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Unexpected Endings

by  Shoshana Lewin Fischer

August 19, 2009 | 1:41 pm

Sometimes in TV Land you get your happy endings: Ross and Rachel finally get together on “Friends”; the Halliwell sisters strike a balance between witchcraft and normalcy on “Charmed”; Zack and the gang graduate from Bayside on “Saved by the Bell” (and bonus: he eventually marries Kelly); Donna and David get married on “Beverly Hills 90210” (they end up separated, but we had bliss for a time).

Sometimes in TV Land you get endings that make you cry: BJ Hunnicut’s “Goodbye” message to Hawkeye on “MASH” ; Dorothy getting married and leaving on “The Golden Girls”; Mary and the WJM team getting fired (except Ted) and walking out singing “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

Sometime in TV Land you get endings that make you scratch your head: Bull gets taken to live with aliens on “Night Court”; the “Seinfeld” gang ends up in jail.

Sometimes you get endings that make you go “wow”:  Bob Newhart waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette on “Newhart” (his wife from “The Bob Newhart Show” and realizes the entire series had been a dream; St Elsewhere was all in the mind of an autistic boy.

And sometimes in TV Land, you never get your ending: When last we saw “Soap,” Jessica was in front of a firing squad.

I possess an amazing knack for falling in love with shows that end without warning. My recent scorecard includes: NBC’s “Lipstick Jungle”; CBS’s “Swingtown” and “The Class”; ABC’s “Cashmere Mafia,” “The Nine,” Dirty Sexy Money” and “Women’s Murder Club”; FOX’s “Wedding Bells”; and Lifetime’s “Side Order of Life.”

While some of those shows ended after one season, others just ended. “Dirty Sexy Money” stopped with four shows left, which ABC aired over the summer; “The Nine” has three shows remaining when they went off the air and, instead of running them on ABC.com, they can be seen on DirectTV. Yup, that was my reaction, too.

Yes, most of these shows were aimed at females, but here’s a note to the big-shot executives: We women like closure. Don’t dangle these shows in front of us, suck us in and then snatch them away. I’ve gotten to the point where I am wary about trying a new show for fear that it will get canceled as soon as a start watching (“Glee” and “Mercy,” you have been warned).

Give us our happy endings, or we may be forced to start watching reruns.

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