Monday, June 11, 2007

David Chase (spoilers ahead)

Can go *&%$ himself, as far as I'm concerned. That was a cheap, low-down trick. It's one thing to go with a "life goes on" ending, which is anything but original at this point, and is an artistic cop-out in any case. Yeah, real life just goes on, it has no neat ending, it doesn't wrap things up neatly - that's why we watch television, for chrissake's! You're supposed to entertain us and provide us with storylines that actually end, not just string us along for years just to make a puerile and entirely obvious point about how life goes on, you dumb &*%$.

But even if you do decide to go the way of irresolution, then at least have the balls to stick to your guns. End the series with a mundane family scene at a diner, fine. But pretending to cut off the feed and having the screen go blank - like I said, just %$^& off, you big jerk. Imagine if in the last Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling just leaves the last chapter blank as some sort of faux-deep meta-statement on the nature of participatory art. Millions of kids would commit suicide, but oh, how profound, what a statement, what a controversial, brave artistic decision. Yeah, well Rowling would never do that, because she's not a %$#& like David Chase.

And yes, some of the commenters over at Althouse are already fawning over the perfection of the finale, and Chase's genius. Entirely predictable reaction. Build up your image as an artist, and if you then piss on your audience they'll thank God for the refreshing drizzle. Chase just should have had Tony walk towards the pool and then walk on the water, a la Chauncey Gardner. It would have been so deep, so very full of meaning. The critics would have loved it.

Oh, and the final song? Journey. Yes, that's right, Journey. This fake artistic poseur is nothing but a self-involved hippie. A classic rock radio baby boomer jerk. The show pretends to be intelligent, but it's limited to the cheapest, most-dumbed down allusions possible like freaking classic rock lyrics! This way, its viewership can pretend to be intelligent and superior, when all they're doing is trying to find meaning in lyrics written by vapid seventies rock stars, like a bunch of stoner idiots finding the meaning of life in a Pink Floyd album. (Not to mention Yeats' "Second Coming," which everyone studies in grade school - what, Hamlet's soliloquy would have been too long, and some other show already did Prufrock?) Hey, on the bright side, at least he didn't end the series with "Stairway to Heaven."

UPDATE: More discussion on this over at Ambivablog.

FURTHER UPDATE: Deadline Hollywood nails it. It "robbed the audience of visual closure" and "Chase clearly didn't give a damn about his fans. Instead, he crapped in their faces. This is why America hates Hollywood." That is indeed (one of several reasons) why America hates Hollywood. Peter Suderman savors Chase's delight in infuriating his entire fan base, but what Suderman doesn't mention is that Chase relied on those very fans to make him rich and famous. When Hollywood types start out and are struggling, they'll do whatever it takes to please their audience, to make it big, but as soon as they have that success, far too many of them lose their sense of obligation and responsibility towards their audience and instead selfishly delight in defying expectations and playing the rebel. A true artist rebels from day one, pisses people off from the start, and I can respect that. But I will not respect those phonies, just like Chase, who play nice only until they know they can afford to piss people off. That is absolute cowardice.