“ Tube Talk ”
Tuesday night's show ender "was as good as any of the best [episodes]", the Independent claimed, but Metro took a decidedly more negative stance, branding the "slushy" episode "shameful".
But Shameless isn't the first show to divide its audience with a controversial closer - here, Friday Fiver looks back at some of TV's most divisive finales...
> Friday Fiver - Arrested Development stars pick the show's 5 Greatest Moments
> Friday Fiver - Christian Slater, Summer Glau: US TV's Biggest Show Killers
The Sopranos - 'Made in America' - aired June 10, 2007
The first finale on our list to beg the question - was it genius or just lazy drivel? The finale of HBO's The Sopranos - a show long beloved by critics - frustrated many with its open-ended conclusion, and series creator David Chase's refusal to clarify what that final black-out meant didn't help matters. Maybe we'll never know what really happened to Tony...
Lost - 'The End' - aired May 23, 2010
On first watch, Lost's two-part finale is amazing - there's high drama, some terrific character moments and great performances from the central cast. It's only when you've come down from the emotional high that you start to realise how many plot points were left unresolved, how many threads left dangling. See the brilliant CollegeHumour video below for just a few examples...
"And it was all a dream..." is supposed to be a storytelling trick that you ditch after the age of 12, but clearly no-one told Roseanne Barr. The comic used the final episode of her hit sitcom to rewrite events from the show's history, irking fans who'd stuck with it from the start.
Battlestar Galactica - 'Daybreak' - aired March 13/20, 2009
Another example of a show that wowed critics and drew a considerable cult following across its run, but that - some would argue - dropped the ball when it came time to wrap things up. 'Daybreak' sought to dazzle but merely baffled many Galactica fans with its plot twists, time-jumps and reincarnated angels...
The Prisoner - 'Fall Out' - aired February 1, 1968
Rounding off our list is the divisive finale to end all divisive finales - seventeen weeks after Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) landed in the Village, The Prisoner ended its late '60s run with a truly surreal episode. Finally confronting the Village's master Number 1, our lead pulled a mask from the mysterious figure's face... only to find his own face staring back at him, cackling wildly. So huge was the outcry to this head-scratcher that McGoohan was briefly forced into hiding to escape baffled viewers who would hound him at home, demanding an explanation as to what it all meant.
What did you think of these series finales? And which show closers left you baffled? Share your thoughts below!
As usual we've got all the info (well, some info) on the gems of the TV schedules, including Peep Show, Cougar Town, Bates Motel and more....
When is Peep Show back on Channel 4?
Good news for fans of the El Dude brothers - we recently spoke to Paterson Joseph, who plays the legendary Johnson, and he told us that a ninth series of Peep Show will hopefully shoot "this year at some point, if David [Mitchell] and Robert [Webb] are free"...
As for whether Johnson himself will be back, Joseph said: "I think that Johnson coming back is a no-brainer as long as I'm available - and I don't know whether that's so. They're definitely asking him to come back, but whether I'm available for it, I don't know. Hopefully I will be. Please, start the campaign!"
Any idea if / when season two of Scandal will be shown? Season one was shown on More4 - any plans to show season two?
There are indeed plans afoot for More4 to air season two of Kerry Washington's addictive drama over here in the UK. Right now, it's looking like Olivia Pope will be back on our screens in early July, but - as ever - that's subject to change, yadda yadda yadda.
A third season will also be launching in the US on ABC in this fall, meaning that there's plenty more Scandal coming your way in the near and not-too-distant future...
Any news on when Bates Motel might be airing in the UK? Looks suitably creepy.
Oh, it is! Whether you're a Psycho fan or not, we recommend tuning into Bates Motel - it's a terrific little thriller anchored by two superb lead performances from Freddie Highmore (the young Norman Bates) and Vera Farmiga (his unhinged mother Norma).
No firm air date for the series yet, we're afraid, just 'autumn' - but on the plus side, we've heard that Universal Channel's deal is for both the first and the recently confirmed second season, so once the Bates clan arrive on UK television, they'll be sticking around for a little while!
Any news from Sky Living about Season 4 of Cougar Town - its been forever!
It really has, pc-wood, it really has. We were actually last asked about Cougar Town's UK return waaaay back in February, when we cleared up longstanding rumours that the show had been scheduled for March.
Sadly, it doesn't appear that we are any closer to having Courteney Cox and her wine-guzzling friends back on our screens, as Sky Living told us that they have no further scheduling news to reveal. How are Jules and Grayson (Josh Hopkins) adapting to married life? Will Travis (Dan Byrd) be able to look Laurie (Busy Philipps) in the eye after confessing his love for her? We've got a little while to find out...
Buuuut, there is some good news for Cougar Town fans. The show has, somewhat remarkably, dodged the axe again and will return for a fifth season in the US later this year. We can't wait to squint at the title card messages once more!
Quick question, is it too early to have an idea when Dexter will be back in the UK? I miss it so much!!!
It's never too early, friend! Ok, yeah, sometimes it is... but in this case, it's not. UK broadcasters Fox aren't messing around with the eighth and *sniff* final season of Dexter, rushing it out a mere week after it begins Stateside, with the first episode airing here on July 7.
The fate of our favourite serial-killer has already started being teased through a series of creepy trailers and teaser videos, while Michael C Hall himself recently said that he doesn't think things will end well for Dexter.
"I imagine Dexter is going to get caught one way or the other," the former Six Feet Under star said. "Can we really expect him, at this point, to walk into the sunset? Or get off without a blemish on his conscience or character?" Hmm, we suppose not. Unless that rumoured Dexter spinoff gets confirmed, it seems we're going to be in for a dark and distressing summer!
Do you have any questions for the Tube Talk Q&A? Post them in the box below!
The conclusion I came to was a resounding 'no' - one era of cult TV was ending, but another was just around the corner, with the likes of BBC One's Atlantis and BBC Three's In The Flesh both gearing up to launch.
So last week, I asked Digital Spy readers to vote on which cult TV event of 2013-14 they were most excited for - below are the results of the poll, plus a few bonus suggestions from cult-savvy commenters...
> Week in Geek - Doctor Who and the big finale question: Who is John Hurt playing?
> Week in Geek - Agents of S.H.I.E.LD., Dracula: Our take on US TV's new cult shows
Doctor Who's 50th anniversary (Poll percentage - 77.54%)
Perhaps unsurprisingly given how popular the Beeb's sci-fi favourite is around these parts, it was Doctor Who's golden anniversary in November that dominated our poll, grabbing over 3/4 of the total vote.
On Saturday, November 23, fans can expect an extended Who episode featuring two Doctors - Matt Smith and David Tennant, one might-be-Doctor - John Hurt, two companions - Jenna-Louise Coleman and Billie Piper, and a magnificent medley of monsters...
Plus, there's Mark Gatiss's 'origins' docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time, a London-based 3-day convention or '50th Celebration Weekend', and - we're assured - lots of other top-secret stuff yet to be announced...
24 returning for new limited series (16.56%)
Second place in our poll went to the resurrection of the Jack Bauer Power Hour, or 24 if you prefer. The real-time thriller's new 12-part 'limited run' - which bears the unfortunate subtitle Live Another Day - doesn't have a premiere date yet, but is currently assembling its writing team and cast...
Mary Lynn Rajskub has "high hopes" that Chloe O'Brian will be back (so do we!) but early buzz suggests that the Week in Geek's personal 24 favourite Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) won't be back. Dammit.
Atlantis launching on BBC One (4.14%)
There's already a good deal of buzz surrounding BBC One's Atlantis - a new Saturday night fantasy drama that's being billed as a replacement for the hugely popular Merlin.
Rising star Robert Emms (Kick-Ass 2) is one of our leads, surrounded by an impressive collection of seasoned acting vets - the likes of Mark Addy (Game of Thrones), Juliet Stevenson (The Village), Sarah Parish (Monroe) and Jemima Rooper (Lost in Austen) will all star in the series.
In The Flesh back for second series (1.67%)
The prospect of a return trip to Roarton has some of you twitching with excitement like a rotter with the scent of flesh in its nostrils. After a painful waiting period, BBC Three finally put In The Flesh fans out of their misery last week and we were greeted with good news...
Dominic Mitchell's innovative zombie drama will be back for an extended second run in 2014, following on from a first series that impressed on many levels but, at just three hours long, couldn't help but feel incomplete.
One Julia_J pointed out a glaring omission from our poll - the return of Sherlock is, of course, on every cult TV fan's radar - our only excuse for forgetting to include the show's third series is that we still don't know when we'll get to see the bleedin' thing!
And while its third season may have ended on a bit of an underwhelming note, theshadow knows that The Walking Dead can still deliver powerhouse drama when it's at its best and is amped up for season four, which launches in the US in October.
Meanwhile, geos wants more Amell abs, bellowing Barrowman and comic crusaders in Arrow season two, while Nigelk has a taste for remakes - he's psyched for The CW's new take on The Tomorrow People and the in-development Blake's 7 revamp we've been promised.
Which cult event of 2013-14 are you most excited for? Share your anticipation below!
Honourable mentions this week go to two shows that are not exactly 'appointment viewing', but still should give us a good laugh - the new series of sports quiz A League of Their Own (Wednesday, May 29 at 8pm on Sky1) and the perma-tanned TOWIE lot taking us on their hols in The Only Way Is Marbs (Sunday, June 2 at 10pm on ITV2).
Britain's Got Talent: Monday (May 27) at 7.30pm on ITV
Prepare for close to the bone 'My Simon' jokes from David Walliams and little kids sobbing, because Britain's Got Talent goes live this week with six nights of semi-finals.
As our Must-See TV rundown goes up before the final 45 are revealed on ITV tonight (May 26), we can't brief you on which acts from the series will be taking to the stage again. However, it's probably safe to expect the usual lineup of genuinely talented singers, dancers and variety acts mixed in with the type of weirdos you'd expect to find screaming at pigeons at your local bus station. We can't wait!
Watch Digital Spy chat to Britain's Got Talent contestant Aliki below:
Elementary: Tuesday (May 28) at 9pm on Sky Living
With nobody concerned about making pointless comparisons to Sherlock anymore, Elementary is free to bring its interpretation of the Holmes mythology to a head in its own surprising, sensational way.
Jonny Lee Miller, who's been brilliant throughout the series as Holmes, and Lucy Liu, who's been... less so... as Joan Watson, are out to uncover the truth about Irene Adler (Natalie Dormer) and her sudden reappearance in the hope that they can finally unmask his nemesis, Moriarty. Expect a twist that'll make you shout - potentially for a variety of reasons - when all is revealed in the Elementary finale.
Watch a promo for the Elementary finale below:
Shameless: Tuesday (May 28) at 10pm on Channel 4
The lower-class heroes of the Chatsworth estate have been providing high-quality entertainment for more than nine years now, but it's finally time to wave farewell to the Gallaghers, the Maguires and the rest as Shameless airs its final episode.
Former cast members Anne-Marie Duff, Dean Lennox Kelly, Elliott Tittensor, Jody Latham and Kelli Hollis all make a reappearance for the Shameless curtain call, as iconic alcoholic Frank Gallagher ends his prison stint for benefit fraud and receives an unwanted surprise from Monica (Annabelle Apison).
Watch the trailer for Shameless below:
Up The Women: Thursday (May 30) at 8.30pm on BBC Four
The brilliant innuendo in the title alone is enough to sell Tube Talk on BBC Four's new suffragette comedy, but for those of you who need more convincing (you awkward blighters) we've got plenty of reasons why you should give Up The Women a spin.
Firstly, it's written by cult favourite turned award winner (thank you Spaced and Twenty Twelve) Jessica Hynes, who also stars in the show alongside Rebecca Front - aka the woman that's appeared in practically every classic British comedy of the last two decades. And on top of that, the premise of timid Banbury woman Margaret (Hynes) attempting to convince her arts and crafts group to join the suffrage movement sounds like absolute gold. We're gonna be talking in cut-glass accents for weeks afterwards...
Watch the trailer for Up The Women below:
The Americans: Saturday (June 1) at 10pm on ITV
Matthew Rhys is a Brit playing a Russian playing a US citizen in explosive Cold War drama The Americans, which sees the former Brothers & Sisters star and Felicity actress Keri Russell as KGB spies posing as a couple in 1980s Washington DC.
The pair's simulated domestic bliss inevitably gets a bit bumpy when an FBI agent moves in across the road, leading them to ponder whether or not his arrival is a coincidence. With high tension inside the kitchen as well as outside, The Americans could be ITV's new sleeper hit. Eh... sleeper hit! Get it?! Like sleeper agent? Oh, whatever, just watch it....
Watch a trailer for The Americans below:
What are you looking forward to watching this week? Leave your comments below!
To mark the Bluth clan's comeback, we spoke to the cast and had them name their favourite moments from the show for a very special Friday Fiver - be sure to share your own Arrested Development memories below!
> Christian Slater, Summer Glau: US TV's Biggest Show Killers
> 24 to return: Five things we want to see
Jeffrey Tambor (George Bluth Sr)
Pop Pop found it difficult to pin down a favourite moment, but only because he was happy any time David Cross 'blue himself' as awkward, confused Tobias Fünke.
"I'm going to go with Blue Man - always makes me laugh," said Tambor. "The whole idea, I think, is emblematic of what we do."
If your social life is every bit as sizzling as ours, then the Tube Talk Q&A is at hand to let you know what's starting when and what's airing where - read on for the latest on Luther, Supernatural, Teen Wolf and more...
When are ITV going to start showing The Americans?
Good news - you've little over a week to wait! Critically acclaimed spy drama The Americans - which has already been renewed for a second season in the US - will debut on ITV on Saturday, June 1 at 10pm.
It's unusual for ITV to give a US import a place on its flagship channel, let alone a primetime Saturday night slot, but we suspect the channel is hoping that The Americans - which stars Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as two Soviet agents posing as an American married couple - will replicate the success that Channel 4's had with Homeland...
Any news on when Sky Living will show season 8 of Supernatural?
The current skinny is 'July' - though bear in mind that Sky Living also named that date last year for season seven, which ended up debuting in August, so this is by no means definitive.
Two things that are certain though - 1) season eight is Supernatural's strongest run in years, blowing the underwhelming sixth and seventh years out of the water, and 2) Supernatural has got a ninth season in the US, so there'll be plenty more of the Winchesters saving people and hunting things - whenever we get to see it!
What's happening with Teen Wolf? I hear it's been dropped by Sky Living?
Unfortunately, you heard right - though the MTV drama's third season is set to premiere in the US on June 3, Teen Wolf's former UK broadcaster Sky Living has announced that it has "no further commitment to new and future seasons of the show".
No word yet on a new home for Teen Wolf but it's early days and we'd be *very* surprised if the latest episodes didn't end up airing over here eventually - we'll keep you posted!
I know Luther is back this summer but when? An exact date would be nice!
While we can't precisely date the return of Idris Elba's moody copper, those chaps over at BAFTA may have just given away a mahoosive clue - their June events calendar reveals that there's a screening of Luther's first episode on June 19...
BBC America has also announced that it'll strip the show's third series across the week from September 3-6, so expect new Luther to land in the UK sometime in July or August...
In the run-up to the third (and final?) series of Luther, we'll have interviews with trusty sidekick Warren Brown (Ripley) and the main man himself, Idris 'Big Driis' Elba, so keep an eye out for those!
When is The Walking Dead back on Channel 5?
If you're a fan of the undead and sweaty British actors doing Yank accents, then good news - The Walking Dead will be making its 'terrestrial' debut on Channel 5 very soon indeed...
Look for season three to kick off in late June and, as ever, stay tuned to Digital Spy for more interviews with the stars - in this instance, Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori Grimes) will be telling all about the prison, the Governor and hanging with walkers...
Do you have any questions for the Tube Talk Q&A? Post them in the box below!
"But not in the name of the Doctor!"
Umm... what? So Doctor Who's finale on Saturday night climaxed with a stunning final sequence so top-secret that even The Great British Press (we're a bit like The Great Intelligence, only marginally less evil) weren't allowed to see it pre-broadcast.
Deep inside the Doctor's own timestream, viewers apparently met a version of the Time Lord we'd never before encountered in the show's 50-year run. But, despite what the on-screen billing would have you believe, is acting legend John Hurt *really* playing the Doctor? Or is the truth behind his character's identity more complex than that?
Join the Week in Geek for a journey of discovery - and rampant speculation - as we attempt to answer the question... Doctor Who The Hell Was That?!
> Week in Geek - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Dracula: Our take on US TV's new cult shows
> Week in Geek - Hannibal: Bryan Fuller talks the horror drama's cult castings
John Hurt is.... THE REAL NINTH DOCTOR
The Case For - This seems to be the most popular fan theory floating about - that Hurt's Doctor is a previously unseen incarnation originating from the mysterious gap between Paul McGann's brief tenure and Christopher Eccleston's arrival in 2005's 'Rose'.
It'd mean a pretty big rewriting of Who history - knocking each Doctor up a spot so that the Matt Smith model is actually the *12th* take on the Time Lord - but this is the 50th anniversary year, so perhaps all bets are off?
Such a big reveal would certainly tie in with Steven Moffat's claims that the 50th special is "chapter one of a new story" for the show - and it's hard to ignore the fact that, in pictures that have circulated from the set of said special, Hurt appears to be wearing a leather jacket very similar to the one sported by Eccleston and a waistcoat very similar to the one worn by McGann, which would appear to lend credence to the 'in-between' idea.
The Case Against - But why would the Doctor bury his 'real' 9th incarnation deep in his subconscious? Many have speculated that it's because of the terrible crimes he committed during the Time War - but haven't we already seen our hero come to terms with those?
It's possible that there's still some terrible, unseen act which we're yet to be made aware of, but really... what could be worse than blowing up your home planet and (apparently) committing double genocide, wiping out your own race in the process?
Back in 2004, it was announced that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's award-winning BBC series The Office was to be remade in the US. Understandably, reaction among UK audiences was not great.
More often than not, American versions of UK shows have been complete and utter pants (Red Dwarf, Men Behaving Badly and Coupling are just some examples). However, some have also proved to be arguably even bigger than the originals (Sanford & Son and All in the Family, for example).
But how the hell were they going to pull off producing an American equivalent of a very British show, with very British humour, a show that embraced the mundanity of working in an office that sells paper? A show that was pretty much perfect as it was, and ended on a brilliant note, and was one of the most critically-acclaimed British shows for years.
Well, believe it or not - NBC managed to pull it off after all. With Gervais and Merchant helping out at the beginning, and with Simpsons and Saturday Night Live writer Greg Daniels at the helm, they managed to create one of the best US comedies of all time, that can proudly sit alongside the original series as a genuinely brilliant piece of TV.
After nine seasons and 200 episodes, The Office came to an end on Thursday (May 16). Digital Spy takes a look back at the series, and why UK audiences should give it a go.
Warning: Contains spoilers from the overall series and finale episode
Truth be told, The Office didn't get off to a great start. It arrived as a midseason replacement in March 2005, with a short run of six episodes. If you watch these first episodes having seen the whole 200, it is almost difficult to watch, as they are so different to what The Office became from season two onwards.
They are mostly rehashes of the original British episodes, that attempt to keep the subtle nature, but it didn't translate too well from Gervais, Martin Freeman and co. The characters are nothing like what they are to become, but these episodes were needed to set up the show, introduce the characters and the setting of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
It is actually quite amazing that it even got recomissioned, and a relief that NBC kept faith in the project, as it easily could have ended right then and there, and we would hold it in the same category as the Inbetweeners and Cold Feet remakes.
Once season two began, it slowly became clear that this version, while keeping several elements from the original, was a much different beast than the sitcom set in Wernham Hogg. The main difference was that it introduced us to the whole office, and not just focusing on the main four or five characters.
With many writers and producers working on the show, they were able to come up with many storylines and possibilities, and of course, many more episodes.
Steve Carell took on the mantle left by Ricky Gervais, playing boss Michael Scott, based on David Brent. However, as is the same with pretty much all of the characters, Michael became a brilliant character in his own right.
Carell was arguably the only relatively well-known castmember, which helped keep the original's feeling of its unknown castmembers portraying believable characters, rather than people we've already seen in many other roles.
Like Brent, Michael is someone who desperately tries to win appreciation from his colleagues, and to be best friends with as many people as possible. However, his desire to be the centre of attention often alienates people rather than embracing them, and he is capable of rather selfish and mean behaviour, despite being a decent person at heart.
He often unintentionally causes offence with his humour, especially the use of his favourite 'That's what she said' line, and feels his musical and screenwriting talents should not be ignored. Despite all this, he is actually a brilliant salesman, which landed him the top job at a young age.
However, this did not mean he was all that great a manager. As Carell's star shone too bright, Michael left in season seven on a high note, as he walked off into the sunset with fiancée Holly (Amy Ryan), in one of many emotional episodes.
Dwight Schrute - played excellently by Rainn Wilson - was based on Gareth (Mackenzie Crook), but became the show's breakout character, and a truly awesome one. The best salesman in the office, Dwight is also one of the strangest, and at times most self-centred.
At the beginning, he is desperate to be taken seriously by Michael and to eventually become manager of the branch, which he does in the penultimate episode of the series.
His rivalry-yet-strange-friendship with Jim (John Krasinski) and odd romance with Angela (Angela Kinsey) were great plot points throughout the entire run, as was his weird upbringing and family back at his beet farm, a subject which almost became a spinoff series. Dwight is also obsessed with weaponry, martial arts, espionage and justice, despite not necessarily being all that professionally skilled with any of them.
Jim and Pam (Jenna Fischer) arguably provide the heart and soul of the series, and bring back the 'will they-won't they' romance that was so brilliantly acted out by Tim and Dawn (Lucy Davis) in the original.
At the start, the pair were pretty much the same as their counterparts, with Pam a shy but lovely receptionist whose best friend in the office is Jim, a laid back, easy-going guy who only gets by because of Pam's presence.
Pam was engaged to Roy, a beefy guy from the warehouse who didn't show Pam the attention she deserves, and who clearly isn't right for her. Like the original series, one of the main reasons viewers kept tuning in for the first three seasons was to see Jim and Pam's relationship grow with each episode.
It culminated in a truly amazing piece of television when Jim admitted his feelings and kissed her. It felt so real and true to anyone who's ever been involved in that kind of relationship where you have longed for something to happen for so long.
They eventually did get together, and had one of the best TV weddings ever in season six. Despite losing the earlier seasons' passion, their relationship didn't get dull, and they remained a wonderful double act with excellent on-screen chemistry.
Ryan (writer BJ Novak) is an easy-going temp who briefly became a leading employee of the entire company, before epically crashing and burning and becoming a bit of a loose cannon, and having a weird on-off relationship with Kelly (writer Mindy Kaling), the office's gossip queen and classic 'mean girl'.
Accounting is led by Angela, a stuck-up, cat-obsessed, old-fashioned lady who eventually marries Dwight; Oscar (Oscar Nunez), a half-Mexican gay man who is one of the more rational presences in the office; and Kevin (Brian Baumgartner), a rotund and jolly individual, whose main love is food and isn't the brightest tool in the shed.
Sales is completed by Stanley (Leslie David Baker), an older, fiery gentleman who merely just wants to get through the day, and enjoys snacking and sleeping at his desk; and Phyllis (Phyllis Smith), a quiet, friendly and motherly figure of the office who often butts heads with Angela in their rivalry for the party planning committee chief role.
Creed (Creed Bratton) is a somewhat shifty character who seems to have no idea what's going on most of the time, yet has somehow managed to hold on to his job for over nine years.
Meredith (Kate Flannery) is an alcoholic and socially inappropriate livewire, and Toby (played by writer and showrunner Paul Lieberstein) is the lonely, timid, socially shy human resources rep that is utterly hated by Michael, despite being probably the nicest man in the office.
Darryl (Craig Robinson) is a warehouse employee whose good ideas and ambition led him to gain his own office upstairs, and provided some flair and glamour to the office, and some funny moments involving Michael trying to use made-up 'black phrases'.
Andy (Ed Helms) joined the show along with others later in the series, and started off as an angry sycophant and one of the show's most hated characters. However, he eventually grew a soft, caring and pleasant side and replaced Michael as boss for a season and a half, providing a great example of character development.
Erin (Ellie Kemper) also joined as receptionist, a very ditsy but well-meaning and excitable individual, becoming one of the most welcome new additions to the cast.
The Office's cast was so incredibly diverse, but most important of all, you really cared about the characters, which is always a hallmark of great ensemble-led television. Although Michael was the main character for most of the run, you needed every single character to make it work. When one episode was focusing on a main plot, there would often be sub-plots of silliness going on elsewhere.
The US Office would often use elements from the UK version and elevate them to a higher American-style degree. For instance, Tim's pranks on Gareth were heightened to epic proportions on a regular basis with Jim and Dwight. Notable examples include Jim covering all of Dwight's items, including his desk, in wrapping paper, hiring an Asian actor to pretend that Jim has actually been Asian the whole time, relocating Dwight's desk to the men's toilets, and tricking him into believing he was being recruited by the CIA.
Throughout the series, I always considered the documentary crew and talking head interviews as a kind of metaphorical way of hearing characters' thoughts and feelings about situations. However, in the final series, this was blown out of the water when the cameras pulled back to reveal the actual crewmembers themselves, and that the whole nine years was for a new documentary series about to air on PBS.
While it felt rather far-fetched that actual filmmakers were always around without getting in the way, and in situations where they wouldn't have fit (like a moving bus), it provided a reason for the show to come to an end, as the documentary was finally being aired.
It was also a truly shocking moment for Office fans when you saw the camera crew for the first time, like Dorothy meeting the man behind the curtain after all these years. Modern Family can now carry on my metaphor theory in the way they use the similar talking head interviews.
The finale itself was one big goodbye session, and that's usually what a fan wants from a show they've watched and loved for nine seasons. It was similar to the Christmas special of the UK Office, as it was set a year after the 'documentary' had aired, and the crew returned to catch up with how everyone was doing.
It was great to see pretty much every character having a rounded story and satisfying ending, and there was even a wonderful return of Michael. It also had plenty of tearjerking moments, but only happy ones.
There were many great final talking head interviews with each character, mostly about looking back at the time spent in that dull-looking building, realising how great things truly were, which is not a bad life lesson to make the most of here and now.
Andy said it best: "I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you've actually left them."
There was almost a Cheers-style 'turning out the lights' ending, but the characters will continue to carry on their lives at the office and elewhere. However, with the documentary crew gone, so are we.
It is always sad when a longrunning TV show comes to an end, especially if you have been watching it from the very beginning, and not doing a marathon viewing via a boxset. Nine years have passed since you started watching, and you can nostalgically be reminded of what you were doing, where you were living and who you were watching with each of the seasons.
It is strange when you start watching that last episode's opening credits, knowing this is the last time you will be experiencing a new episode, and will say goodbye to these characters you have grown to love. You know you are watching a truly great show when it presents you with these kinds of emotions, as soppy as that sounds.
Now that it has come to an end, I urge anyone who hasn't watched a single episode, especially UK readers who have (understandably) dismissed it without giving it a proper go. The series is almost unknown in the UK, apart from those who may watch Comedy Central, as the early seasons only got terrestrial airings on ITV2 several years ago, and that's about it.
It's actually quite baffling as to why the BBC, Sky1 or Channel 4 haven't picked it up. I've always found it a near-impossible task to get people to watch it, usually because they love the UK version so much, but I promise if you stick with it, it will not be a waste of your time, as it deserves to be considered as a brilliant, separate entity to the original. Just get through that first season.
As well as the great shows and documentaries listed below, there's also a chance to boogie in your living room to the likes of The Saturdays, Olly Murs, Little Mix and Rita Ora with Radio 1's Big Weekend, coming to you from Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Coverage begins Saturday, May 25 at 7pm on BBC Three.
Grey's Anatomy: Wednesday (May 22) at 10pm on Sky Living
How could Grey's possibly top last season's terrifying and epic plane crash? Er... with rain! Lots of rain! Ah, we joke, but fans expecting another of the medical drama's traditional apocalyptic finales will not be disappointed, as a terrible storm knocks out Seattle Grace's power.
Naturally, this results in calamities such as exploding buses, life-threatening electrocutions and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) learning that her McBaby has to be delivered by caesarean section in the dark. Tense does not describe this closer to a season of Grey's Anatomy that has proved to be game-changing in so many ways.
Watch a teaser of the Grey's Anatomy finale below:
Scott & Bailey: Wednesday (May 22) / Thursday (May 23) at 9pm on ITV
Could TV's favourite mumsy crime fighting duo be over for good? Scott (Lesley Sharp) & Bailey (Suranne Jones) aren't exactly in a good place after the latter's sexy betrayal of trust last episode, but there's no time for personal dramas when crimes need a-solving!
The last two episodes of series three have been smooshed together due to the football overunning last week, forming a two-part finale that begins with the discovery of an old man's body in a town centre and concludes with the grumpy detectives putting their differences aside to help rescue DCI Murray (Amelia Bullmore).
Watch a trailer for Scott & Bailey below:
Eddie Izzard's Mandela Marathons: Thursday (May 23) at 9pm on Sky1
We can't pinpoint exactly when Eddie Izzard swapped high heels for running shoes, but the funnyman has certainly established himself as a formidable athlete after completing 43 marathons in 51 days in 2009.
Now he's out to honour the great Nelson Mandela by running 27 marathons across South Africa, one for every year the revolutionary spent in jail, in as many days. Starting at Mandela's birthplace of Mvezo, he'll be taking in some of the most significant locations in the former president's life while panting his way across unforgiving terrain. With the injustice of Mandela's ordeal becoming the narrative of Izzard's physically agonising mission, we're expecting this two-part documentary to be both an emotional and frustrating experience.
Watch the trailer for Eddie Izzard's Mandela Marathons below:
The Voice UK: Saturday (May 25) at 7.10pm on BBC One
Laughing in the face of that old saying about having too much of a good thing, The Voice UK returns from its Eurovision mini-break with a mammoth 130-minute episode (that's the same running time as Iron Man 3, fact fans) with nary an advert for relief.
If you think you're flagging by the end of it, spare a thought for coaches Jessie J, will.i.am, Danny O'Donoghue and Sir Tom Jones, who have to cut their 24 acts in half in the final Battle Rounds of the series. With will.i.am and Danny O'Donoghue still to use their steals and the brand new Knockout round looming, it's bound to be a tense episode - just make sure you go to the toilet beforehand.
Watch Matt Henry and Jordan Lee Davies battle on The Voice UK below:
David Bowie - Five Years: Saturday (May 25) at 9.20pm on BBC Two
David Bowie stunned us all, when on his 66th birthday in January he burst out of a self-imposed exile from the music world to release his first new material in ten years.
It speaks volumes about the genius of Bowie that even though 2013 was when he managed to resurrect himself (almost literally, given how many people were convinced he was on death's door), it's still not considered worthy of this new documentary Five Years, charting five key periods in his gargantuan career. From the early days of Ziggy Stardust in 1971 to the global success of Let's Dance in 1983, Five Years celebrates Bowie's ability to reboot and mould the rock landscape to however he wanted. And we don't even need to tell you how good the soundtrack is!
Watch a promo for David Bowie - Five Years below:
What are you looking forward to watching this week? Leave your comments below!