Monday, February 15, 2010

Finale. (6teen Spoilers)

Don't worry, it's not the finale of this blog.  Rather I thought I'd make a couple of comments on the series finale of 6teen.  This contains spoiler material, so if you haven't seen the final episodes of 6teen yet now is the time to stop reading this.   Especially those of you who have been watching the series on Cartoon Network in the US, as who knows when they might air these episodes.

Still here?  Then don't say I didn't warn you.

The titles of what were assumed to be the final 13 episodes were revealed way back in September of 2008, and given the copyright on the end of that last batch it's not unreasonable to assume they may have been completed by then.  If so Teletoon decided to sit on them for a year or more for some reason.  My guess is that it had something to do with the possibility Cartoon Network in the US would buy the series, but that's only a guess.  In any case we knew the series finale would be a two part episode, called "Bye Bye Nikki?"  And given that title it wasn't hard to guess what the plot would be, that Nikki would somehow leaving the rest of the cast behind.

Sure enough that did turn out to be the plot.  Nikki's father is up for a job with Ruts, a clothing company obviously intended to make the viewer think of the highly popular Canadian clothing company Roots.  But taking the job involves moving to Iqaluit in Nunavut.  As expected the gang try and stop this in humurous fashion, they of course fail, and we get to see a nice going away party sequence, including clips from throughout the series.

But to I'm sure the surprise of most viewers, including me, the show didn't go for the expected cop-out.  Most were probably expected that somehow the status quo would be maintained, that the job would fall through, or that Mr. Wong would change his mind, or some other way would be found to have Nikki stay.  Instead when he actually suggests not taking the job Nikki quickly decides she can't let him give up the opportunity of a lifetime just for her, and Nikki and her family actually do leave, off on a new adventure without her 5 other friends.

I'm sure a lot of people will not be happy with this ending, but I have to say that I'm impressed with it.  The series didn't take the easy way out.  Instead it ended on a realistic note, as one of the things that everyone faces in life is having to part with friends as they find themselves on a different path.  Not that the ending is a completely down one, as the writers left it open for our heroes, especially Nikki and her love interest Jonesy, to reconnect again sometime in the future.   But even with that out series creators Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch must have known the ending would upset some viewers, and one assumes must have considered taking the easy way out.  They didn't, and I give them a thumbs up for that.  I think it shows faith in their audience.  It also makes for a nice "closing of the circle" with the beginning of the series, which revolved around Caitlin joining what had been a group of five friends and making it six.

Of course I can't help but wonder if this is the last we've seen of new 6teen material.  The ending of the series did leave an opening for a followup special at some point, along the lines of the one hour special "Snow Job" that ended what is commonly seen as the second season of the series.(And which I can't help but wonder might not have been intended as a series finale had the series not continued.)  Whatever the future fate of the franchise it will continue to air on Teletoon for the foreseeable future given its popularity and the fact it has 91 episodes.

It will be interesting to see if the last batch of episodes airs on American TV, as Cartoon Network hasn't exactly been committed to giving 6teen a consistent and regular slot in its schedule.  Especially the episode "Role Reversal," in which a temporary co-worker of Nikki's, a girl named Jean, not only openly states she is gay, but is also seen going to a Sadie Hawkins dance in the company of Connie, who first appeared in "Snow Job" as the drummer in Wyatt's band.  The couple can also be briefly seen together amongst the party guests in  "Bye Bye Nikki? Part 2."  It would have been interesting, had the series run longer, to see if they would have turned up again.

In closing thanks to everyone who worked on the series and provided me with a lot of entertainment over the last six years, even if I wasn't the intended audience. 

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