see it's like again (especially since ABC looks ready to pull the plug on Commander-in-Chief). I just hope that Studio 60 is as good. I wonder, given the people involved with the show, how long it's going to take for some West Wing regulars to make guest appearances...
Eponymous - REM