No Right Explanation

No Right Explanation
White Trash and Dinosaurs

Firefilm | 12 Nov 2012 16:00
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Dan: A few people hopped onto Netflix and corrected, or rather elaborated on my account of the final lines in Dinosaurs. I think the reason I only remembered the line prior to the TV anchor signing off was because, as a child, I was literally stunned by the line that came first. Generally I historically shy away from depressing entertainment, the only "sad" movie I own is Bubba Ho-Tep. Don't get me started on how sad yet cathartic that movie is. Point is, I want to thank the fans for twisting the knife even further on the ending to a series that I loved. Thanks. Really. No I'm not crying, just got something in my eye.

On to points, and why Dinosaurs won. First point went to Kyle for laying out the ending of Roseanne in such a way that made me seriously consider spending my life savings trying to arrange a hug with John Goodman. The ending of Roseanne wasn't just a low blow, it was a full-on boxing round where the ref looked away while the viewer got their groin worked over. It was one terrible twist after another, after a season of good news. If you're going to have a season of wrapping things up in a nice bow, it sure is rough to wait till the last few moments to kill John Goodman. There's no analogy for that, it's just that rough.

Second point was nabbed by yours truly. Regardless of the TV anchor actually getting the final word in the episode, the fact remains that the final episode of a family sitcom shows all the characters dying. Any character that ever popped up on the show was turned into fuel for your car and birds depending on what science you believe in. Roseanne may have said that her life was not as rosy as we thought, but at least her entire species wasn't killed. Maybe Roseanne would have won this point if it turned out that John Goodman survived his heart attack and then released the T virus on all mankind.

Kyle had to get the next point due to the timing of the groin kick that is Roseanne's ending. This was a series that was dependable and well worn, like an old Ford truck that's been in the family for years. Sure it's missing some of the cushier features that newer models have, but there was an honest blue-collar vibe to the show that couldn't be denied. When things started to get good for the family in the final season, no one thought it would be ret-conned, especially when you were 99% through the final episode and the coast looked clear. To make people think the family would be ok past the point of no return, and then shove a horrible ending down their throat with no time to swallow let alone chew it? Horrible.

I got the next point due to environmental depression. Yes, that's right, the ending of Dinosaurs was not only sad because everyone you knew died. It was not only sad because they died due to their own short-sightedness. It was sad because, as with all sitcoms, the messages are meant to be applied to the viewer's life. The dinosaurs tried to put progress and ignorance towards consequences in front of common sense, and they all died. Message from that is ... us too. Any good "What if" in fiction is meant to act as a warning if the resolution is bad, and a goal if the ending is good. Roseanne may have reminded us that life isn't as nice as we would have liked, but Dinosaurs warned us that life is going to end if we're not careful. All of it.

That only tied the points, so how did I win? Frozen baby death. I'll type it again, just to let it sink in. Frozen baby death.

Oh, guess what? Frozen baby death is depressing, that's what.

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