Season finales 2008

The end is here

Normally, around this time of year, I’d be putting out copious reviews of all the US season finales. This year, I haven’t, although a few escaped earlier in the year and at the end of last year. There’s a list of reasons why I haven’t done so many this time around:

  1. With the writers’ strike messing with everything, most of the series haven’t been at their best, so it might be wrong to judge them too harshly
  2. I didn’t realise some series had ended
  3. Some series had ended permanently so there was no point
  4. There’s a great big backlog of episodes that we haven’t watched yet
  5. I’ve been busy

So no Scrubs, My Name is Earl, House, Moonlight, Aliens in America, Eli Stone, et al, coverage this year, I’m afraid. Lost is still to come next week, I think. But, after the break, I’ll give abbreviated rundowns on 30 Rock, Smallville, CSI, CSI: Miami, Numb3rs, Gossip Girl and Supernatural.

30 Rock
Distinctly weaker than it was before the strike, with the exception of the finale and a cracking and unexpected Amadeus parody in one episode. Still the best comedy on TV. The cliffhangers in the finale were a little forced, though, and we could have done without all the celebrity guests during the season. MILF island though…

Abandon ship! Yes, everyone’s leaving, including the producers, so who knows if the inevitable "everything falls apart" cliffhanger is going to demand the inevitable "instant reset" button in the first episode of next season. Probably the best Smallville season so far though, with some plot developments, although the cataclysmic struggle the show was building too turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. 

Quite a bumbling season. All over the place, really. Some very good episodes, some episodes so poor I turned off after just a few minutes. The finale’s a bit of a shocker though, even if you can see the ending coming a mile off.

CSI: Miami
Miraculously, easily the best CSI: Miami season so far. The ultimate judge of good and evil, Horatio Caine, crosses a few lines he shouldn’t have, Eric’s head wound proves not to have been so ephemeral in its effects and there’s some character progression, even if the producers quickly realised that sticking Trip in uniform was a bad idea. And thanks heavens "worst actress in the history of acting" Khandi Alexander’s gone. Quite a shocking end to this one, too, with a nice double-bluff. All the same, there have been some shockingly stupid episodes, too. But then, you knew that would be true, didn’t you?

Again, another season of general dullness, with nothing much happening, all the exciting developments at the end of the previous season being reversed, and maths being shoe-horned into all sorts of odd places it doesn’t really belong. Still, better than the last season and a good finale that will inevitably be reset at the start of next season.

Gossip Girl
After an initial start where all the bitchiness was a bit playground and everyone was quite nice, it was good to see some proper evil in the second half of the season, mainly thanks to Michelle Trachtenberg. Serena’s secret turned out to be a bit duff all the same. Still, compelling viewing all the way through, no matter how old you are, and your heartstrings will be tugged in various places by all sorts of couplings during the finale.

A good, strong theme to this season. Some good strong episodes, too, and much fun was had by all. And glad to see they didn’t chicken out at the last moment.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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