Here’s a look back at the best and worst of TV in the past week (May 14-20), and a peek at what’s coming up next week.
1. “Fringe” (Fox). I think I’ve found my show to fill the hole “Lost” will leave. This week’s season finale was almost perfect: thrills, intrigue, romance and a jaw-dropping cliffhanger, mostly taking place in a fascinating alternate universe (um, what happened to California on that map?) that they could spend years exploring. That was so . . . freakin . . . cool.
2. “Breaking Bad” (AMC). Another week, another brilliant episode. With seemingly all control being taken away from him, Walt’s kinda like a Pontiac Aztek speeding down the road, letting go of the controls and going wherever fate and momentum take him. Oh, wait . . . . I get it now!
3. “Survivor” (CBS). I was rooting for Parvati, but her alliance with Russell doomed her. I’m fine with Sandra walking away with a million bucks. And it was so, so sweet to see Russell get completely snubbed when it came time to vote. Couldn’t happen to a jerkier guy.
Honorable mention: The “30 Rock” (NBC) season finale had the wedding and pregnancy cliches, but at least they were fresh and funny. Matt Damon was great as Carol the pilot, “doorman to the stars sky.” HBO’s “The Pacific” ended with a quiet episode showing the Marines adapting to peacetime, which provided a welcome exhale after the carnage of the previous episodes.
1. “Gossip Girl” (The CW). A truly awful end to an awful season. The season finale was was big mega-cliche. Let’s see, we had various characters giving birth, losing their virginity, getting shot, getting back together with their ex, breaking up, getting banished, an attempted proposal and a surprise pregnancy. Wow, how did they miss squeezing a wedding in there?
2. Tour of California coverage (Versus). The lack of TV coverage for Stage 2 coming into Santa Rosa — for a second year in a row — was pathetic. OK, so rain grounded helicopters so there was no aerial coverage. Fine. But why couldn’t the network stick a few cameramen in cars, vans or motorcycles and drive along the course? Or man cameras at strategic points? They were able to do that last year, in a worse downpour. Maybe Versus ran out of plastic bags to cover their cameras. Stage 3 coverage was even worse, when they cut away from the final 40 seconds of a close race to jump to Sharks pregame coverage. Inexcusable.
3. “Community” (NBC). Wait, Jeff kissed who?!?! That was just too random and ridiculous.
Looking forward to . . .
1. “Lost” (9 p.m. Sunday, ABC). The epic two-and-a-half-hour series finale is upon us. The penultimate episode was good, but not entirely satisfying; this needs to be pretty much the greatest series finale ever made. But no pressure or anything.
2. “24” (8 p.m. Monday, Fox). Jack Bauer goes out in a violent blaze of glory. I’ll watch for old times’ sake.
3. “Treme” (10 p.m., HBO). Time to start watching again. I’ve missed the last four or five episodes, there’s just been too many other shows competing. But as the spring season winds down, it’s time to catch up. I hear all the seemingly random stories are starting to come together.
Also: The “Chuck” season finale (8 p.m. Monday, NBC) looks really good, with Shaw uploading and becoming the evil Intercept while Chuck’s sister and father appear to be in grave danger. There are rumors that a major character dies. Yikes.