This week I opened a fortune cookie on a site called FortuneCookieMessage.com. My fortune told me this: “Old dreams never die, they just get filed away.” I don’t fully agree with this statement, dear electronic fortune cookie. But I can certainly think of some old dreams that have stayed with me. Some of these dreams are heartfelt goals and secret hopes, I suppose, but the things I am holding most tightly to are the dreams I have had for my favorite people. Not real people. I’m talking my favorite television show characters. I’m talking about my dream for George-Michael Bluth to find a girlfriend and for Ned and Charlotte Charles to finally touch. My hopes that Jaye Tyler would get her life together and figure out why the inanimate objects were talking to her and that Veronica Mars would end up with Duncan in the end.
Some of my favorites got to live out their plot lives to the fullest. Walter White and Jesse Pinkman kept it hardcore until the end. Monica and Chandler adopted a baby and Phoebe and Mike got married (love really does exist). Jim Halpert married Pam and they had their baby. (Also evidence that some plots get lived out a little too far). But some lifelines were cut short too soon. Some stories were even axed mid-plot. My little TV-addicted heart was broken. Here are some of the best from my little gray file cabinet.
My list wouldn’t be complete without Freaks and Geeks. If you’re a Judd Apatow fan, this is nothing you haven’t seen before. Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared are the reason I started watching Girls last year. To those of you who haven’t seen Judd Apatow’s landmark show yet: You should. It offers a glimpse of the young and awkward versions of Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, James Franco and Martin Starr before they were stars and before they were cool. In Martin Starr’s case, though ... I guess before he was tall? This show portrayed High School more like it really is — kind of the opposite of Clueless. The end of the season left us forever waiting to see what happens when Lindsay Weir gets on that bus and what is next for Daniel Desario. I’m always hoping that her little brother will find a girlfriend and that he and Daniel will become friends.
Speaking of girlfriends: One of the strangest and strangely adorable relationships that never quite came to fruition was the 2007 Ned and Chuck relationship in Pushing Daisies. Oh, Ned, the adorable pie-maker with the ability to bring dead things back to life. One day, the sweet, lonely mystery solver brings his childhood sweetheart, Charlotte Charles, back to life and suddenly he has a purpose. But, because of the way his power works, if he touches her again, she will return to her lifeless state. Cue tension. Cue puppy love and flashbacks with beautifully colored sets and scenes. This series ended too soon. I never got to see Kristen Chenoweth, the also lonely Olive, find love after Ned. But the end of the show, and some stalking of lead actor Lee Pace, led me to even more devastating heartbreak.
I’m talking about the show Wonderfalls. This one is a little obscure, so bear with me. Only a few episodes actually aired, but an entire first series was produced and is on DVD. The premise is a little strange but topical circa 2004. The show centers around Jaye Tyler, a 20-something Brown graduate, stuck working at a job she hates. She is a gift shop employee at Niagara Falls. She is always asked what her career plans are, and always has a sarcastic reply handy. Okay, so maybe it is still topical. One day a wax lion at the gift shop starts talking to her and sets in motion a series of inanimate objects coercing her to do things she can’t explain. Somehow the things they want her to do always turn out to be exactly what was needed. We never find out who is making the animals speak, or why, or how. That’s the entire premise of the show — all that, all for nothing.
These are just a few examples of many. Arrested Development is getting a movie and new season which is beyond exciting. I can’t begin to describe young Jay Baruchel in Undeclared, but I am also running out of room so I won’t try.
We have all had TV show characters we’ve become attached to. If we didn’t, the shows wouldn’t be fun to watch. When they finally end, we get sad for a while, stalk the crap out of the characters/actors and find new shows to love. At least I hope you all do that too. If you have a Netflix account or a go-to streaming site and want to share the dream, check out some of these over October break.
When our lives are filled with prelims and cups of coffee and my dreams are just to make it through all the work of the week, there is always something going on in the land of television. Old or new. I will always always go back and laugh at Tobias from Arrested Development when I want to smile. So, to you fortune cookie gods that are probably gathered up in the interwebs: My TV dreams are filed away in a little manilla folder somewhere that keeps getting bigger. I hope they never do die. It might be sad, but they make life a little more interesting when not much else is going on.