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Just As New Shows Arrive, Old Ones Conclude Their Seasons -- And Quite Nicely, Too
September 15, 2011  | By David Bianculli

The new fall season is looming, but some of my favorite shows of the summer have just ended, either until next year, or forever. And all of them -- including True Blood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Damages, even Entourage -- concluded their seasons very, very nicely...


There's no need to be too detailed here, because some people have yet to catch up with these episodes -- and while I'm usually impatient when it comes to Spoiler Alerts, the fact that some of these shows are still in active circulation in their same-week rerun patterns, I'll be vaguely positive. And positively vague.

(Those who missed HBO's Sunday finale of True Blood, for example, can watch it tonight at 10 ET on HBO2, while the Curb Your Enthusiasm season finale and Entourage series finale are repeated on HBO at 9:30 and 10 ET, respectively.)

Here's my basic, very concise rundown:


Entourage. For a seventh-season, end-of-season finale, it ended very nicely, giving at least some of the characters a true sense of growth as well as closure.

And while Perrey Reeves, as the wife of Jeremy Piven's Ari, got to show off her physical as well as thespian attributes in the final post-credit moments, that unexpected tag also left the door open for an Entourage movie, or TV sequel special, in the future. Nice touch.

True Blood. Wow. There wasn't a slow scene in the entire episode -- and at the end, though we can't be quite sure of the final body count, Sookie's final, desperate cry for help is bound to be answered next season.

But by whom? Or by what? Once again, this show left us with one intense cliffhanger.

Curb Your Enthusiasm. I loved -- loved -- how Larry David ended this latest season, but I can't explain it without being specific. So if you haven't seen it, and want to, skip the next paragraph.


The season began, in New York, with Larry getting in a verbal fight with a driver whose parked car overlapped a second space (Larry called him a "pig parker") leaving Los Angeles, and with Larry eventually fleeing Los Angeles for New York rather than attend a friend's charity function for needy children.

It ended, delightfully, with Larry leaving New York for the exact same reason -- to avoid having to attend a charity function, this time a hospital visit with sick kids, organized by Michael J. Fox. So Larry is seen, in the final scene of the year, in Paris -- where, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, he berates a driver, bilingually, for being a "pig parker." (Seen in the picture at the top of this column, and at right.)

The subtitles, somehow, made it even funnier.


Damages. The FX series ended with the two attorneys -- Glenn Close as Patty Hewes and Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons -- squaring off against each other in the shadow of another internationally famous monument (this time the State of Liberty), and agreeing to go their separate ways. But this show, too, ended with a cliffhanger that revealed just how their paths would cross next - and on very emotional territory for Patty.

Burn Notice. Was this a season finale, a midseason finale, or a mid-mid- oh, who cares? It was a good episode, setting up a new strings-pulling villain. But since I only have to seem to wait six weeks between "seasons" of these USA shows, I'm not too caught up in the drama of it all.

But when AMC's Breaking Bad pulls up stakes later this month, boy, will I miss it...

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