I feel I always give double answers to these questions, but, well I don’t really care, but also it’s because my thought process starts outs answering the question but I gotta give y’all context (all I dunno, ten of you, I’m rounding up) of how I got there. Also I’m always at war with the objective vs subjective part of me, because I know what my answers for both are. I could just be objective or I could be subjective, and I think I should just be subjective for all of these, but hey, this is my silly blog. I do what I want.
So I was really thinking about this for a couple days because it’s a pretty epic question. Series finale. Favourite. These are the things that can define a show. My first thought was the Lost finale. It was so iconic. I woke up at 5am UK time to catch it with the rest of the world because television did something they never have done before for a show, as far as I know, and aired it at the same time worldwide.
I had an off/on relationship with the show on the whole for various reasons, but the finale will always stand out to me. I know it’s an incredibly polarising finale, most finales are, but I personally loved it. I think it did the show right. It gave the characters the ending they deserved whether you agreed with them or not. Lost was always about the characters and the mystery that surrounded them, the connections that defined them, so that it ended highlighting all the connections they had built on the Island while keeping part of the mystery going in its own way was okay with me.
I’ll never forget what it felt like to Juliet and Sawyer meet at the vending machine (my heart swelled), how it felt to watch Vincent lie down next to Jack (tears fell), to watch Desmond and Penny live happily ever after (pure joy!), watch Ben talk to Hurley about it was still not his time to join them inside (bittersweet understanding). In the end for all the mystery of what the Island was (weird, magical, and real) or wasn’t (not purgatory!) and what Sideways verse was (a limbo of sorts), the point was: they were places that made it so these people could meet each other and define each other’s lives by the experiences they all shared. It was an incredibly emotional finale. I’m telling you, TEARS WERE SHED. And in many ways it is a favourite, but it’s not The Favourite.
My favourite finale is the Ugly Betty one. It’s a beautifully done finale in a completely different way than the Lost one was done. Like Lost’s it allowed the show truly end on its own terms and highlight the theme of the show: how the world around Betty viewed her.
Ugly Betty was never about the fact Betty was ugly. It was about how because she didn’t conform to what was expected of her the world view her as ugly, or more to the point, unappealing, but that didn’t matter to her and she never wavered from who she was. IN a show with “ugly” in the title you expect a story about a character finding their inner beauty and it eventually transforming into outer beauty. Not here. Betty never got a “makeover” like you expected. She became a little more put together, yes, styled her hair a bit better, got new glasses, go her braces off, and in sum grew up a bit. None of these were big changes or were they framed as big changes on the show. They happened organically as they do in life.
By the end she was still as optimistic as ever, determined as ever, still wore mismatched clothes albeit a bit better styled, was unwaveringly kind and supportive, still made “unappealing” choices, but she preserved. She didn’t compromise her morals and eventually people respected her. She changed the way people thought of her not herself for them. The world around her was ugly, the irony she worked for a fashion company should not be dismissed, and it projected itself on her because she was very unlike them. What they viewed as “ugly/unappealing” she viewed as lovely, good, and beautiful. So when the end credits role and the usual “Ugly Betty” becomes “Betty” is a beautiful moment because it’s showcasing how she’s changed the world around her. Betty dismantled the misconceptions about her because of how she dressed and acted and the epithet people described her by is no longer valid. She’s not a description. She’s a person, she always was, the world around her just needed to catch up and drop it’s concept of what was beautiful or not. Betty’s whole journey and the show’s journey was about driving that home. Because the show loved Betty and it wanted you to look at the word ugly and not see it.
and the Lost finale in case anyone wants to cry (I teared up already):