Though there will be the occasional special in the future, ABC has announced that the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition bus will run out of gas after its 200th episode airs Jan. 13. Without that show to pull on your heartstrings, where will you turn?
While my colleague Kristen Baldwin was quick to send me the note, “Don’t forget Undercover Boss!”, I tend to shy away from reality shows that induce tears (unless we’re talking season 6 of Deadliest Catch). I love it when scripted shows take me there unexpectedly. I’ve found myself sobbing watching The Vampire Diaries before (I lost my father at the end of September, so Anna’s reunion with Pearl hit me hard) and tearing up on a semi-regular basis to all the moments TVD EP Julie Plec mentioned in our Best of 2011 (Behind the Scenes) chat about the series. I’ve been surprised at how often Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope has made my eyes misty this season: SPOILER ALERT! That fragile look she gave Adam Scott’s Ben when she told him she was done steam-rolling people and asked him how he felt after baring her soul; Ethel reading aloud the transcript and hearing Ben say that losing his job was worth it because he loves Leslie; and Leslie’s friends (minus Jerry) announcing what roles they would take in her city-council campaign. I’ve said it before, Liz Lemon used to be the character I related to most on TV, but now I’d much rather be a Leslie than a Liz. Leslie is appreciated and loved, and there’s never any question of whether she’s deserving.
Your turn. Which shows start the waterworks for you?