Fanservice (in the broader sense, not the anime sex-related definition) can be a strange beast. Go too far with it, or don't really earn it, and it can completely derail a TV show or movie, feeling tacked on, cheap, and a little bit insulting.
Get it right, however, and fans are sure to be delighted. Viewers tend to think they know what they want, and there's something in giving that to them - or giving them what they don't even realise they need - but only when it's the right moment.
Properly build to the big event, delay the gratification long enough, and then you can offer a moment of intense satisfaction, whether its a grand return, a shocking death, or that 'will they, won't they?' couple finally getting together. As fans we obviously want TV shows to please us, and these are the moments that did that better than any other.
12. Sam Returns - The West Wing
Aaron Sorkin wasn't the only major part of The West Wing to depart after Season 4: Rob Lowe's Sam Seaborn went with him. Seaborn, the Deputy White House Communications Officer, left the White House to run for Congress, and the last we heard is that he lost the election and has returned to California to work in a law firm, leaving politics altogether.
Such was Sam's fate for three years, before Josh came calling at the end of Season 7 like Nick Fury putting together the Avengers. Initially hesitant to accept his offer of becoming Deputy Chief of Staff for the Santos Administration, Sam eventually accepts and makes his grand return to politics. The fast-paced walking-and-talking banter between the pair is vintage West Wing, and his return gives the show its biggest fist-pumping moment right at the very end.
NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.