On the season finale of Roadies, Phil deserved better than to to have his body stuffed and displayed like a cheesy Jesus mannequin. In the last few episodes Phil (Ron White) had become an in-depth character. We learned how he got into the business, and listened to his moving tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Phil’s death was sudden an unexpected, just as it is for real friends in real life.
Then the writers decided to ruin a wonderful tribute episode by going for a cheap sitcom gag. Phil’s last wish was to have his body stuffed by a taxidermist and mounted standing up with his arms outstretched. Then all his friends gave his body a hug.
This was a moronic scene, which was neither funny nor moving. You could easily see that this was really just Ron White standing there trying not to move. The whole illusion of Phil as a real person whose passing was to be mourned was ruined.
Of Course, the season finale of Roadies did have its good points. A lot of really great music was played, and the real star of the final episode was Jackson Browne. He gave a terrific performance with Lucius. In fact, one of the best aspects of Roadies is that it has introduced Lucius to a wider audience. Jackson Browne was also the person who inherited Phil’s gun. The scene of Bill and Jackson Browne looking at Phil’s gun had much more real emotion than the stuffed body scene.
The season finale of Roadies also spent way too much time trying to wrap up every plot point, and setting up the potential for a second season. These seemed tacked on, and none of them were a surprise. Just to name a few, the wrap ups were:
- The Staton-House band does not really break up. (Of course not. You can’t have a season 2 if it did).
- Reg Whitehead does not go back to England but stays to be near Kelly Ann. For some reason, the writers insist on making Reg the star of the series. Here was a chance to finally get rid of this dull character, but they keep him.
- Shelli leaves her husband to be with Bill. Again, no surprise. Was Shelli ever really not with Bill?
For some reason television writers never seem to realize that sometimes it is more interesting and more dramatic to leave some things unresolved and unsaid. It would have been better if Kelly Ann had refused to tell anyone Phil’s last words, instead of having the dumb “pistachio” story.
Or maybe the final words could have been a private message that Kelly Ann passed on to Phil’s wife. We the audience would see Kelly Ann speaking to Phil’s wife but would not hear what they actually said. Like at the end of Lost In Translation, where we never hear what Bill Murray whispers to Scarlett Johansson.
Instead of spending a good portion of the show setting up a potential Season 2, Roadies should have just done the tribute show and had the tour end. The life of real roadies is very uncertain. Bands come and go, tours get cancelled then re-booked. Never knowing exactly what comes next is part of the thrill of that lifestyle.