These are my top 12 favorite television finales or events that have happened in 2012. May is such a great time to be a television watcher. This year was capped off with some emotional endings and a few sad goodbyes.
#12. Dancing With The Stars (Season 14 “Season Finale”)
This season had some of the most talented celebrity dancers ever. Katherine Jenkins, an opera singer from Wales, came right out of the gate on week one and wowed everyone. She continued all the way to the end until losing to Green Bay Packer, Donald Driver. Donald gave every dance all that he had each week, and it was a well deserved win. It just happens that there were 2 other dancers just as good, Jenkins and Latin heart-throb William Levy. If anything, it made for a fantastic finale with the lowest score being 59 out of 60.
#11. Modern Family (Season 3 Episode 24 “Baby on Board”)
The critical sweetheart was a bit hit and miss this season. They had some really funny episodes (Aunt Mommy) and some real duds too (Tableau Vivant), but the season finale did everything right. What Modern Family does so great is that it mixes the humor in with heartfelt moments throughout this complex family. The scenes between Jay and Lily are absolutely wonderful. Cam and Mitchell losing yet another adoption in some sort of odd Spanish soap opera world, is both hilarious and touching. And Gloria is pregnant? What? Oh boy, can’t wait until Mitchell and Claire find out they will have a new brother or sister.
#10. Once Upon A Time (Season 1 Episode 22 “A Land Without Magic”)
Once Upon A Time turned out to be a very fun,Disneyesque show. The main premise of the new series is that there is a curse on the town of Storybrooke, and none of the townspeople know they are actually story book characters. It has made for a very interesting story but at the end of the season finale, the curse is broken?? The characters are “waking up” and realizing who they are. Extremely ambitious of the brand new series do this so early in its development. It was sweet that the curse was broken from Emma kissing her son Henry’s head. Of course, I am sure that everything isn’t going to end happily ever after, since when we last saw Regina/Evil Queen, a purple cloud of smoke was enveloping the town.
#9. Smash (Season 1 Episode 15 “Bombshell”)
This is the second freshman series finale on my list. Smash started out very strong when it debuted in early February. In only 15 episodes it has managed to create very well-defined characters and an intoxicating world surrounding the tumultuous life of a Broadway show. Based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, we have watched our two leading ladies battle all season for the coveted lead role. The director picks Karen in the end, who he has envisioned all along, and she nails the final number as we last see her. On the flip side Ivy, who lost the role, is on a downward spiral, much like Marilyn, and she is now contemplating suicide. Other highlights include producers, Tom and Julia, trying to fix the ending that didn’t work and slimy assistant Ellis finally getting fired.
#8. Glee (Season 3 Episode 22 “Goodbye”)
The guilty pleasure known as Glee, delivered a very poignant ending for the seniors at McKinley High. After finally winning Nationals, the glee club was on a high coming back to school and then realized that this was it for them as a group. The student’s melodies were all about saying goodbye, to each other, to the glee club, and to their life as they knew it. This episode really showcased the gem that has elevated Glee to different level, Lea Michele. Much like her character Rachel, she has a star quality that is above the rest. Her vocals are unbelievable and her acting is so spot on that sometimes you feel she should be doing something so much better. The final scene where Finn tells her she is going to New York, is brilliantly played by Michele. If she does not return next season I do believe Glee will suffer, but hopefully we will get a little of Rachael’s adventures in NYC.
#7. Survivor: One World (Season 24 Episode 14 “Perception Is Not Always Reality)
Survivor is finally dominated by a woman and it was satisfying to see Kim Spradlin’s journey from start to finish. Rarely has a woman ever been so strong strategically and physically. It was the Kim show and the rest of them were just there for the ride. Not a terribly entertaining season, nonetheless, it is nice to root for a clear winner, and have them actually triumph in the end.
#6. The Good Wife (Season 3 Episode 22 “The Dream Team”)
It was another solid finale for the classiest show on television. The title of the episode could be referring to the duo of Louis Canning (Michael J Fox) and Patti Nyholm (Martha Plimpton). They are trying to take down Lockhart/Gardner and don’t care who goes down with it. Of course, the dream team could also be Alicia and Peter who are just trying to do right by their kids. Peter who is now living in their old home with the kids, and we leave Alicia standing outside debating whether or not to go back in and have dinner with them. Yet, I like to think that the Dream Team is Kalinda and Alicia. It took a long time for Alicia to come around to Kalinda and we are all better for it. Kalinda, who doesn’t care about anyones feelings, really cares for Alicia, and she was much weaker without her support. Now that Alicia is back on her side, they can both fight this mysterious husband that is bound to stir up trouble.
#5. Desperate Housewives (Season 8 Episode 22 & 23 “Give Me The Blame” & “Finishing The Hat”)
After eight years the ladies of Wisteria Lane say goodbye. In an emotional two-hour finale, we laughed, cried and smiled all the way through, and in typical fashion, gasped at the end of the episode. Housewives, for me, was that show each week that was just consistently good. It was always fun and it had a unique tone to it, that many others have tried to recreate, but couldn’t. The four main women, were so incredible in these roles and they all needed to be there to make the show work. Many neighbors came and went, but those four remained true to the story for eight years. It is sad to think that none of them live on Wisteria Lane anymore, but our imaginations can run wild knowing there are still mysterious doings happening there.
#4. Fringe (Season 4 Episode 22 “Brave New World: Part 2”)
Fringe is my favorite show that no one is watching. One of the most creative shows on television, this season was no exception. The finale was built almost as a series finale, as there was a possibility that it wouldn’t get a fifth season. Luckily there will be a final season and we will get a proper end to a complex, intriguing story. As far as season finales go, this was one of the best. It had all the elements that you could want, a pregnancy reveal, two main characters shot and brought back to life and, of course, a surprise cameo. In this case it was Leonard Nimoy back as William Bell. Fringe has turned a sharp corner in its storytelling and it isn’t looking back, the final season has a lot to live up to and “Brave New World” has set it up very nicely.
#3. Grey’s Anatomy (Season 8 Episode 24 “Flight”)
If there is one thing you can count on in May, it’s that the Grey’s Anatomy finale will ROCK! Any other show would have had “Migration” as the finale. All the doctors board the plane and we cut to the plane crash…the end, see you in September. Not Grey’s, they gave us the struggle before leaving us dangling for dear life. They also gave us the teaser that one of the doctors was going to die, so you kept hoping your favorite was going to make it. Unfortunately, it was Lexie, with a few others not looking so good. Keeping the rest of Seattle Grace in the dark about the crash was a bit frustrating for us as viewers, but that will hopefully start Season 9 off with a bang. Sandra Oh, after this years performance, and especially this episode, deserves an Emmy more than ever, please give her one!!
#2. Saturday Night Live (Season 37 Episode 22 “Mick Jagger”)
This was almost my number one pick, the reason I made it number two was that as a whole episode, I didn’t think it was worthy for the top spot. It had some really great moments and cameos throughout, including Jon Hamm and Steve Martin, but it was Kristen Wiig’s farewell that stole the show. It was the last sketch and it concluded with a graduation ceremony with Kristen being serenaded to by Mick Jagger and Arcade Fire to “She’s Like a Rainbow.” It started out really cute as all the cast members took a turn to dance with Wiig, then you could start to feel the emotion coming out of her as she was trying to hold back her tears. Even Lorne Michaels came out, which is a testament to how important she is to the cast. The lyrics are perfectly suited for her, “She comes in colors everywhere” as the many characters on SNL that she has given us for seven years. The show comes to a close as the whole cast plus the guest stars and some alumni (Amy Poehler, Chris Parnell and Chris Kattan) sing “Ruby Tuesday” and most importantly the line, “Still we’re gonna miss you.”
#1. Parks and Recreation (Season 4 Episode 22 “Win, Lose or Draw”)
It was the climax that we have all been waiting for, the results of Leslie’s election in which the whole season has been based on. I had mixed feelings on whether I wanted Leslie to win or not, and I think that is what the writers wanted us to feel. I think it probably represented a lot of the characters as well. As we obviously wanted Leslie to triumph, things are going to change in the Parks Department, and are we ready for that? Well, after a recount Leslie did win and things are going to change. Leslie is now on the city council, Ben is off to D.C. to work on a congressional campaign and Andy might pursue a new career in the police department. One of the best episodes in its four seasons. It was really funny with a lot of emotional scenes, most importantly Leslie’s acceptance speech, which was superbly played by Amy Poehler. Maybe her best scene so far on this show. Absolute perfection!