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SansaJonRule

Best and worst TV series finales, and where does GoT rank? *Spoilers*

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A lot of TV shows don't have "finales" cuz they just get cut, but others have planned finales. In anticipating tonight's end to GoT, I started wondering about the best and worst TV series finales, and where will GoT rank? 

I doubt my favorite finales will rank among anyone else's, because compared to the average person (American anyway), I haven't watched a lot of TV over the last 35 years, and have seen even fewer series finales because generally, when I stop really enjoying a show, I stop watching it. However, I have heard over the years what shows were very popular among the viewing public, and thought it would be interesting to hear what people consider the best and worst, and why.

Since I am confident GoT is not going to rank in either my "best" or "worst" picks, I am going to get the ball rolling without having seen it.

Favorites:

#1 Friends

#2 Parenthood Ends with the family celebrating the life of the patriarch, and then unlike most shows that just leave it to your imagination what will happen to the various family members, they give you glimpses into their futures. I really enjoyed that.

#3 Little House on the Prairie (yes, I know, this will not be on anyone else's list, but I loved it!)

Worst:

#1 Lost OMG could there be a worse one? I only finished watching the series because I was dying to see how it ended, but I actually skipped one season and just read the episode summaries.

#2 Battlestar Galactica Again, had to force myself to finish watching (but I didn't skip any seasons), and I can't really remember what it was that I didn't like, except that it  just fell FLAT.

#3 Gilmore Girls including "A Year in the Life Of" (Another one I know will not be on anyone else's list.) Surprise, surprise, Rory's pregnant, by a guy she can't marry because he's marrying someone else, but she just couldn't force herself to quit him, and she's unemployed. What a sorry conclusion for such a super smart and strong character who had so much potential.

I expect GoT will fall somewhere in the middle.

What do y'all think?

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3 minutes ago, briantw said:

Dexter is the worst.

By far.

My brother and my son loved Dexter (brother even named his puppy Dexter), and got me to watch it, but I just couln't get into it. Now I wanna know what my brother thought of it!

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, SansaJonRule said:

My brother and my son loved Dexter (brother even named his puppy Dexter), and got me to watch it, but I just couln't get into it. Now I wanna know what my brother thought of it!

The first four seasons were fine.  It fell apart after that and the ending was outright insulting. 

If the fourth season finale had been the final episode I think it'd be remembered as one of TV's all time great endings.

Edited by briantw

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St. Elsewhere's was bad, Quantum Leap's was good.

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The Shield is my personal favorite.  Just a perfect ending to a great series.

I also like the end of The Wire.  It's not as fantastic as The Shield's end but I think the final montage was about as good as it gets.

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The Sopranos has my favorite ending of any TV series. 

Dexter had the worst. 

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1 hour ago, SansaJonRule said:

Since I am confident GoT is not going to rank in either my "best" or "worst" picks, I am going to get the ball rolling without having seen it.

I WAS WRONG!!!!!! Like I said, I don't have much to compare it to, but it is definitely at #1 for me, at least for epic adventure type shows.

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39 minutes ago, KiDisaster said:

The Sopranos has my favorite ending of any TV series. 

I know a lot of people hated the ending of The Sopranos. I never watched it myself as I am totally not a fan of gangster/mafia family type shows. D&D mentioned it in an article where they were talking about how the hoped the end of GoT would be received. They said anything that generates that much controversy is good.

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1 minute ago, SansaJonRule said:

I WAS WRONG!!!!!! Like I said, I don't have much to compare it to, but it is definitely at #1 for me, at least for epic adventure type shows.

Not #1 for me, but for the series as a whole I think it definitely stuck the landing.

 

My favorites:

  1. M*A*S*H
  2. Cheers
  3. Mad About You
  4. Star Trek: TNG
  5. Mad Men
  6. GOT
  7. Newhart
  8. Mary Tyler Moore
  9. Scrubs (if you count last episode of Season 8 as its finale and season 9 as a spin-off series)
  10. The Office (U.S.)

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I forgot all about MASH!! It was awesome. Newhart was cool too. I never quite made it to the end of Scrubs because it just wasn't very funny anymore. How did it end?

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Don't we already have a topic for this?

Also the finale to how i met your mother is the worst thing ever put to television and made me want to tosh my dvds in the trash.

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Yep, GoT is the worst for me now. Honestly, I never hated BSG's ending, can't say I loved it, but was okay(ish) with it. There's a number of popular shows I haven't watched (Lost, Dexter), or stopped watching (The Walking Dead, Vikings) so I can't think of other shows for the worst list.

Among my favorites - definitely Spartacus and Black Sails.

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15 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

Yep, GoT is the worst for me now. Honestly, I never hated BSG's ending, can't say I loved it, but was okay(ish) with it. There's a number of popular shows I haven't watched (Lost, Dexter), or stopped watching (The Walking Dead, Vikings) so I can't think of other shows for the worst list.

Among my favorites - definitely Spartacus and Black Sails.

Agreed.  Before the GoT finale I would have said Lost's finale was the worst of those I've seen.  But I came up with an alternate interpretation for Lost's ending with which I felt I could make some sense of it.  It's been several seasons  of nonsense leading to this, of course, but I just can't figure any way to explain the total nonsense of GoT's ending.

 

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

Don't we already have a topic for this?

I tried to search for it, but the search kept failing. I figured if there was one recently, the mods wouldn't approve it.

20 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

stopped watching (The Walking Dead, Vikings)

I used to love the Vikings, but it just became boring to me. More of the same.

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2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Don't we already have a topic for this?

Also the finale to how i met your mother is the worst thing ever put to television and made me want to tosh my dvds in the trash.

Yeah, the How I Met Your Mother finale is probably the worst finale ever.

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Good:

Black Sails and Spartacus are at the top for me.

Parks and Rec and Veep for comedies. Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra for cartoons.

Also think Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended really well, which can't be said for a lot of dramas that run for more than 5 seasons. 

If you count the wrap-up miniseries, Farscape. 

Bad

Battlestar Galactica was a major betrayal :(

Also, as much as I loved Alias and appreciate the final scene and the note it ended on, I have a lot of beef with some of the character choices and deaths in the final few episodes.

Most other shows famous for bad endings I never watched (including GoT) or stopped watching before the final season

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Posted (edited)

Great finales (in no particular order):

* Breaking Bad - one of the greatest ever. I can't believe it hasn't been mentioned yet!

* Star Trek: TNG - It was so good you almost wish the story ended there for these characters and not with that awful last film.

* Six Feet Under - One of the best time jump forwards for a finale or any episode ever; damn emotional

* The Wire - someone else mentioned the ending montage, and it's great.

The Shield - also mentioned prior; poetic justice

* Mad Men - an ending that was emotional and made you think a bit 

* The Leftovers - mostly just two characters talking yet so much feels

* Veep - this last season got overshadowed by GoT, but it was fantastic and so was the finale--it had all the sardonic humor but also a touch of emotion there

* Last Airbender & Legend of Korra: Thanks to @Underfoot for reminding me about these! Korra had a shaky last season, but the finale was excellent.

Good Finales (flawed, but more good than bad):

Friends, The Office, JustifiedGame of Thrones (it was good, not great, not horrible--good.) How I met Your Mother (I don't get the hate for it here--it's always been a show about Robin & Ted--that's how it should've ended. Dead mom. Step-mom/Aunt Robin. Ha!) Dare Devil (It wasn't meant to be a series finale yet works as one--all except for that last scene teasing Bullseye) LOST (Missed great by that much.), Sopranos (ugh, that ambiguous cut to black was a complete cop-out), Battle Star Gallactica (I had to watch it a few times for it to grow on me but it did. Still not crazy about how Starbuck went out.) West Wing (It was a great show, one of the first I ever binged--back on DVD before binging was a thing we had a name for, and the final season was good but not as great as previous--would've liked to see how Sorkin would've ended it) News Room (I dug it. Sorkin had something to say about the state of the media and he said it. Probably could've been done in two seasons, but I dug the characters, so I didn't mind the filler)

Bad Finales:

Dexter (maybe the worst ending for a great show ever done) Seinfeld (love the show, hated the finale) Alias (such a disappointing wrap up to the whole Rambaldi plot) Luke Cage (What happens when you get canceled on a cliffhanger that leaves your protagonist at a point completely 180 degrees from where he started? A terrible finale.)

Edited by PetyrPunkinhead

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GoT without a doubt ranks down there with Dexter as one of the worst finales ever. The two shows actually followed the same quality trajectory. Seasons 1-4 good and seasons 5-8 shit with season 8 being the worst and a travesty of a finale. 

Best finales: The Shield and Six Feet Under. 

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