Lonesome Dove

I don’t watch much TV anymore.  I’ve heard there are good shows out there, but few of them really capture my interest.  And, one of the TV genres that I enjoyed the most — the mini-series — seems to have fallen completely out of fashion.

You can argue about the best TV show ever, but in my view there is no question about the best TV mini-series ever.  It’s Lonesome Dove, hands down.  It was much anticipated because the book of the same name was extremely popular and the cast — which featured, among others, Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, and Danny Glover — was fantastic.  When the show finally aired, it was even better than people expected.  The production was fabulous, and you simply could not wait until the next episode, to see what happened with Captain McCrae, Captain Call, Clara, Deets, Dish, Newt, Pea Eye, Jake Spoon, Blue Duck, and the other characters.

My favorite part of the mini-series came near the end, when the resolute Captain Call, fulfilling a deathbed promise, hauled his friend’s body hundreds of miles to be buried next to a stream where he had courted the love of his life.  I always thought that series of scenes, performed against the backdrop of some terrific, stirring music, totally captured the deep, largely non-verbal attachment between Call and McCrae.

There were many great scenes in Lonesome Dove, however — and the scene below, which features Gus in all his glory, is a pretty good one, too.

House’s End

Hugh Laurie and David Shore, the main creative forces behind the TV drama House, have announced that the series will end this year — after eight years of putting the acerbic, misanthropic Dr. Gregory House into every imaginable situation and seeing him solve every imaginable diagnostic problem.

House has been one of my favorite shows since it began.  It’s still good, and it’s still one of the few shows that we automatically record on our DVR.  I’ll be sorry when it ends, but I also understand and appreciate the decision to bring the series to closure.  I hate watching favorite shows go inexorably downhill, sometimes to the point of embarrassment.  If the actors and writers and producers conclude that the creative string has been played out, as apparently is the case with House, I’m inclined to trust their judgment.

With the announcement of the series’ end, the question now becomes — how will it end?  There really haven’t been many great final episodes of TV shows, and often the final episode is awful.  I hope that the House crew resist the temptation to tie up all the loose ends, bring back House’s ex-wife Stacy, Cameron, and Cuddy for final bows, and have House cure Wilson of cancer.

Whatever else may happen, let House be House — in all his brilliant, miserable, appalling glory — to the inevitably bitter end.