Foreverwood

Posted by Daljit of NORN on June 6th, 2006 filed in Sad, TV

1. TV’s best family drama “Everwood” signs off
2. All wrapped up

I found the above links while looking for an explanation as to why one of my favorite shows just aired it’s series finale with barely any fanfare. Below, I type out my own thoughts of how I feel about all this, but I think the above do a pretty good job of summing it up, so if you can’t bear to sit through more of my rambling, please click above. Some of the info I got for this post about the fate of the show came from there and a quick Google search. Now, on with the show…

If you know me at all and are able to perform even basic logical reasoning, you should be able to figure out that Everwood was not my usual fare. People don’t get shot in the face. There are no aliens or demons, no explosions or an inordinate amount of hot chicks, its wasn’t sci-fi or fantasy, and it had no car chases, no transporters, no super intelligent and/or super strong non-human entities trying to take over the world, and nothing at all even remotely out of the ordinary.

I was gonna try to summarize, with some detail, what the show was about, major plot points and such, but it doesn’t matter. It was a goddamn family drama. It was about a family losing their mother and the pain they shared. It was about them dealing with that pain and trying to live their life. It certainly is not the type of show I watch. It started in 2002, and for that whole first year I didn’t watch it, because really, no aliens or ghosts. Why the hell did I care? And then one incredibly boring summer evening, I was flipping through the channels (oh, many a horror story started this way; fortunately this isn’t one of them) and I landed on the WB, channel 11 in these parts. I saw some kid punching some other kid twice his size in the face. “Shit, it beats the reality shows,” I thought to myself. Who doesn’t like a good punch in the face? So I put down the remote for a few, not knowing what I was watching, just passing the time. I looked at the clock, and it was maybe ten minutes into the episode. The next thing I know, the credits are rolling. Preparing myself for some serious righteous indignation, I look at the clock again… only to see that an entire hour has gone by.

What? What the hell? Where did the time go? Wasn’t I bored just a minute ago?

It was an interesting experience. I cannot stress enough that typically, shows of this type bore me to tears. Family dramas and their stupid ass morals. But there were no stupid ass morals here. The show never got preachy on you, despite them handling some hot topics that send people into a frothing rage. If there was any moral or lesson to be learned, it was essentially this: “Don’t be a retard.”

The main family was Dysfunctional™, but not in some absurd “OMG HE SLEPT WITH HIS STEPMOM” type of way. The family, hell, the entire cast of characters were so… real is the best word I can come up with. They weren’t cookie cutter templates of what small town Americans are supposed to be and they weren’t the standard Hollywood fare of teh sexah and perfectly beautiful Ideal American who’s biggest problem is which boyfriend and/or girlfriend they should sleep with tonight. It was almost as if I knew these people, or could conceivably know them. They had problems, and they dealt with them like real people do. Some people handle their problems well and others not so well. Each and every person in that show was alive and each and every situation in the show was real and plausible and hell, I’ve been in some of those situations. It’s crazy to see these characters… these people, go through some of the same things I’ve gone through and watch their reactions. Was it better than mine? Worse? Sometimes I get the urge to call up the person in whatever situation and be like “You fucking tool, why did you do that?” Fortunately, some other person on the show manages to take care of making that wake up call for me.

And then there are the times I watch these people and think “Shit, I should have done that. What the hell was I thinking?” I’d like to think that it’s the show giving me my wake up call. I’d also like to think that I was listening.

Everwood was a sleepy mountain town. Everyone knew each other. It’s nothing like the place that I live, but it sure as hell is the place I’d like to live. But it’s being knocked down and another soulless, tasteless, artificial mega mall-type show or something is being put up. Maybe it’ll be a new reality show, or another cop/medical drama, or maybe even an hour of pointless T&A to try to rustle up some ratings.

Ratings. From what I hear, that’s what killed the show, but reports are conflicting. And here’s where I go from sad to FUCKING PISSED. Everwood was on right after 7th Heaven, a horrible “let’s pander to religious conservatives for ratings” type of show. The people were all pretty and plastic, and there were Melrose Place style romances, except they never got farther than second base, and on the rare occasion they did, they had to go pray to their preacher father for forgiveness or some shit. It’s been kept afloat because it’s where Jessica Biel and I think some others got famous. It too ended this year. It had a series finale. I hear a lot of people watched it, just to see how it all ended (the show had been on forever). Because of the large number of viewers for the last episode, the new CW network, which is replacing the WB and UPN, decided to continue making new episodes of 7th Heaven. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t give a shit, but you see, before they announced that they were going to make new eps of this god show, they had previously said that Everwood would be continuing on. Now what we hear is that 7th Heaven gets to go forward and Everwood gets the shaft. I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but even I can put two and two together and get four.

I knew network execs were stupid, but they managed to surprise even me. Despite 7th Heaven’s declining ratings, FOR YEARS, the WB kept it running, canceling other shows with better ratings for reality garbage. Then, when this merger gives them the perfect opportunity to axe it, they initially make the right call and give it a nice send off, only to go back and resurrect the show using the blood of Everwood to do it. Why? Because the series finale got high ratings. One fucking episode. And from what I hear, well advertised series finales typically get high ratings. Who’d have thunk it? It doesn’t mean the show would continue to do well if it continued. Hell, the show wasn’t doing well for years; one episode isn’t going to change that. But then, no one ever accused TV execs of being smart or logical.

I’m so sick of this shit happening. At least the writers were able to see it coming and they wrote and filmed two versions of the season finale, one if they had gotten a renewal and one if they got the shaft, which was able to wrap up the loose ends. I wish more shows got that chance.

To this day, I still feel bad that I missed so many episodes, and not just in the first season. Work, school, and the DVR erasing weeks of shows all made me miss about a quarter of the episodes. And it’s over now. I can’t really explain my affection for this show. I don’t think I’ve done that great a job here. All I can say is that the show was good. It was really, really good. Fantastic. Excellently written, with real people and places and events. For the last three years, I lived in Everwood part time. While I may have just gotten evicted along with everyone else, this experience isn’t one I’m likely to forget soon. You, dear reader, may think it’s dumb, but I don’t really care.

Goodbye Everwood. We’ll always have the train station.

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