By now we have applied Better Endings as a principle to a wide range of topics, ranging from creative revisioning of movie endings and historical events to personal decisions, childhood events, and conversations. We have been finding that putting this principle into action in one domain can carry over onto others. Better Endings as a general principle can help us to be more mindful in day-to-day life as we realize we always have a choice, moment by moment, to proactively construct a path to the most desirable outcomes for all concerned. This allows us from our present vantage point to be cognizant of the past while attentive to where we wish to be heading from Here (and how to get there). If we go back to one of our earlier realizations from this blog, the Present is a doorway to alternate future ‘worlds’; so our choices Now can adjust the aperture or likelihoods for future conditions.
This week we return to a creatively playful theme of Television Better Endings. When I was in my teens I remember maybe the first time I ever thought of the principle of ‘better endings,’ when the television series The Fugitive ended. Finally Dr. Richard Kimball could get back to his life; the one-armed man who had ransacked his home and murdered his wife (for which he himself had been wrongly accused and imprisoned) was captured. Kimball’s innocence was affirmed; he was a free man. Well, that’s a good ending, if fairly predictable; it tied up loose ends of the story so the series could end. But I thought it would have been deviously fun if at the very end, after the newly accused man was safely behind bars, Richard Kimball might be walking along a private California beach near his home in the moonlight, and he would unscrew his own prosthetic arm and fling it into the sea!
So, Better Endings as a principle applied to television doesn’t necessarily have to be ethical; but still, what might my The Fugitive ending say about me (or, one you might write or ‘right’, about you)? Maybe I just saw Richard Kimball as a man of mystery to the end. For him to have finally, once and for all, outsmarted the deputy marshall Girard who had hounded his footsteps through the whole series would seem to have been justified, albeit in a twisted way. As a teen I suppose I wanted Kimball (or the actor David Jansen)’s freedom more than anything else.
Most of the television I watch these days is either informative (e.g. Through the Wormhole, The Universe, programs on Stonehenge, etc.), sci-fi oriented (re-runs of Star Trek NG), or historical. The only series I pay any attention to any more is The Big Bang Theory, which I have become rather addicted to since my last cross-country drive. I’ll have to play with these a bit to be able to offer any fine applications of Better Endings to such fare or others.
How about you? What television shows or series hold your attention these days, and why? How might they or a particular episode end ‘better’ or how might earlier TV stories or series have ended more to the liking of your creative re-imagining?
Have fun! I invite all Comments, story suggestions, and Stories!