Friday, July 22, 2011

The Best Television Cliffhangers

I must admit that as a young child I used to watch All My Children with my grandmother, and when I heard this year that it would end I was pretty sad.  Daytime dramas are a huge cultural part of television history.  More on the demise of this genre later, the real story is that All My Children may pay homage to one of the "best" cliffhangers in television history, Dynasty.  At the end of the season five there was an attack at a wedding, gunfire, and a pile of bodies left on the floor.  At the start of season 6, 60 million people tuned in to find out who lived and who died in the "massacre."

1-Dallas/The Simpsons (Who Shot....) In Dallas the patriarch of the Ewing family was shot.  This story had everyone buzzing the whole summer after the event happened.  Everyone had a motive, and the guessing game began, this is the most famous television cliffhanger.  I put the Simpson's in this category because they followed with a parody of this a few years later with someone shooting Mr. Burns.  This parody was hilarious and ended with fans playing the guessing game all the summer.

2-Alias (It's Been how Long?)- Sydney Bristow finds out her roomate Francie was killed and replace with an agent; she fights the agent and gets knocked out.  When Sydney wakes up she find out that years have passed. I was blown away.  What would happen next?! Well Vaughn ended getting married during the time, and my least favorite season, season 3 happened.

3-Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Did she Really Die?) In what was my favorite season of Buffy (except for the incarnation of Michelle Trachtenberg)  at the end of the season Buffy sacrifices herself to save her sister from "the big bad."  Being a sci-fi show everyone knew she would be back, but this also was the limbo between Buffy moving from the WB to the UPN, so everyone was wondering what changes would happen.

Monica and Chandler's wedding4-Friends (The One with all the Cliffhangers)  Friends did a pretty good job with their cliffhangers, but I think the best one was the end of season seven.  Monica and Chandlier are getting married, and everyone thinks Monica is pregnant.  Cut to after the "I Do's" and Monica claims she isn't pregnant. Who is the father?! I think most fans assumed it would be Ross, but they still shocked us with this revelation that created an Emmy winning season 8.

5-Dynasty/The West Wing (The Massacre Situation)- I hate to lump these two shows into the same category because The West Wing is a far superior show, but both shows handled this very well. In The West Wing, the President's daughter was dating Charlie, who was black and a group of neo Nazis attacked the President and his group as they were coming out of an event.  Like in Dynasty, fans were waiting to find out who lived and who died.

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