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(Entertainment Weekly)   The twenty greatest season finales of all time   (ew.com) divider line 242
    More: Spiffy, season finale  
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13817 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 21 May 2012 at 11:37 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-21 02:21:41 PM

jj325: MASH is the epitome of "shows that went on too long", and that rotten series finale highlighted everything that went wrong with the show from the moment Frank Burns left, which should have been the end.


Huh, whodathunkit: Larry Linville is a Farker
 
2012-05-21 02:23:48 PM

salvador.hardin: Sybarite: The finale of Seinfeld was mostly a lame clip show. Larry David could have done something groundbreaking, but opted instead for a boring and unfunny retrospective. The only two series that have ever had a good clip show are South Park and Community.

The Clerks cartoon had a stellar clip show. It was the second episode and consisted almost entirely of flashbacks to the first two episodes (yes you read that right).

/It was also the first to actually air, not that anybody watched it when it was on TV.


I end up saying it about once a month on Fark, that show is really clever in it's own way. Lots of off-the-wall concepts like that and the intro-bump to the first episode:
"Previously, on Clerks:"
:: test pattern w/ beeeeeep ::
/I'm not Kevin Smith.
//weight-wise, I'm about one-half of a Kevin Smith
///Really not Kevin Smith
 
2012-05-21 02:25:21 PM

whizbangthedirtfarmer: It is something about the best British shows that when they are outrageously funny or charming, the tragic parts are absolutely devastating. The Vicar of Dibley's Africa/AIDS fundraiser sticks out in my mind, as does the death of Assumpta in Ballykissangel.


Why did you have to remind me of Ballyk? Watching that... triggered some serious seasonal allergies.

/watching Stephen Tompkinson cry is like watching someone kill a confused puppy
 
2012-05-21 02:27:40 PM
sexedmusic.files.wordpress.com
Good Night and Goodbye
 
2012-05-21 02:27:59 PM
Nailed it with #1. Still remember watching it with my parents and my Dad laughing his ass off-almost as much as when Louie DePalma came out of his "cage" for the first time on Taxi.
 
2012-05-21 02:28:46 PM

scottydoesntknow: Ray Wise is the best Satan ever portrayed on TV. He was just so awesomely evil.


I dunno; John Glover was pretty farking good as The Devil on "Brimstone." He just had that demeanor where you go, "yeah, he COULD be Satan." Just my opinion, though. YMMV.
 
2012-05-21 02:35:22 PM
I'm okay with the 24 finale, but honestly, they sold out the show for a movie that may or may not ever happen (not up on the last rumor). If they wanted to do it right, there were two endings to do:
A) Happy ending where he leaves with Rack Bauer to get his retirement sex
B) Sad ending where Jack saves the day and walks off towards the sunset with a small wound only to collapse at the end like Shane
 
2012-05-21 02:40:34 PM

NobleHam: If this were about actual season finales rather than series finales, none of those would be on there. "Who Shot Mr. Burns" pt. 1 would have to be on the list, and Lost's 1st season finale was way better than it's final one.


That's the list I clicked expecting to see. Anyone care to half ass something?
 
2012-05-21 02:48:48 PM

TheManofPA: I'm okay with the 24 finale, but honestly, they sold out the show for a movie that may or may not ever happen (not up on the last rumor). If they wanted to do it right, there were two endings to do:
A) Happy ending where he leaves with Rack Bauer to get his retirement sex
B) Sad ending where Jack saves the day and walks off towards the sunset with a small wound only to collapse at the end like Shane


24 should have ended with Jack and his daughter finishing the chess game they started in the first episode. In peace, for once. And he and Chloe end up together. I'm not necessarily a fan of the happy ending but everything about Jack Bauer was tragedy, so change it up with the finale.
 
2012-05-21 02:51:31 PM

Broktun: Good Night and Goodbye


Damn you. I remember watching Changing Nature and was just glued to the screen waiting for the funny to happen. That was one of the more deep, dark finales i've ever seen.

/Checked out who did voices on wiki
//Never made the Baby/Elmo connection
 
2012-05-21 02:57:17 PM
Glad to see we've all forgotten the Buffy finale. The plot was a great send-off idea (actualize every potential slayer) but the writing was terrible. And I say this being a card-carrying* Whedonite.

It's like he'd moved on too far by then, but a finale by anyone else would've seemed wrong.

*there's not really a card

/but if you reach a certain level I think you get a brown coat
 
2012-05-21 03:06:31 PM
theloveumake.com


Missed one

/This is what she felt
 
2012-05-21 03:09:23 PM

ontariolightning: He would not wear the suit. I will forever hate him for that.


What?!
 
2012-05-21 03:09:39 PM

Rincewind53: I like how subby doesn't know the difference between a series finale and a season finale.

Also, glad to see Battlestar on there. I liked the finale, no matter what other people say.


I'm glad you liked it. I liked the 1st half. The 2nd half (after finding Earth), however was just total shiat.

/not going to apologize for saying that
//wasn't my cup of tea
/a Frakkin' "angel"... seriously? Frak you!
 
2012-05-21 03:09:52 PM

SharkaPult: salvador.hardin: Sybarite: The finale of Seinfeld was mostly a lame clip show. Larry David could have done something groundbreaking, but opted instead for a boring and unfunny retrospective. The only two series that have ever had a good clip show are South Park and Community.

The Clerks cartoon had a stellar clip show. It was the second episode and consisted almost entirely of flashbacks to the first two episodes (yes you read that right).

/It was also the first to actually air, not that anybody watched it when it was on TV.

I end up saying it about once a month on Fark, that show is really clever in it's own way. Lots of off-the-wall concepts like that and the intro-bump to the first episode:
"Previously, on Clerks:"
:: test pattern w/ beeeeeep ::
/I'm not Kevin Smith.
//weight-wise, I'm about one-half of a Kevin Smith
///Really not Kevin Smith



Hell yes, the Clerks cartoon was pretty awesome, actually. It should have gotten a lot more attention than it did.
 
2012-05-21 03:10:11 PM
Fail list, Newhart series ender was great but MASH is far better. Id have dropped newhart to #2 and put mash #1.
 
2012-05-21 03:12:07 PM

Wow, Perfect Strangers' finale didn't make the list?

upload.wikimedia.org


One of the most poignant, touching moment on television, while being one of the most culturally groundbreaking... when Balki admits he isn't really Larry's cousin, and while it all started as a con, he secretly had fallen in love with Larry, then Larry admits he knew for a long time, but he, too, had fallen madly in love with Balki. The touching wedding scene capped off with the two embraced in a deep tongue kiss, fading to black.

/Might have been a hallucination.
 
2012-05-21 03:14:38 PM

Mugato: TheManofPA: I'm okay with the 24 finale, but honestly, they sold out the show for a movie that may or may not ever happen (not up on the last rumor). If they wanted to do it right, there were two endings to do:
A) Happy ending where he leaves with Rack Bauer to get his retirement sex
B) Sad ending where Jack saves the day and walks off towards the sunset with a small wound only to collapse at the end like Shane

24 should have ended with Jack and his daughter finishing the chess game they started in the first episode. In peace, for once. And he and Chloe end up together. I'm not necessarily a fan of the happy ending but everything about Jack Bauer was tragedy, so change it up with the finale.


You know, I'd be okay with the chess game setup; I think someone mentioned that as what they wanted back in the threads. Jack and Chloe never seemed to have that romantic element, they just seemed to work as two people who trusted each other completely, no sexy feelings needed.

As for the happy ending, it could have worked simply because those last ten minutes, everyone would be on the edge WAITING for the rug to get swept out by anything (i.e. snipers to kill him last second) that seeing the final clicks would just be a relief that he gets to live.
 
2012-05-21 03:18:24 PM

alwaysjaded: I really need to get around to finishing The Shield. The last season I saw was the one with Forrest Whitaker. I was a big fan but I was so busy with work, I missed the following seasons. I keep hearing I missed a hell of a finale.


I didn't like the final season too much (got a bit cartoonish, even for the Shield), but the finale was glorious. Perfect ending for the show. Really tied the room together.
 
2012-05-21 03:22:27 PM

TheManofPA: You know, I'd be okay with the chess game setup; I think someone mentioned that as what they wanted back in the threads


It could have been me because I expressed it years ago and I don't know any other fan who liked that idea.

And yeah, Jack hooking up with Chloe would have been trite. Chloe probably was in love with Jack in a way but her logical mind had to realize that he was too farked up for her.
 
2012-05-21 03:25:56 PM
Newhart, check; MTM, check; Fugitive, Check.
Should have included KOTH.
 
2012-05-21 03:33:42 PM

Broktun: [sexedmusic.files.wordpress.com image 550x325]dinosaurs.jpg
Good Night and Goodbye


I'd forgotten that one. Certainly one of the strangest series finales. Light hearted family comedy ends with one of the main characters setting off a chain of events that brought on a nuclear winter that kills everyone. It was so depressing that the network had to put a viewer advisory before it.
 
2012-05-21 03:36:18 PM
List has too many 90s shows in it.

Fails for not having Barney Miller. That, the Wire and the Shield should have been a sandwich of cop shows in the middle of the list.
 
2012-05-21 03:40:10 PM

Persnickety: Broktun: [sexedmusic.files.wordpress.com image 550x325]dinosaurs.jpg
Good Night and Goodbye

I'd forgotten that one. Certainly one of the strangest series finales. Light hearted family comedy ends with one of the main characters setting off a chain of events that brought on a nuclear winter that kills everyone. It was so depressing that the network had to put a viewer advisory before it.


For a second there, I thought you were talking about this show:

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-05-21 03:43:04 PM

Sybarite: The finale of Seinfeld was mostly a lame clip show. Larry David could have done something groundbreaking, but opted instead for a boring and unfunny retrospective. The only two series that have ever had a good clip show are South Park and Community.


The Seinfeld finale was good. They all got ice cream. Now that's what I call a sticky situation.
 
2012-05-21 03:45:40 PM

RedZoneTuba: Sometime, in the far distant future, the finale of The Simpsons will be the #1 finale. The plot or quality won't matter, just the fact that someone finally drove a stake through the heart of that walking-dead corpse of a once great show will rocket it to #1 on the list.


until the show is no longer profitable
 
2012-05-21 03:47:21 PM
Another depressing one....

David the Gnome, he turns into a tree.
 
2012-05-21 03:49:05 PM
I thought the ending to Terriers was perfect (if it had to end).
 
2012-05-21 03:49:47 PM

Mugato: Peter von Nostrand: As a fan of Lost and Seinfeld, I'll readily admit the finales farking sucked. They just weren't done well

The problem being that Lost sort of depended on its finale. It was one huge cock tease that promised a resolution that never really panned out. I can watch any episode of Seinfeld and still find it funny. But if they ever syndicate Lost, I'd be like, "this went nowhere, what's the point?". That can't be good for DVD sales.


I can still watch just about any Seinfeld episode and there are certainly some episodes of Lost that I could rewatch because there were some really well done episodes. Just not sure if I'd bother watching season 6
 
2012-05-21 03:50:19 PM

Rincewind53: Also, glad to see Battlestar on there. I liked the finale, no matter what other people say.


Agreed. I also liked the Lost finale.

I don't want every question answered and every loose end tied up. I mean, it's definitely something movies should do, but a TV series lasts long enough that, like real life, not everything comes to a logical and pleasing resolution. In the end, the most important things get resolved, and the rest is left to sink into the past.

The Colonials survived and found a home. The Losties reunited despite mind-blowing hardship. The. Farking. End.

/not sure how to deal with house
//haven't enjoyed the last 2 seasons much
///should've ended along with cuttroat biatch
 
2012-05-21 03:57:25 PM

Lernaeus: /not sure how to deal with house
//haven't enjoyed the last 2 seasons much
///should've ended along with cuttroat biatch


Well, since he's supposed to be the modern Sherlock Holmes, he should meet his end while battling Lupus over a waterfall...
 
2012-05-21 03:58:51 PM

Mugato: Peter von Nostrand: As a fan of Lost and Seinfeld, I'll readily admit the finales farking sucked. They just weren't done well

The problem being that Lost sort of depended on its finale. It was one huge cock tease that promised a resolution that never really panned out. I can watch any episode of Seinfeld and still find it funny. But if they ever syndicate Lost, I'd be like, "this went nowhere, what's the point?". That can't be good for DVD sales.


Well, no ending can satisfy everyone, so it's expected that there will be some disappointed Lost fans. The real problem with the ending of Lost is that the folks who didn't like it tend to really, really really farking hate it. Once you get past the feel-good reunion style of everyone finding their twue wuv and waltzing off to Heaven, it really didn't resolve anything at all.

I'm not gonna go into the whole moronic "8 million mysteries that Lost never explained" type list, but the fact is that there were a number of things that were just tossed out there as a form of "here's three sentences of expository dialog explaining the puzzle you've been thinking about for the past 5 years, now shut the fark up so we can continue to develop this super interesting sooper awesome "sideways flash" idea that we cam up with that was so goddamned revolutionary that we sacrificed the entire five season story to force fit it into the show"

And the worst part is that these "answers" don't do a goddamned thing to advance your understanding of the story. For example, the Whispers. For years the Whispers were presented as a mysterious something, appearing at unpredictable times. They came up in DOZENS of episodes, seemingly at crucial, times. Why did they appear at those times? What did they signify? What did they do? Apparently they were so damned powerful that, according to Ben, "if you hear whispers, RUN!" What the hell did they MEAN?

So yeah, we got an "answer" - they're the spirits of people who died on the Island and for one reason or another couldn't "move on". Lovely. And farking useless. It explains exactly nothing. It adds literally no import or significance to any of the scenes where they appear. Go back and rewatch the series with this "answer" in hand, and see how it changes your understanding of what is going on. It doesn't. It makes them a complete non-thing - no impact, no meaning, no relevance, no importance. It was just a little something they added to pump up the mystery and drama in any given scene. Eliminate them from the scene and it changes exactly NOTHING about the story or the viewers understanding of it.

Rewatch the series you'll notice a lot of things like that. Things which seemed (at the time) important and mysterious; things which seemed (at the time) like they must be explained for it all to make sense; things that just didn't seem to fit and clearly we needed to know more in order to understand them. in retrospect it becomes painfully obvious that they were virtually all just shoved in there by Cuse and Lindeloff because it seemed cool and mysterious at the time, and had literally no bearing whatsoever on the "real" story. Things which could be eliminated entirely and their loss would have ZERO impact on the ultimate storyline.

Honestly, season six was little more than a 16 episode slow motion reveal of "It was all a dream"



Rewatching the show just reinforces this. Every goddamned thing in it is pretty much irrelevant and pointless
 
2012-05-21 04:01:30 PM

One Bad Apple: [theloveumake.com image 600x337]


Missed one

/This is what she felt


How they follow up one of the best season finales of all time w/ one of the worst season finales of all time is truly remarkable.
 
2012-05-21 04:04:45 PM

moothemagiccow: RedZoneTuba: Sometime, in the far distant future, the finale of The Simpsons will be the #1 finale. The plot or quality won't matter, just the fact that someone finally drove a stake through the heart of that walking-dead corpse of a once great show will rocket it to #1 on the list.

until the show is no longer profitable


I have no clue how they'll end the Simpsons. Hell, that show could end with Hank Azeria waking up beside Bob Newhart and I wouldn't be stunned.
 
2012-05-21 04:09:57 PM

LesserEvil: Wow, Perfect Strangers' finale didn't make the list?


Well of course not, don't be ridiculous.
 
2012-05-21 04:30:20 PM
I don't know how the ending to House will be tonight, but it should have ended several years ago when he went into the asylum.
 
2012-05-21 04:34:16 PM

texdent:
I can't really see Cobie Smulders as Diana. Only person I can really see playing her is Xena era Lucy Lawless.


If Gwendoline Christie had tits, she'd be a shoe-in.
 
2012-05-21 04:44:13 PM

scottydoesntknow: texdent: Reaper: Two of the crews' souls are now owned by Satan because Heaven wanted Son of Satan to lose.

Ahhh I hated that it got cancelled! Right when it was starting to get really good.

Ray Wise is the best Satan ever portrayed on TV. He was just so awesomely evil.


i.imgur.com

/*cough*
 
2012-05-21 04:44:44 PM

browneye: I don't know how the ending to House will be tonight, but it should have ended several years ago when he went into the asylum.


I truly doubt it but for all we know, it could end in the asylum
 
2012-05-21 04:50:24 PM

jbtilley: [2.bp.blogspot.com image 400x298]


this.
 
2012-05-21 04:52:03 PM

TheAnvil: I thought the ending to Terriers was perfect (if it had to end).


So... you were the other person that watched it?

/Should have thought up a better show title
//Promos making it look like a reality show about Michael Vick didn't help
 
2012-05-21 04:58:00 PM

moothemagiccow: RedZoneTuba: Sometime, in the far distant future, the finale of The Simpsons will be the #1 finale. The plot or quality won't matter, just the fact that someone finally drove a stake through the heart of that walking-dead corpse of a once great show will rocket it to #1 on the list.

until the show is no longer profitable


I think on Futurama "The Simpsons" is in season 1010.
 
2012-05-21 04:59:56 PM
My "Not on the List" Picks

Home Movies: Still one of the most depressing series finales (spoiler) Brendon realizes all his movies are awful and then his camera is destroyed as he tries to start over. (spoiler).

Moral Orel: After an entire season of depressing episodes, we finally see Orel understand fully how awful his father is. There is also the closure of seeing that he grew up to be relatively normal.


The Other Finales that Sticks With Me:

Spider-man TAS: We get a really odd story about multiple Spider-Men from multiple universes with some strange nods to the awful 90's era of the comic with Scarlet Spider. Then he goes and meets Stan Lee?

Mighty Max: Mulligan!

I know all these are cartoons, but we have the live action stuff pretty well established.
 
2012-05-21 05:10:54 PM

Ctrl-Alt-Del: Rewatch the series you'll notice a lot of things like that. Things which seemed (at the time) important and mysterious; things which seemed (at the time) like they must be explained for it all to make sense; things that just didn't seem to fit and clearly we needed to know more in order to understand them. in retrospect it becomes painfully obvious that they were virtually all just shoved in there by Cuse and Lindeloff because it seemed cool and mysterious at the time, and had literally no bearing whatsoever on the "real" story. Things which could be eliminated entirely and their loss would have ZERO impact on the ultimate storyline.


Yup, which is why I never bothered. I was still butthurt over the X-Files when Lost came out. I knew better than to waste my time.
 
2012-05-21 05:21:56 PM

Badgers: TheAnvil: I thought the ending to Terriers was perfect (if it had to end).

So... you were the other person that watched it?

/Should have thought up a better show title
//Promos making it look like a reality show about Michael Vick didn't help


Nah, I watched it as well. It was a decent show, but you knew the premise already. The name of the show wasn't 'Terriers', it was 'Rescue Me's replacement'... and it didn't do it nearly as well.

Trocadero: One Bad Apple: [theloveumake.com image 600x337]


Missed one

/This is what she felt

How they follow up one of the best season finales of all time w/ one of the worst season finales of all time is truly remarkable.


The show is motorcycle club Hamlet... the fact that ANY season finale of SoA ended on a relatively good note was surprising and awesome. But you will NEVER see that again. It worked once, but now they have to get back to the slow setup where everyone dies horribly in the series finale... this is one show where I hope the ending is as brutal and awesome as it should be.

/Same goes for Justified
 
2012-05-21 05:25:12 PM

Eirik: Mugato: tdyak: No love for the Dallas finale?

Now, how can there be a Dallas "finale" when it's just starting next month? I saw the commercials.

That, and they apparently crapped on the ending of the original run. I recall that JR commits suicide (though off camera). Did he miss?


That's what I'm wondering. Bobby hears a gunshot, walks in, "OH MY GOD!", and that's it. Maybe it turns out J.R. shot an iguana or something.
 
2012-05-21 05:27:39 PM

Broktun: [sexedmusic.files.wordpress.com image 550x325]
Good Night and Goodbye


Damned if that wasn't a shockingly depressing ending for what was otherwise a rather lighthearted show.

But then again, how else are you going to end a sitcom about Dinosaurs?
 
2012-05-21 05:29:09 PM
The ending to Twin Peaks should have been on the list. Some of the most terrifying TV of all time.
 
2012-05-21 05:35:19 PM

Smelly McUgly: thornhill: Smelly McUgly: thornhill:

Seinfeld: The finale was designed to be a pie in the face for all of the people who watched the show but couldn't figure out that as much as we love the characters, they're all self-absorbed shallow New Yorkers. For those of us who did get it, Larry David has provided us years of comedy laughing at the people who thought the show should have ended with sentimental happy stuff like Elaine and Jerry getting married.


It's not an either/or. The idiots who thought the show should have ended with Elaine and Jerry getting married only showed up in like season five after the show had become a hit. However, the "let's judge these characters" thing was just so heavy-handed and shiatty. In real life, people like these never get judged or change. They go on blissfully through life being hung up on their first-world problems. They'd just show up at the diner and keep being inane until they were old. Thus why the Seinfeld reunion arc from Curb Your Enthusiasm feels like the REAL ending to that show.

That was the point of the finale -- using fiction to put people on trial for being jerks.

Yeah, that's the problem. The finale had way too much of a point for a show that was pretty farking trivial and pointless when it came down to it.

I chalk that ending up to LD being self-deprecating about the whole show and its success, but even he admitted that the Seinfeld arc on Curb was sort of a makeup for the original finale.


The end of the show is not the trial or the sentencing. The end is Jerry and George in the cell, having a the pointless conversation about the appropriate placing of a man's shirt second button (which was the very first pointless conversation they ever had on the show)

I liked the finale.
 
2012-05-21 05:36:01 PM

BlackArt: The ending to Twin Peaks should have been on the list. Some of the most terrifying TV of all time.


I guess maybe it wasn't included because it wasn't an intended finale? Either way, it is the series' best episode.
 
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