Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cliffhanger Hangup

Ahhh, the cliffhanger. Such a fickle beast she is. Done right, the cliffhanger can be a clever and entertaining plot twist designed to whet the appetite of what’s to come. Done poorly, it can come off as a cheap plot contrivance, frustrating and tiresome to the viewer, employed seemingly for no reason other than that the network doesn’t have enough faith in their show to keep us tuning in based on quality alone.

Cliffhangers, while not excluded to hiatuses, usually save the big one-two punch cliffhanger for the end of a season. Not this year. It seems like just about every series I watch ended November sweeps this season with The Big Cliffhanger. Here’s the rundown:

Supernatural Cliffhanger: Ass Dad’s Big Secret
My last post about this received no comments. In fact, most of my posts about Supernatural receive no comments, unless they are patronizing in nature. Well, I’m not giving up that easy, dammit!

At any rate, yes, Ass Dad’s Big Secret (or “BS” as I’ve come to call it) having to do with Sam and Sam’s telekinetic psychic powers was finally revealed last Thursday. The secret was that Dean had to protect Sam, and if he couldn’t protect him he would have to kill him. Well..... Duh. Okay the BS left us feeling a bit shafted. But, I’ve got to hand it to Kripke and Co. for at least (seemingly) keeping up with continuity. I was getting a bit worried that the build up would have been so great that it would have forced the writers to just start making shit up as they went along.... Not to name names, Angel.

The Office Cliffhanger: Who Did Michael Take To Sandals With Him?!?!
Okay, well we knew it wasn’t Nancy Walls. We knew it wasn’t either of the Benihanas waitresses; the one with or the one without the mark on her arm..... Oh heck it was Jan. We all knew it was Jan, but who cares? This show is just great. And if you’ll remember, I originally was suspicious of The Office (US). Well, the combination of S2 DVD rentals and the fantastic new season with fantastic new characters, I have proudly upgraded myself to Regular Viewer. Back-to-back with the craptasically sinful guilty pleasure of Supernatural, and Thursday is hands down my favorite night of the week.

Desperate Housewives Cliffhanger: Bree’s Husband’s Allegedly Murdered Ex-Wife is ALIVE! DUN!
Aw, hell I can’t even pretend to be interested in this and yawn. Every time I swear I’m going to stop watching this godawful show for once and for all they go and pull some stunt, like actually making a good episode and give Felicity Huffman a chance to act instead of just screeching all the lines like an abrasive harpy. Alas, it doesn’t last... And they go and top it off by killing off Roseanne's Jackie, an actual potentially interesting new character played by an awesome actress, and by the time Cliffhanger Resolution rolls around they’ve moved onto storylines about teen sex peer pressure with lines straight out of afterschool specials from the 70’s and 80’s. “I want ____ to like me, but I don’t know if I’m ready.” “Well, you know if you don’t give him the sex, he’ll have to get it someplace else.” I paraphrase, naturally, but the dialogue wasn’t far off. Sigh. Is it too late to hop onto the Heroes bandwagon?

Note: After the threats to my family started, I have finally given in and signed up for Blogger Beta. And it fucking sucks. It won’t even let me do spellcheck, and you all know spelling errors are up there with big hairy spiders and public door handles for me: Absolutely terrifying.


Walrus Gumboot said...

Salted - The only show I watch of those three you listed is The Office.
I knew Michael took the boss lady to Sandals, because they said so, didn't they? Or did I miss an episode where it was supposed to be a secret?

litelysalted said...

Nope, that was the episode where he had planned to take Nancy Walls to Sandals, and then she dumped him... And then he invited the Benihana waitress, and she said no... Then right at the end of the show he asked (unnamed person on the phone) if they would go to Jamaica with him, and it was alluded that this person said yes but we didn't know who it was for sure until hiatus was over. But okay we all still knew it was Jan.... But still!

aejr said...

hmmm... i've always thought any cliffhanger is a stupid one... people go back to shows because of the characters, the dialogue, and their own personal attachments. either way, it doesn't really matter bc peter doesn't let me near the TV, so i have never seen these shows anyway!

Walrus Gumboot said...

Salted - In a recent episode, Michael had a picture of him and some woman on a beach on his office computer that he had inadvertently e-mailed to the wrong person.
Who was THAT woman?

litelysalted said...

That was Jan. That was the "Cliffhanger Resolution" episode where you found out they they went together; hilarity natually ensuing.

Walrus Gumboot said...

Salted - Hilarity usually natually does ensue on shows of that nature!

Doesn't it? : )

Joey O. said...

You know Nancy Walls is Steve Carrell's real-life-wife, right?

"Oh my God, Karen, you're right. That is Animal from the Muppet Babies!"

litelysalted said...

A'course I knew that!! That's only the best meta joke next to Justine Bateman going on Arrested Development as a possible sister (later found out to be a whore) to Jason Bateman's character!

Chris said...

Have you watched "30 Rock" yet, LS? I've found that to be consistently funny every week, and now it's on right after the Office, I believe.

I'm watching the Office season 2 now but feel like I can't watch the current season until I'm caught up. That's just how I roll.

litelysalted said...

You know what else is on right after The Office? Supernatural! So, suffice to say... No I haven't seen 30 Rock yet. I hear it's delicious though, so maybe I will catch up during summer rerun season!

Chris said...

Ah, I think I was wrong about what time the Office airs. 30 Rock is on @ 9:30. They usually have a bunch of episodes online @ NBC's site but their video player tends to punk out on me a couple of times before it works.