When web series Wonder Twins, Tina Cesa Ward and Susan Miller, reluctantly announced there would be no season four of Anyone But Me, only an extended, single-episode, series finale, I immediately thought, “How the hell will they corral in one, twenty minute episode, all that got loose in Season 3?” The simple answer, they can’t. This series demands and deserves another season. But just as waging an ideologically motivated, 21st Century war on women defies logic in today’s American political system, so does the inability to procure adequate corporate sponsorship for one of the most watched, and most awarded, original series on the web. So, it is with a bittersweet undertaking that I write my final blog entry on Anyone But Me, the Finale.
Immediately, the audience is comforted to know Vivian (Rachael Hip-Flores) and Aster (Nicole Pacent) have found their way back home and to each other. In a perfectly funded world, I would have loved to have seen this emotional journey on screen with the lovely Dr. Glass (Liza Weil) as my subjective tour guide. Luckily, I’m a bit of a romantic, and I take solace in the fact that this relationship can be contorted into various dimensions of theoretical geometry only to recognize what is proven…the shortest distance between two hearts is an unbroken line…and bonus, this teachable moment comes wrapped in Egyptian cotton.
(Can I just say that I am a little nostalgic for the “broke-back” blanket? Yippee ki yay!)
I detect a distinctly adult and mature feel to this finale. It is comforting to see these ABM characters growing up, establishing their own identities, and moving forward. Elizabeth (Alexis Slade) has rekindled her love for the theater, Jonathon (Mitchell S. Adams) has apparently found love on his phone, and Vivian and Sophie (Jessy Hodges) share a very sentimental, lean-forward, moment about life, relationships, and how “it takes a lot of years to get over the superstar that is you”.
I remember when Aunt Jodie’s (Barbara Pitts) parenting skills had little more depth than an after-school special. Now she is a lioness, fiercely and unapologetically protective of her pride…as her sister, Viv’s mother, attempts to prey her way back into the picture after abandoning her family years ago. Yes, this is a drama, not a soap; I’ll defend that position vehemently. And as with any adroit drama, there is assuredly an antagonist that will attempt to disturb the landscape…even to the very end.
Vivian is justifiably angry at this runaway source of maternal security that forced her to reverse caretaker roles at such an early age. More so, she is afraid of what this new dynamic will do to her presently comfortable and dependable view of the world. What will introducing this variable do to her constant? It is my sincere hope that one day Ward and Miller will be able to tell me.
What began as a revolution of sorts in 2008, ends with a resolution. What happened to “Vivster” in the past writes their personal story. Though there may be a chapter or two of transformation that is difficult to get through, there is renewed commitment to the chronicle. As Aster so comfortingly says to Vivian in her time of insecurity, “I’ll still be here…that won’t change.” And I believe her.
Anyone with a past knows that our history, especially our history with family, certainly sets the context for our present. And in that, I am intrigued that the title of this final episode, “We went down to Battery Park…”, is the first line of the first episode of Season One. From that point forward, the stage is set, right? “Whereof what’s past is prologue.”
Here’s to new beginnings…