Thank goodness for YouTube.
Have you seen the fabulous HBO series "Six Feet Under"? We don't get HBO, but we had heard the show was good. So we started watching it on DVD a couple years ago. Like many shows, the first season combined irreverent humor and dramatic plot twists that were somehow believable. Over time, the humor faded and the soap opera quality oozed in. I mean, if that much crap happened to people in so short a time, it would be loony bin time. Well, I guess that happened, too.
Anyway, we had all the disks for the last season except the final episode. After a couple of episodes into it, though, Eric couldn't watch it anymore. He was going through some craziness of his own (not technically crazy) and couldn't deal with the horror, the anguish, the intensity, the potentially lethal final season. That was a year and a half ago. He said someday he hoped to be able to watch it with me.
Last week, I was surfing YouTube while I waited for Eric to come to bed. By utter fluke, I found a major spoiler in a comment on a video tangentially related to the show. Bummer. I mentioned I had seen the spoiler, but didn't say what it was. He told me I should just watch the last season without him because he didn't think he'd ever be able to.
Also last week, Eric had to go out of town. Guess how I occupied my time alone?
I got through all the disks I had, then ran to our local hippie video store and got the final disk. The people at the store said it was the best final episode they had ever seen, including MASH. (I was disappointed with the final episode of MASH, but I know it is well-regarded by most people.) I could hardly wait to watch it.
It was resolving nicely, a satisfying ending to a series with a lot of ups, downs, laughs and tears, an ending with consistency and intelligence.
THE FUCKING DVD STOPPED WORKING! Fifteen minutes left. FIFTEEN MINUTES! I invested years of emotion in this program. YEARS! And it wasn't easy to see the worst part of my life acted out on screen in that last season, either, but there it was. (Eric was wise not to watch it. I bawled audibly.) AND THEN IT STOPPED PLAYING.
I tried cleaning the disk. It worked for another couple seconds. I tried again. No dice. I took the disk out of my fancy Macintosh and stuck it into the world's cheapest DVD player. I got another five minutes. But that was it.
So I went back to YouTube. YouTube had given me the spoiler – which I'd already witnessed. It also gave me a clip of the last ten minutes of the series. How odd someone would have posted the last ten minutes, which is precisely what I needed. It was like the video store people knew their disk was wonky and put it up there for me.
It was a good ending. But it was an ending.
And I'm sad, although satisfied.