duckyxdale

6/06/2006



Everwood Series Finale



In June 2003 on a rainy Sunday afternoon I was lying in bed at a B&B in Provincetown and flipping through the channels. We were in town for a wedding the day before and taking some time to relax out of the rain when I stumbled upon a marathon of Everwood. Season 1 had just ended probably a couple weeks prior and to this point I had always assumed it was a 7th Heaven knockoff and who needed that in their lives? Within 20 minutes I was hooked and laid there for 3 more hours watching The Browns get acclimated to this sleepy Colorado town. I watched Amy agonize over Colin and I watched Ephram fall in love. Before the marathon was up I was in tears. I was that quickly sucked into the world of Everwood. For the rest of the summer I would watch as season 1 unfolded and come fall I waited with baited breath to see if Colin would survive!

And survive he did not. That was when I knew this show had what it takes to make me, the viewer happy and guessing. They weren't afraid to kill the heart of the show. Season 1 was all about Colin, how Amy coped, how Ephram handled Amy with Colin's illness. Now in Season 2 within seconds they had killed the center of the show! It was a bold ballsy move and one that set the tone for Everwood's future seasons. From Amy's downward spiral, to Andy sending Madison away, to Ephram's baby, to Rose's cancer, to Nina's love life, to Hannah and Bright, to Harper's death, and ultimatly to a ferris wheel - Everwood could have taken over Degrassi's tagline... It Goes There! It was the new Felicity in terms of shows that made me cry on almost a weekly basis. It was a smart, sassy, witty, comic tale of loss, love, longing, and belonging that died an early death when The WB and UPN merged but will nevertheless be remembered as one of the strongest written and acted shows on television. I'll miss my sleepy Colorado hamlet and those Brown's and Abbotts. Sad day today, sad day...


* There were a total of 6 Tear Fests in the finale alone...

Tear Moment #1: Nina and Jake at the airport. Jake confronts Nina about her remaining feelings for Andy and acts the better man, leaving Nina and Sam to the possibility of happiness in Everwood with Andy Brown. It was a selfless act and really touching. It was hands down Scott Wolf's finest acting moment since "Intervention" back in the Po5 days. It made me weep a little.

Tear Moment #2 and into #3: Hannah and "Friend" Bright discuss the pros and cons of going to Notre Dame or Colorado A&M. Bright has changed the most in 4 years. He's no longer the thoughtless and robotic jock we met in Season 1, he is a fleshed out amazingly enamored man. Hannah was the newest but one of the most loved and their love was incredible. You just wanted them to be together but also wanted the best for each and if that meant Hannah had to go to ND, that's what we (and Bright) wanted. Crushing moment here! This led into Andy's graveyard goodbye to Julia. I think it was a little dust in my eye, yeah that's it. Forget it the 2/3 punch of pro-con and graveyard goodbye was too much for me. A grown man of 32 crying like a bitch in his livingroom alone.

Tear Moment #4 and into #5: What's with the back to back scenes making me weep like a little school girl? Again with the Bright and Hannah moments, come on you're killing me here! Mountainside... "So it's gonna be me and you... best friends, for life..." FORGET ABOUT IT! Consider me a puddle. How could it possibly get worse? Oh christ, it's the Amy/Ephram retrospective. Get me the tissues already. Look how cute and little they were, god look how incredible those two are together, oh it's killing me... make it stop... I think my shirt is damp... phew, a commercial!

Tear Moment #6: Oh christ on a cracker, she brought the Ferris Wheel to Ephram! Remember? WE REMEMBER AMY ABBOTT! We remember and we cry and we just love it. We love you and we love Ephram and we just think this show is amazing, your love is amazing, this writing is amazing, your acting is amazing and I don't want to stop crying or remembering because that will mean in a couple seconds that Everwood is out of my life... out of my crying schedule... she brought the ferris wheel to Ephram. It couldn't have been better!


The Finale Quotes:

Bright: "Wanna go with me to buy a big screen tv?"
Amy: "I said I was bored, not a 12 year old boy..."

Edna (to Dr. Dimples): "You're just dying to see me in a bikini"

Andy (to Dr. Dimples): "You don't wanna hear what I've got to say..."

Bright: "Ephram Brown ladies and gentlemen... That's like the first un-recycled action you've had in this apartment all year. Mazal Tov! I learned me some Jewish last night!"

Bright: "You danced with the Devil last night - it fogged your brain, clogged your drain..."

Delia: "Are you leaving me here in the woods?"


Other Thoughts:

Why did they wait 4 years to give Edna some heavyweight scenes? Last week's final shot of her weeping in her kitchen after Irv's funeral broke my damn heart. It ruined me. She's always the tough bravado woman of steel type so to finally see her weak and alone was quite powerful. That carried over to the finale. Her final scene with Dr. Dimples was touching and then the Abbott's gesture of moving Edna into their house sealed the deal. Edna's a broad to look up to. She was a war nurse, she was a survivor, a grandmother, and one hell of a gal! You'll be missed Edna Harper!

They killed Justin Kirk and we never got to see it? That saddens me. Sure it was great he was on, but they killed him - the wife went crazy again and instead of hurting the baby she left it with the Abbotts! Holy Cannoli! Rose and Harold have a baby afterall! It was fast and sudden but they never played it to melodramatic effect and they never made it seem unrealistic. The Abbott's deserved that baby. And here's to Rina Mimoun and Greg Berlanti for not killing Rose! I was worried for a while this season, she was always a quiet force in Everwood and the cancer episodes were some of this show's best.

And also kudos to Mimoun/Berlanti for giving us Harold Abbott! He's deeply flawed but deeply compassionate and incredibly entertaining. He's neurotic and opinionated - he was at his best when he was on a self-righteous rant as well as when he was a loving and concerned father. Season 2 was a rough one for Harold and Amy and Season 4 proved to be Harold and Bright's moments to shine. Tom Amandes deserves his own show... like yesterday!

Nina & Jake, never in a million years did I think I would have cared so much about either of you. Back in the day, I always thought Nina was a cast wrong. Season 2 I accepted her and her teeth (they always bothered me) and grew to love Stephanie Niznik! Afterall, Nina was married to a gay man - that will devastate anyone! She played it perfectly. Her shoulder to cry on was best friend Andy Brown. Their relationship grew stronger. I grew to love Nina and Andy as friends and eventual life partners! I felt for Nina when Andy dated Crazy Heche! I grew to love Nina and Hannah's relationship. I grew to love Nina and Sam. God remember when Sam got in the car - wow! Somehow I even grew to love Nina and Jake.

Sure, I knew it would never last so that is why I think I was so pleasantly surprised that they forced these two to stick it out for 2 seasons. And not forced where we never believed it, or never felt that they needed each other. It was a relationship that gave each character the strength and wisdom to become who they needed to be. It was worth it in the end. Jake changed so much in just 2 seasons and he changed the face of Everwood. He loved Nina. He loved Sam even (now that takes a man). I'll miss Dr. Dimples, deeply.

Can we discuss a botched theory... Sure Jake changed Everwood but not as much as I had always suspected though. By the middle of Season 3, not a soul on earth could have convinced me that Jake was not Andy's long lost child. It just fit into the whole Ephram/Madison/Baby storyline. It explained his fathering issues, and it also explained Jake's instant take to Andy. As Season 3 came to a close I was wondering how on earth they could make that work in Season 4 and then... they just never went there. Never have I been more wrong on a theory. Oh well.

Delia Brown is a woman now, or at least a drunk Amy Abbott believes so. Delia has really changed from snot-nosed bratty kid with some serious emotional issues to sweet loving wounded daughter to grounded and stable teenager. This is what I love and hate about child actors. They can potentially ruin any show but Vivien Cardone always made you feel for her. When she was bitchy it was because she was without a mother and never really had a father. When she was sad it broke your heart because she was being ignored by her Father and Brother the only two people in the world she looks up to. Those were some amazing years for Cardone when Andy and Ephram were at odds. Her character always got the shaft, she was always trying to patch things up to be the match maker or peace maker. She played each scene beautifully and her transition from popular kid back to a wholesome Brown teenager was believable and touching.

Andy Brown, who knew I would embrace a hirsute like Treat Williams again in my life? I'm not a huge fan of musicals (shocker I know) but I did have quite the softspot for the film "HAIR" starring a young Treat Williams! Well slap me on the ass and call me Sally... I once again loved Treat Williams! Dr. Brown was so flawed, so powerful, and so wrong that you just grew to feel for the guy. He would go to great lengths to earn the love of his children, to keep his family together and to eventually win the second love of his life. He's the kind of guy that buys an engagement ring for a woman in a relationship because he can't give up hope. He's persistent yet incredibly patient. The past two seasons have been incredible for Treat Williams. Sending Madison away was a desperate low. Telling Ephram was a desperate high. Dealing with the fallout was breathtaking and in the end he had it all. Andy Brown was the savior of Everwood... and it worked!

Brighton & Hannah. Never was there a more surprising love and odd couple than Bright and Hannah. Bright was the stereotypical jock in Season 1. He later became the lovable jock, then the best friend, then the concerned brother, caring son, conflicted lover, and hopeless dreamer! Brighton Abbott, mwah!

He was the comic relief but somehow became a tortured soul with aspirations and glimmers of goodness creeping in! When he met Hannah, everything changed. Both of them changed! Hannah was this after thought in Everwood. A character never meant to be anything or so it seemed. She went from shy bookish Hannah forced to live with her Mother's best friend Nina because her Father was dying to empowered supergirl! It's hard to believe she wasn't there from Day 1 she just fit so well. God remember when Colin's sister was Amy's best friend? Before they shipped her off? I mean, I loved Nora Zehetner (see her in "Brick" if you've not already) and just felt horrible for Laynie when Colin got sick but she was no Hannah... let's face it! Sarah Drew became a powerhouse of emotions and surprised us all!

When Bright and Hannah broke up it was crushing. His confession to her and her strength before breaking down were both actors finest moments. The finale forced them together but threatened their future. You really understood that Bright knew it was more than him that would keep her in Everwood. It was the whole Abbott family, her surrogate family. The mountain top "best friends" scene fooled me. I thought she would leave for Notre Dame but in the final moments we saw she accepted her spot at Colorado A&M! Bright and Hannah will live on and that makes me giddy!

Madison... Knowing what we know about the alternate ending had Everwood lived on for Season 5 I can't help but feel love for Madison. She was very conflicted from the beginning. She had questionable judgment but her heart was always in the right place. She truly cared for Delia and she truly loved Ephram. When she went to Dr. Brown for help with her pregnancy she was going to him as a father figure as a friend and instead was paid off to leave Everwood and his son alone. It was one of the series most harsh moments but one that led to some of the best resolutions. Sarah Lancaster deserved a guest star Emmy for her NYC Cafe confession in Season 4. Though she had been gone all season, that episode alone made me want them to work it out! I wanted her back on the show. I'm glad she didn't come back because I don't know that Ephram and Dr. Brown could have ever resolved their issues and become as close as they did post Babygate. But that alternate ending will always haunt me. It would have been an interesting direction for Ephram to go in. When he called a couple episodes back and left her that voicemail saying he was sorry it showed how much he deeply cared for her and how much he really appreciated how she changed his life. To enter back into that relationship would have been interesting to see but I have to say... the finale ended the way it needed to with Ephram and Amy together... and a ferris wheel!

Amy Abbott has had 4 unbelievable years. Her first love ends up comatose, she stays strong and true to his love. Then life shaken up when Ephram Brown enters the picture offering her more than friendship. He offers her his undying love. Colin dies and it completely ruins the Amy Abbott Everwood once knew. She turns to rebellion, drugs, bad boys, moves out of the house, and turns her back on everyone but Ephram. She eventually bounces back, gains the love and trust of her family and friends again and becomes caretaker to her cancer stricken mother before becoming a college freshman. This season she was conflicted and shown a whole new world. She became idealistic and preachy, many thought she'd be a lesbian for a while but in the end she came around, mended her life and went for what she knew was the only constant in her tumultuous life for the last 4 years... Ephram Brown! Her grand gestures to win him back were comic ("Stephram") and breath taking(The Ferris Wheel). Emily VanCamp will go very far in Hollywood. She deserves it. She brought more tears to my eyes over 4 years, the only person to rival Keri Russell in the water works department!

And finally Ephram Brown! I will admit that I had a semi-inappropriate crush on our young Ephram Brown - he was quite charming and Season 1 Ephram was the damn cutest thing on earth. I used to joke years back in my blog about how I was going to jail over the way I talked of Gregory Smith. I was just endeared to Ephram! Wow, Ephram changed a bit huh? He was such the outsider when it all began. I never would have predicted he'd quit piano or became best friends with Bright when this show was still in Season 1. Hell, I never would have guessed he'd knock up the Nanny either but he did. Gregory Smith played angst believably and without you ever hating Ephram as a person. He had major issues with his Dad after Julia's death. His resentment took years to hammer out and when it was resolved, WHAM, Babygate tore them apart again.

Somewhere along the way, Ephram lost his passions. Whether life had just thrown him too many surprises and disappointments or whether he needed to branch out to find his true self, the audience always loved Ephram Brown. His mentoring of gay piano prodigy Kyle this season really reflected the Ephram we used to know and I'm glad we were able to see him once again find passion in piano and in teaching. He was surprisingly gentle and understanding with Kyle and goshdarnit, he became a man!

Ephram and Amy's saga was long and complicated but always seemed real. They really did find themselves in each other and I'm glad the series never lost sight of that. Even at their lowest lows they tried to remain best friends, knowing that the only person in the world that would understand them and their problems was the other. Again, lobsters! I cried my eyes out, as mentioned above, in those final moments. The montage of E&A moments was unbelievable. They were so little when this show began and their chemistry was never forced. To come full circle with the Ferris Wheel was just the perfect touch and perfect ending to an emotional family drama.

Everwood accomplished what no show on The WB or any other network had accomplished before. It was as much about the kids as it was the adults on the show. The WB could have easily forced the show to skew younger but instead they allowed the adults to have heavy storylines and equal screentime. Audiences cared as much about Andy and Nina as they did Amy and Ephram, that is no small task! I'm sad Everwood had to die so that trite shit like 7th Heaven can live past its prime but I'm happy that Everwood went out on a high note, better than ever! They never lost sight of their purpose, the show never lost focus and only got better with each season. The acting and the writing were amongst the best in town and I for one will sadly miss my weekly cry fest.

7 Comments:

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Joobie, at 6/06/2006 02:37:00 PM  

  • You did this Everwood such justice in your analysis. It was sweet and smart and funny and everything else you said. Great writing and a great (sob) goodbye to a great show.

    I think both our houses must need spring cleaning from all the dust that got in our eyes during the finale! ;)

    By Blogger Joobie, at 6/06/2006 02:38:00 PM  

  • Dan, thanks for the great homage and recap. I will miss Everwood dearly too...

    By Anonymous Donna, at 6/06/2006 03:12:00 PM  

  • Awesome job with your Everwood tribute. I'm still a little teary-eyed myself. It was such a wonderful 2 hours last night, and then so sad after. I can't believe it's really gone. I will miss this show tremendously.

    By Blogger TVFan, at 6/06/2006 03:38:00 PM  

  • Amazing post on the show. It was so long (in a good way) that I had to wait until this evening to read it properly.

    As much as I'm going to miss the show, It was really nice to see it end on such a high note!

    By Anonymous theTVaddict, at 6/06/2006 10:00:00 PM  

  • Great post.
    Everwood will be missed.

    By Blogger Sue, at 6/10/2006 03:59:00 PM  

  • I know I'm late to the party, but I just wanted to say that your post was a touching tribute to a great show. You can really tell that you watched that show, and that's just awesome. Thanks again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/19/2006 04:51:00 AM  

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