So Long, Farewell, Auf Weiderschein, Hello

It’s both apropos and upsetting, but hardly atypical, that we are bidding farewell to several top-notch series this Memorial Day weekend.  We already covered earlier why TV no longer takes a holiday while we do, because streaming rules, streaming services are device-agnostic and you’re just as capable to watch these shows on a beach ,in a vacation home or your backyard than you are in your den.  We just happen to be having this happen in a year when three spectacular and beloved shows, all of which will likely dominate this year’s Emmy Awards, even if no one will cross a picket line to attend.

We’ve already seen the farewell episode of THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, appropriately dropped on Shabbas, and it wouldn’t be unfair to light a candle in memory of a truly wonderful show.  While at times the final season was somewhat uneven, and its scattershot approach to jumping back and forth to different eras to provide context a bit less seamless than the storytelling was in the earlier episodes, the finale pretty much stays in 1961 for most of the climactic scene, where our heroine finally gets her most desired chance of a lifetime.  Or maybe she doesn’t.  I won’t spoil it for any one who haven’t seen it, but let’s just say how it unfolds, much like the season, isn’t smooth.  But I will share that the ending does jump ahead to the 21st century and, no, not as far as SIX FEET UNDER chose to go.  But it does go far enough to show that the series’ two central characters, Midge and Alex Borstein’s Susie Myerson, are indeed reconciled and let’s just say they channel the memories of more than just Joan Rivers among classic comedians.  There’s a little Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks mixed in at the end, and it’s one jump I’m glad they took, and it made me feel all the more satisifed that I took the jump to watch it as consistently and as thoroughly as I did.

Tonight HBO and the newly named MAX will send off both SUCCESSION and BARRY back-to-back, prematurely, to be sure, but hardly dispassionately.  There’s an awful lot that SUCCESSION’s supersized finale will need to wrap up, and there’s more theories out there in the ether than there are on Capitol Hill.  Among the ones Avery Thompson of HOLLYWOOD LIFE offered up:

Kendall wins it all at a steep cost.

Roman betrays Kendall.

Tom comes out on top.

Kendall dies.

Roman dies.

Shiv gets it all.

The Roy kids get nothing.

Greg becomes the U.S. CEO.

I”ll leave you to go to her article to see the rationales, some of which are a bit confounding.  But with this show, nothing could ultimate surprise us fully.  And I for one think several of these will come to pass, though I won’t bet a dime on any.

BARRY will immediately follow, and perhaps many others like me will love it enough to want to catch up with the balance of the series–that’s certainly MAX’s goal.  And THE INDEPENDENT’s Louis Chilton gave a few good reasons why we should:

Barry has been one of Succession’s closest rivals, and it’s not particularly close.  There are, I suppose, reasons to be cheerful. Though Barry is coming to an end, its creator-star (and, in this last season, sole director) Bill Hader has established himself as a creative force to watch. The former Saturday Night Live funnyman has been an enjoyable presence in film and TV for the better part of two decades, but Barry was a revelation: who knew that such dark, Coenesque depths lurked within the man once known for being Superbad’s goofy manchild cop? Whether Hader makes the transition to film, or sticks with TV, Barry is surely a sign that there are big things to come. The same can be said for other cast and crew members, such as Sarah Goldberg, who is nothing short of brilliant as the messed-up partner of Hader’s character, and Hiro Murai, who is one of the most assured and impressive directors working in the medium.

But since it will likely be a while before any of their follow-up works will be ready, the alternative to catching up will have to be to look ahead to what might be worthy of watching in the coming months.  These are hard acts to follow, but there are some that are already drawing attention.  Apple TV+’s sci-fi thriller SILO is already making waves on sentiment and some hinted viewing charts, and with sampling adjancent to the winding down of TED LASSO it is getting attention.  FX/Hulu’s THE BEAR will return next month for a second season; as a well-written and relatable half-hour it’s easy to binge.  I’m even morbidly curious enough to give the SEX IN THE CITY followup AND JUST LIKE THAT’s second season a shot, if for no other reason that I’m hoping against hope Aidan doesn’t drop dead on a pandemic fad exercise machine like his onetime rival Mr. Big did.

There’s other stuff ready, some I care about, some I don’t.  You might feel differently, and that’s fine.  Suffice to say we;re likely to have a lot of time ahead to watch whatever we want, or rewatch what I know I’ve loved over the past few weeks.  We’ll simply remember our favorite things and then we won’t feel….so bad.

Until next time…





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