All this talk of finales this week got me thinking about great grand finales. Television, like life, is filled with so many unsatisfactory endings. Things fizzle and fade, grandstand and glorify. So an ending that truly feels right, feels earned, feels worthy, that is a rare and wonderful thing. In the past decade I think I've seen two. One was the magnificent final flash forwards of “Six Feet Under.” But that series ultimately felt like bookends on a romance novel collection. Sturdy beginning and end with some questionable material in the middle. The other was the finale of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
The genius of Buffy was always in its scope. A show about a blonde cheerleader who kills vampires taken at face value is silly. For reference, please see the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie. But a television show that takes the fantastical world of vampires and demons and uses it as a metaphor for the trials and tribulations of everyday life, now that's something worth staying home for on Tuesday nights. It's not that Buffy was always perfect. In fact, the sixth season was kind of a hot mess. But the writers and creator Joss Whedon had a vision for the stories they wanted to tell.
That one of the greatest feminist series on television was dreamed up by a man should not, despite what you may think, be considered ironic. In fact, it is the very definition of feminism – the belief that men and women are intrinsically equal and capable and important. To that end “Chosen,” Buffy's final episode, was the culmination of everything the show sought to say in seven seasons. That every girl in the world world can have the power, can stand up. That speech still gives me goosebumps. I will always miss that show. But thanks to its near-perfect finale, it will forever rest in peace in my heart. Happy weekend, all.