Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Five worst series finales of all time

5. The X-Files – Apparently the truth wasn’t out there after all. This is another example of a show that went on about two seasons too long, so when the end finally came fatigued viewers were ready for it. Sadly, they didn’t get what they deserved. Not only was the truth never revealed, but most of the important cast had long since moved on. The first seven seasons of ‘The X-Files’ were edgy, scary and funny. What came after that was a disappointing mess. Of course, anyone who has seen the second movie in the franchise knows that things could have been a lot worse – so maybe we should just be happy with what we got.

4. Buffy The Vampire Slayer – The final two seasons of this show were a lot weaker than the first five. Still, when dealing with Buffy, the show’s worst material is still better than 75 percent of everything else on television. Buffy is one of my all-time favorite shows, so I guess that’s why I’m so offended at the finale. In ‘Chosen,’ the show literally ripped apart its own mythology and made all of the potential slayers into actual slayers. The newly minted slayers seemed to have no problem killing thousands of uber-vamps (something actual trained slayers struggled with when there was only one) marking a problem in the show’s continuity. Two of the deaths in the finale were supposed to be poignant – those of Spike and Anya. Not only did Anya get a three-second death scene, but the only mourning she got was Xander essentially calling her stupid before moving on. Spike’s death might have meant something at the time if it hadn’t already been announced that he would be joining the cast of ‘Angel’ the next season – so fans knew his death wasn’t permanent. If Buffy had ended at the end of season five then it would have had a place on the best finales list. As it stands, the show went out with a really disappointing whimper instead of a triumphant cry of victory.

3. Seinfeld – I was never a huge fan of the show. Don’t get me wrong, there were episodes I truly enjoyed but the show was never “must see” for me. I tuned into the finale out of sheer curiosity. I expected the show about nothing would follow suit in the finale. Boy, was I wrong. Instead, the writers tried to get clever and send the unlikeable characters to jail in a storyline that felt forced (and trite). Even I can admit that Seinfeld was fresh throughout the years, but the finale was kind of like a show that had run out of ideas more than anything else. They were certainly no longer the masters of their domain.

2. St. Elsewhere – I was a little young to be considered a great fan of ‘St. Elsewhere.’ My mom was, though, and she still laments the end to the show to this day. While dream scenarios sometimes work in finales, at the end of ‘St. Elsewhere’ we find out that the entire six-year run of the show had transpired in the mind of a young boy who was looking at a snow globe. I think the writers of the show were trying to be profound – or maybe even clever – but they failed on both levels.

1. Roseanne – The final season of ‘Roseanne’ was a mess. The finale, though, that was a train wreck. ‘Into That Goodnight’ did one good thing, it told viewers that the entire final season had all been a story written by lead character Roseanne following the death of her husband, Dan, the previous season. Had the show ended there it would have been sad, but not ridiculous. Since it’s Roseanne, though, she had to go too far. Not only did she kill off Dan, she made her mother and sister lesbians, and paired off Darlene and Mark and Becky and David – thus destroying the couples viewers had invested in over the years. Rumor has it that Roseanne was ticked off at the cancellation – but to give such a great show such a crap ending was a lot more than sour grapes.

Honorable mentions go to ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ ‘Life on Mars,’ ‘Quantum Leap,’ ‘Dollhouse,’ ‘That ‘70s Show,’ ‘Battlestar Gallactica,’ and ‘Felicity.’ 

What do you think? What are the worst series finales ever?


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