When the famous evil Texas oil tycoon was shot in the mid-80's on the last show of the season for Dallas, shockwaves were sent not only through the world, (Thomas Friedman tells of being pulled over by Arab militia in Palestinian territories during escalating violence, just to be asked by them "So, do you know who shot J.R.?",) but through the minds of television writers for years to come. Below are my three favorite cliffhanger moments of all time, in no particular order.
-- "I Ross take you Rachel..." Fade to black. I was a senior in college and a Resident Assistant in a Freshman dormitory when this occurred. There was a building full of tough guys who claimed to be too cool (or spiritual) for Friends , but when this happened all you could hear throughout the building was a chorus of "Noooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
-- Ed, fearing Carol and Dennis will get engaged during their summer travels, arrives at Carol's to "give her a gift." He kisses her, Dennis walks in after the kiss, fade to black. And a big "Noooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" because no one knows what Carol will do. This is one of the all time greatest Ed episodes in that it also was when Mark and Diane take the Ferris Wheel ride and Warren commands the Ferris Wheel operator to make it stop, or else they will kiss and he will leave Diane. Beautiful television.
-- Although last night wasn't technically the Grey's Anatomy season finale, it was the first part of it, so we can fudge a little. Shots ring from the outside, everyone runs outside to see what happened and we see Dr. Burke, who was coming back to the hospital to get confirmation of Denny's condition in order to obtain the donor heart, laying in a pool of blood. And again..."Nooooooooooo!"
Yeah, I know. I need a life.