Botched TV Finales

We're losing some of our favorite TV shows this year: Lost, Law & Order, FlashForward, 24, among others. One thing you can count on, is a lousy send-off. Few shows — from The Sopranos to Seinfeld to Roseanne — manage to wrap up story lines and leave viewers feeling satisfied.

Matthew Gilbert, in the Boston Globe argues that part of the problem is that "often, no one wants to say goodbye — not the writers and producers, not the actors, not the viewers." And so, most series finales get botched:

The botches take different forms. Finales rely too heavily on sappy emotions ("Friends''), stupid twists ("Roseanne,'' "Will & Grace''), pointless irresolution ("Quantum Leap''), unnecessary deaths ("Alias''), or messy evasions ("The X-Files,'' "Twin Peaks''). In 1997, the "Roseanne'' finale set a new low for it-was-all-a-dreamism by revealing that much of the series had been Roseanne's fictional writings. Besides being a tedious rehash of the series, the "Seinfeld'' finale put off viewers by turning the beloved characters into criminals. We knew George, Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer were self-absorbed and petty, but they didn't deserve jail time.

Did any shows sign-off particularly well? Did any completely blow it?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: