END OF AN ERA

Anjali Jhangiani
Sunday, 29 December 2019

Some top English shows came to an end this year. While some wrapped up the storyline neatly, others left fans rather upset

When you watch a series so intently, it becomes a part of your life. As you spend hours watching the characters, you want to leave them knowing that poetic justice has been done. This year a number of popular titles came to an end, but while some tugged at heartstrings (in a good way), others left viewers in a rage feeling cheated. We speak to fans of these popular shows to find out how they look back on the series, and how satisfied they are with the way the storyline concluded.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
Touted to be the most watched Netflix series, it follows Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) adapting to life in prison after she is sentenced to one-and-a-half years of imprisonment for transporting drugs for her ex-girlfriend. Regular viewer, Puja Roy, developer at an IT company, voices many other viewers who feel that they started losing interest after the fourth season. “It became predictable. I did not like the way major characters like Red were developed,” she says. 

She adds that the script for the seventh and final season that aired this year, could have been better. “For example, Taystees going about ending her life got a little annoying. The last season seemed to stretch the major plot developments that were already completed in the previous seasons. It seemed as if the show was sloppily tying up loose ends. The entire last season was just about reminiscing,” she says, adding, “I was not really looking forward to the finale, I was just waiting for it to finish.”

THE BIG BANG THEORY
This comedy about four nerds and a hot neighbour developed to include more lovable characters in the storyline. Sheldon, the introvert, socially-awkward genius with OCD, became so popular that he got his own spinoff showcasing his childhood days in Texas. Banker Karn Agarwal, a big fan of the show, believes that 12 seasons of the show wasn’t enough. “Unlike F.R.I.E.N.D.S, TBBT was not sequential and all episodes were not inter-connected, hence I was upset that the writers ended the show whereas they had the ability to go on,” he says, adding that he felt a deep connection with the characters. TBBT catered to a specific category of people who were geeks, were bullied, and had their own lives. The show taught me that it was okay to not fit in,” he says. 

The progress of the show was in the development of the relationships. Agarwal cried watching the last episode. “Sheldon’s speech was very moving. Amy explained to Sheldon that his friends tolerate him because they understand he doesn’t behave that way on purpose, and that makes him acknowledge them in his speech, which is the highest point of the show when it comes to friendship,” he says.

GOTHAM
This is the story of the crime-ridden city that gave birth to the superhero Batman from the perspective of Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), an inspector. The series starts when Bruce Wayne’s (David Mazouz) parents are killed in an alley, while Selena, who later becomes Catwoman, happens to witness this unfortunate event. Advit Dubey, an artist, says, “The series introduces many villains, tracing their origin stories too. The finale sees the city 10 years in the future, when Penguin, a villain I caught myself rooting for at times, has come into his own. Jim has become the commissioner and Selena Kyle becomes even more badass than she was as a pre-teen.”

The final episode of the season five is fittingly titled The Beginning as it shows Bruce return to the city he calls home after a decade of training to be its protector. “The finale episode was like a movie in itself. The series gives you a deeper understanding of Batman’s world,” he says.

GAME OF THRONES
This show has been one of the biggest contributors to the pop culture of the last decade. Inspired by A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of epic fantasy novels by George R R Martin, the television series followed a different course while developing the storyline. It gave fans some colossal moments of tragedy and some rightful wins. It also broke many hearts with the death of beloved characters throughout the eight seasons. Critics and fans were divided on the last season, many even signed a petition asking the makers to reconsider the storyline and film a new ending as one of the strong contenders for the throne, the Mother of Dragons, who worked all her life to bring peace and free people from slavery, burned down an entire city. Sheila Hare, the admin of a Game of Thrones fan page on Facebook, says, “I was not convinced that Khaleesi went mad. I took it as revenge for all she went through. Watching Missandei beheaded was too much. Of course Khaleesi would destroy Kings Landing for her. I think she knew Jon’s trust was questionable.” Fans are eagerly waiting for the prequel series expected to go on air in 2020.

SUITS
This law-drama is about a college dropout with a photographic memory. Mike Ross (Patrick J Adams) is given a chance to work at one of the most prestigious law firms in New York under Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht). Season seven saw Mike and Rachel (Megan Markle) shift to Seattle, making audiences lose interest as the dream team split up. But new characters were introduced and the storyline brought in some twists and turns to keep viewers riveted. The finale was a long-time coming. Fan of the show, tech writer Anmol Mehrotra, says, “Throughout season nine, I thought Faye’s character was not necessary. There was no back story there. It felt like the writers ran out of ideas and were forcing the show to go on, though the finale episode was somewhat justified. I liked that they brought back Mike as he was an important character and one last appearance from him was cherished by the fans.”

ELEMENTARY
This Sherlock spinoff featuring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Watson was a rather interesting take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters. An ardent fan of the series, entertainment blogger Urvi Dhanak, says, “Unlike other crime drama pairings, the leads — Jane and Sherlock — don’t end up as a romantic pair, but they are shown to steadily grow and solidify their platonic relationship as partners through the seven seasons.” She resonates with most watchers when she expresses her grief for the way Morland Holmes died. On the finale, she says, “It was a complete closure for fans as the writer/directors chose to show how far Jane and Sherlock have come in their stories individually and together, instead of the predictable hypothesis of confrontation between Sherlock and Moriarty. Elementary is one of those crime shows where you find each angle of the production well executed. Although the series has concluded, Sherlcok didn’t seem to believe that Moriarty, his old lover-turned-nemesis, is really dead. It would be amazing if we get to see more of Jane-Sherlcok in another form.”

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