Showbiz Commentary: Heidi Oringer

Woe is me. I am grappling with the decline of the human condition … well, as it relates to television. (Never let it be said that I am not deep.)

I turn my focus to the season finale. Once the pinnacle of a TV show's season, the season finale has now become a farce.

A season finale is supposed to leave you gasping for breath, clinging to the arm of the couch, and questioning your own emotional ability to continue your existence until the next season kicks off and allows you to fill the giant abyss that's been left in your gut.

This year, nothing even came close!

I watched a variety of finales to make sure I opened myself up to all that is out there in the land of the magic box.

I was infinitely disappointed. (Remember how effective this was when your parents said it?)

Subdued Sopranos

First and foremost, The Sopranos turned out to be a devastating letdown. We knew Jackie Jr. was going to buy the farm, but a bullet in the back of the head and he's dead?! Unfair! Surely, we deserve more of a bloody cliffhanger than that.

Instead, we got an hour of ongoing drivel with the Soprano children. Certainly there is a method to David Chase's madness, or in this instance, blandness, but watching Meadow unravel in her spoiled, Valley girl (albeit Jersey Valley) fashion was a snore. Then, to polish off the show with the miraculously cured Uncle Junior doing an 11-minute aria … Quite frankly, I was ready to take a hit in the back of the head myself.

I could even have handled the anticlimactic ending if I didn't have to wait almost A FLIPPIN' YEAR to see another episode. The fourth season of The Sopranos doesn't kick off until April 2002. That's just wrong.

Annoying Ally and Dour Dharma

From the sublime, to the ludicrous …

Ally McBeal: Let me be the first to say "uncle." (Not Uncle Junior either). In the season ender, Ally learned boyfriend Larry Paul had gone back to Detroit, again. Only this time it's for good. Not a surprise, since we know Robert Downey Jr. is, shall we say, "unavailable" to continue. Then, as per usual, Ally was depressed and hallucinated throughout the show.

Been there. Done that!

Ally needs to go see Oprah's Dr. Phil and she needs to go soon. She also needs to get fat because most women eat when they get dumped and she's been dumped enough to turn into ? well, I already mentioned Oprah.) Plus food would keep her mouth shut. This is no "Who Shot J.R.?" It's more like "Who Dumped Ally McB.?" — only the difference is no one cares. David E. Kelley needs to retool over the summer. Period.

Then I had a look at Dharma & Greg, a show I watched in its infancy, but grew increasingly bored with because they were having waaaaay too many real-life problems. It was becoming far sadder and less funny.

So, what happens with this season finale? Dharma and Greg decide to stay together and work it out. No big surprise here since the only option for next season would be to rename the show Dharma OR Greg. But, in the final seconds the two lovebirds got into a horrific car accident that should've left them both roadkill. Only we know THAT won't happen. Their final lines: "Dharma, are you OK?" "I don't think so." And on screen the words "to be continued."

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