Friday, May 12, 2006

Everwood, don't be gone for good

In a few weeks, loyal Everwood viewers might be watching not just the season finale, but the series finale of one of the few great dramas on TV right now. It's truly disturbing to me, given the drenload of forensics shows, mediocre comedies, and by-the-numbers procedurals that stay on the air year after year, that a show this heartfelt and lovely could be in danger of not making the cut to the CW next fall.

Seriously, people, Everwood is good. It's good because it has a sense of humor about the dramatic stuff and understands that there's weight even in the trivial and everyday. It's good because it captures the subtleties and nuances inherent in all human relationships. It's good because the writing is articulate yet natural, and doesn't sound like two thesauruses (thesaures?) having a conversation. It's good because it lets the characters grow.

In some other posts I've complained that TV creators often prolong the romantic involvement between TV characters to drag out the suspense. Not so with Everwood. Everwood has had characters get together and break up and make up in a way that's realistic and doesn't feel predicated on desperate plot devices.

Take, for example, Bright and Hannah. Total opposites, but they attracted, got together, and hung together for months. It was equally as interesting to watch them work at their relationship as it was to watch them dance around each other at first. And it's interesting now to watch them fall apart.

Or take Jake and Nina. Many viewers wanted to see Nina with Andy, but Jake somehow came along and was smart enough and sweet enough to steal the girl from one of the show's leading men, with barely anyone minding. We've watched Jake and Nina deal with commitment issues, addiction issues, work-life balance issues, all the mundane things that come up in the life cycle of an adult relationship, and it's still interesting.

The relationships are still interesting because they're all so real and messy and don't give any simple answers for how to make them work. Rose tells Hannah if she can't forgive Bright for cheating on her, then she can't make it work with him, even if she loves him. Andy tells Nina pretty much the opposite--that even if she feels ignored, if she still loves Jake, that's enough to stay with him. Who's to say whose advice is right? Or if they both are? Rose and Andy are coming from different places - he lost someone, and she was almost lost herself - but they both want the people they love to be happy. That much, at least, is simple.

And me? I love all of them, and if the CW wants me to be happy, they'll renew Everwood.


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