Let me preface this by saying that I supported the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America Strike. Without its writers, a television show doesn’t exist. It’s that simple. However, that doesn’t mean that the Writers’ Strike didn’t take many precious hours away from me.
Through the years, I’ve had many television obsessions, but when it comes to pure quality and the question of the best show ever made, there are two particular names that pop into my head: Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad. I love them both, and I think both did downright remarkable things with storytelling in television. And considering both shows only gave me five seasons, I cherish each and every moment, so you can imagine how I felt when the Writers’ Strike caused both shows to cut a season short.
For Breaking Bad, it was season 1. Cutting it two episodes short, we were left with the image of Walt and Jesse standing in a junkyard after having gotten into business with madman Tuco. There was no real sense of closure; there wasn’t even one of those gasping-for-air cliffhangers that only Breaking Bad can do. And for good reason: That wasn’t supposed to be the finale. The writers had planned their season’s arc, and then we just didn’t get to see it. And it physically hurt me.
But what hurt me even more than Breaking Bad was the way Friday Night Lights‘ second season was interrupted. What was forced to serve as the season 2 finale was really just a fun episode in which Tami’s ex (played by showrunner Peter Berg) came into town, and we got to see the jealous side of Coach Taylor. Riggins was smack in the middle of his going-to-church-to-see-Lyla story line, and Smash was surrounded by scholarship mania. Oh, and did I forget to mention how the episode ended? Hey Jason, remember that one-night-stand? Well, she’s pregnant! And fade to black.
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