The Worst Series Finale?

Lily Adler

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Between How I Met Your Mother and Game of Thrones and even Dexter or The Sopranos. What did you think was the worst series finale in television?

Spoilers ahead...
 
LOST, the 100, and Game of Thrones spring to mind initially. I wasn't overly fond of the way Supernatural ended either, but that's by far not the worst series final I've ever seen.
 
How I Met Your Mother easily for me.

Apart from all the terrible decisions they made and character development they undid, they got rid of this beautiful woman:

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This topic came up on another forum this time last year and the results were the following:

24: Legacy
24: Live Another Day
90210 revival
Angel
A.L.F
Arrested Development
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Battlestar Galactica
Boardwalk Empire
Californication
Castle
Chuck
C.S.I.
Degrassi High
Dexter
Dinosaurs
Girls
Entourage (movie sucked too)
Forever Knight
Frasier
Game of Thrones
Home Improvement
House
House of Cards
How I Met Your Mother
The League
Lethal Weapon Season 3 finale
Lost
Mad Men
Man Seeking Woman
Married... with Children
Merlin
My Name is Earl
Nip/Tuck
Oz
Penny Dreadful
Roseanne (the original not the reboot)
Salem
Scrubs
Seinfeld
Sons of Anarchy
Star Trek Enterprise
St. Elsewhere
Syfy's Alphas
That 70s Show
The Shield
The Sopranos
The Wire
Teen Wolf
Two and a Half Men
Veronica Mars
Weeds
X-Files original finale and two revivals
 
Wow. I assume the list for satisfying series finale would be much shorter than worst series finale.
 
The worst endings, really, were non-endings where the show got cancelled on a cliffhanger. Looking at actual, intended finales, well, it depends on whether the 24 ending was intended because it replaced one ending I hated with another ending I hated. I would have hated the Season 5 ending of Buffy even more if they'd gone through with stopping there.

Otherwise, the How I Met Your Mother finale that was televised was really bad, although they put an alternate ending on the DVD, and if I understand right and it was an alternate version of the whole episode I would consider that fixing it. Dexter's ending was really bad, too, but now they're bringing that back so as long as it's another season of the same show and not a sequel series that would be disqualified as well. So if none of those end up counting...Lost, maybe?
 
Wow. I assume the list for satisfying series finale would be much shorter than worst series finale.

The same forum also posted a list of most satisfying endings as well

Babylon 5
Stargate
DS9
TNG
Boardwalk Empire
The Sopranos
Breaking Bad
Justified

Hell On Wheels
The Shield
The Americans
Banshee
Burn Notice
Person of Interest
Alias
Bates Motel
Turn
The Shadow Line
The Unit
Jericho
Nikita
Veronica Mars
Star Wars Rebels
24
Fringe
Sleepy Hollow
The Wire
Daredevil
Chuck
Timeless
Da Vinci's Demons
Black Sails
12 Monkeys
Andromeda
Continuum
Defiance
Farscape
White Collar
Breaking Bad, The Shield, and The Lord of the Rings all had nearly perfect endings.

Those in BOLD are also on the worst ending list as well.
 
Lol. Making both the best and worst list.

I guess it just shows it’s kind of impossible to satisfy that many people after countless hours of investment.

I mean, investing in a tv show takes a lot of work and dedication. People don’t work that hard in even romantic relationships, and those can end terribly as well after a few great years.
 
This topic came up on another forum this time last year and the results were the following:

  • Star Trek Enterprise
Oh yes, I'd like to add this one to my list.

The worst endings, really, were non-endings where the show got cancelled on a cliffhanger. Looking at actual, intended finales, well, it depends on whether the 24 ending was intended because it replaced one ending I hated with another ending I hated. I would have hated the Season 5 ending of Buffy even more if they'd gone through with stopping there.
This. Very much this. I can't think of them all right now, but I know there's an abundance of series that were cancelled before their time, and left on a cliffhanger, usually ones with so much potential.

I'll never understand how trash reality shows that people can zone out on and stick with outlive and survive other shows that provide dept, immersion and thought.

Three shows that do spring to mind that were ended before their time:
  • Terra Nova
  • Being Human
  • Defiance
The same forum also posted a list of most satisfying endings as well ... here it is

Stargate
Which one? :p I guess you could argue that the SG1 show was wrapped up (through the two movies). SGA and SGU obviously had a lot left going for them.
 
Lol. Making both the best and worst list.

I guess it just shows it’s kind of impossible to satisfy that many people after countless hours of investment.

I mean, investing in a tv show takes a lot of work and dedication. People don’t work that hard in even romantic relationships, and those can end terribly as well after a few great years.
They only made a Best Endings list. The Worst Endings list was compiled by me after going through the topic today.
 
I remember as a kid being PISSED at the Xena series finale. It was a good story, beautifully shot and produced but for them to use it as the finale, not set it in Greece and have a contrived way to kill her off was what made me mad.

Angel’s finale was the worst to me too, but it’s grown on me as the years have gone by.

And of course the latest X-Files finale was horrible. I still want to know wtf Chris Carter was thinking.
 
Well I'm pleased you enjoyed it (as did I), but it still doesn't really count as a proper finale imo.
 
The problem with the Seinfeld finale, IMO, was Larry David's involvement, and his bizarre belief that these characters should be punished for their past misdeeds, and that the audience would feel the same way. What he and the writers failed to understand was the audience actually liked and related to these characters, and were more often than not on their side.

I think the AV Club hit the nail on the head:

"It’s all reminiscent of the furor over the finale to The Sopranos and how many people expected Tony to get his grand comeuppance and were disappointed at the ambiguity of the episode conclusion. That show’s creator, David Chase, said that he was put off by the bloodthirstiness of the show’s fans—fans who had happily followed Tony’s wrongdoings for many years. Larry David seems to take the opposite approach, gleefully punishing the gang for their countless wrongs. Were there a lot of Seinfeld fans hoping Jerry’s theft of the marble rye would finally be avenged? Unlikely."

This is why I think there's sometimes a disconnect between writers and their audience. We root for the protagonists because it just natural for us to do so, even when we recognize how despicable they are. The Sopranos, for example, wouldn't have been a success if everyone hated Tony.
 
LOST, the 100, and Game of Thrones spring to mind initially. I wasn't overly fond of the way Supernatural ended either, but that's by far not the worst series final I've ever seen.

It's weird with Lost because I think the final episode was one of the best episodes of the show (would make my top5, maybe even my top3) and I loved every minute of it - especially the ending. Then again it might be my all time favorite show so it's definitely subjective.

For me, How I Met Your Mother is a pretty good call. GoT too, but with GoT the whole show had fallen so low quality-wise that I don't even know if the finale was the biggest problem. Like the whole last season was terrible.
 
The problem with the Seinfeld finale, IMO, was Larry David's involvement, and his bizarre belief that these characters should be punished for their past misdeeds, and that the audience would feel the same way. What he and the writers failed to understand was the audience actually liked and related to these characters, and were more often than not on their side.

I think the AV Club hit the nail on the head:

"It’s all reminiscent of the furor over the finale to The Sopranos and how many people expected Tony to get his grand comeuppance and were disappointed at the ambiguity of the episode conclusion. That show’s creator, David Chase, said that he was put off by the bloodthirstiness of the show’s fans—fans who had happily followed Tony’s wrongdoings for many years. Larry David seems to take the opposite approach, gleefully punishing the gang for their countless wrongs. Were there a lot of Seinfeld fans hoping Jerry’s theft of the marble rye would finally be avenged? Unlikely."

This is why I think there's sometimes a disconnect between writers and their audience. We root for the protagonists because it just natural for us to do so, even when we recognize how despicable they are. The Sopranos, for example, wouldn't have been a success if everyone hated Tony.

You do realise that in a way, David Chase and Larry David actually did the same thing? They went in the opposite direction of what the fans wanted (or at least thought they wanted).
 
Battlestar Galactica, easy. Take every core theme of the show, and then have them all be burned to death in one spectacular episode of mass murder-suicide.
 
The Incredible Hulk. If you count the TV movies as part of the TV series and "Death of the Incredible Hulk" as the finale, then that was not a great finale at all. After all these years searching for a cure, he merely dies by falling from an exploding plane and hitting the ground.

Not only could the comic Hulk easily survive a fall like that, but even the TV Hulk fell from similar heights with as much force even within the TV series itself and didn't die. So he was completely nerfed.

And if you didn't count "Death" as the finale, then the series proper just ended without any proper resolution on another run-of-the-mill episode.
 
At the risk of sounding pretentious, anyone who hated the ending of The Sopranos didn’t understand it. It makes sense upon rewatching the series, or even just the final season.
 
You do realise that in a way, David Chase and Larry David actually did the same thing? They went in the opposite direction of what the fans wanted (or at least thought they wanted).

I don't think Seinfeld fans had a particular desire, or expectation when it came to the finale. I know I sure didn't. I mean, how could I, it was a "show about nothing". But we're not talking about going in the opposite direction of what fans wanted, we're talking about the difference in viewpoint when it came to how the writers and fans saw these characters. Fans recognized the shallowness of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer, but loved them anyway. And yet, for a show that famously never tried to have its characters learns lessons, the finale is oddly moralizing.
 
What I wanted from the final episodes of Seinfeld was for them to be funny, because that's what I got from the show in general. The characters weren't really endearing to me, but I wasn't looking for their comeuppance any more than I was looking for a sentimental happily-ever-after. I could take happy, unhappy, or neutral as long as it was funny. The finale was disappointing in that regard, and I didn't find The Puerto Rican Day funny at all, which just makes me suspect that they did get out at the right time.

It's not a big deal because ending on a strong note doesn't matter as much for a comedy about nothing than for a narrative-based show, but I felt hype leading up to it (I don't recall having experienced many pre-announced endings to shows at that point, and this might have taught me to temper my expectations a bit), and then it was like, "Oh, that's it? Okay, no more Seinfeld episodes, then."
 

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