Last Thursday, in a heavily-promoted episode of CSI:, William Petersen’s character of Gil Grissom left the Las Vegas crime lab, presumably for the last time, but in TV, you never know.
It was a nice episode, maybe a little sappy at times, but when the main star of a show departs, particularly when the character he portrays has been something of a father-figure to the rest of the characters, a little sappiness is expected. It’s part of the closure that — like it or not — we want to see on at least some level. I got hooked on CSI: from the beginning, but now that Grissom is gone, I’m not all that keyed up on watching the show.
I even made it “official” by canceling my “season pass” on Tivo. Tivo’s season pass is a setting that allows a fan of a particular show to have the ingenious little box automatically record all new episodes so you’ll be sure not to miss it. I can always put the show back into the season pass list, but for now, it’s out the door.
Along with Gil.
I think there’ll still be plenty of good moments ahead, including Laurence Fishburne’s character entering the mix and learning how things are done. But on some level, this particular episode felt like the end of the series, and I’m fine with letting it serve that purpose, much the way that the episode where Mike and Gloria and Little Joey moved to California is, for me, the true end of All in the Family, or that Barney Fife’s last episode of The Andy Griffith Show is essentially where that show came to its end.
It’s not like I don’t have other shows to watch. There’s one in particular that I’ve recently got hooked on, and it’s a show I was certain I’d never like: 24.
My initial avoidance of the show was based on the prominent gimmick the show employs: each episode of the hour-long show is told in “real-time.” That is, everything that happens during an individual show happens during a single hour in the life of the lead character, Jack Bauer, portrayed by Keifer Sutherland. (Yeah, I throw this little bit of information in here despite being sure that probably 90% of the people who are reading this post already know.)
When I heard the description of the show, I wasn’t interested. Not at all. It seemed like it’d be far too much of a gimmick. I could picture an annoying little clock in the corner of the screen for the whole episode. I could picture a lot of things based on the clock that I knew I wouldn’t like. So I didn’t give the premiere a shot.
Over the next few weeks, I heard from people who had tuned in how good of a show it actually was. But by then, they were five episodes in or so, so I’d already missed too much to join the day in progress.
Archie and Rebekah introduced me to the show while I was in California. I told them of my avoidance for the show, but they told me that if I gave it a chance, they were sure I’d like it.
I’m certainly not immune to rash judgments when it comes to looking at the concept of a television show and deciding whether or not it’d be worth my time: when I saw the first promos for Everybody Loves Raymond, for example, I told my co-workers at the time that I’d give that show three episodes before it was canceled. It lasted 10 years. I knew from the start that Scrubs was a hilarious show as well, but I thought it would be too quirky to reach a second season. When I heard they were going to start Law & Order: SVU, I thought they’d never top the original, but I like ‘SVU’ much better than either of the other two versions.
Guess that’s why I’m not a network programming executive.
So, we watched a mini-marathon of the show, which began with them catching me up to what had happened leading up to the shows we were going to watch. The time element isn’t in the way at all, I’m happy to say, and the storytelling is tight and suspenseful.
So I’m going to give 24 a shot for a while and see how that goes. They’re in an interesting storyline right now, with a character who was supposedly killed off now suddenly back to life and possibly a bad guy. (Although I’ve already seen enough of this season to have figured out that all isn’t what it initially appeared to be.)
Just what a television show is supposed to sound like, right?