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(Entertainment Weekly)   The twenty greatest season finales of all time   (ew.com) divider line 243
    More: Spiffy, season finale  
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13814 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 21 May 2012 at 11:37 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-21 12:17:09 PM
I watched the first four episodes of "Girls" on HBO. It could be the greatest show of all time if and ONLY if all four main characters are horribly murdered in the last episode. That would be the best series finale ever. Also No KOTH?
 
2012-05-21 12:17:37 PM
Breaking Bad. It hasn't aired yet, but I'm confident it will crush pretty much all of these.
 
2012-05-21 12:17:41 PM
 
2012-05-21 12:18:22 PM
Game of Thrones Series Finale:
The godsdamned comet smashes into Westeros, and everyone dies.

/you heard it here first
//and #1 was the right #1.
 
2012-05-21 12:18:45 PM

chewielouie: Mugato: Deep Space Nine had a pretty good finale too. But I gues TNG's was better.

Voyager's was the best.


Even though I didn't really follow V'ger that much, the end was pretty suspenseful. And although some people thought it was anti-climatic, the last shot when they finally made it back, no one was looking at the monitors of Earth because they were busy looking at the baby that one of their "family" just gave birth to did sort of pull on the heart strings.
 
2012-05-21 12:18:53 PM

KellyX: Shield - The ending was good, but holy shiat, you felt so bad for Vic... that was his version of hell.


Nobody I know that watched it felt bad for Vic.
His character was truly a monster.
 
2012-05-21 12:18:54 PM

KellyX: Shield - The ending was good, but holy shiat, you felt so bad for Vic... that was his version of hell.


That was a great ending. A sort of poetic justice that Vic's "reward" was far worse than what the "punishment" could've been.
 
2012-05-21 12:19:26 PM
The Shield finale was great. You really did get the feeling that being buried in paperwork was a fate worse than prison for Vic.
 
2012-05-21 12:20:04 PM

Rwa2play: texdent: The Stealth Hippopotamus: whar Smallville whar!!

I've said this before. The series finale could have been better. The wedding could have been shorter, they could have showed short clips of what the other heroes were doing, show Tom Welling in the full suit.

I agree about showing Welling in the suit, the whole series had been primed for him becoming Superman. Just showing his head holding on to Air Force One while Lois looked on and not him in the suit was a let down.


He would not wear the suit. I will forever hate him for that.
 
2012-05-21 12:21:12 PM

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.
 
2012-05-21 12:22:09 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.


Moonlighting had a good clip show.

Seinfeld's finale was one of the worst episodes of the series. It was just boring. If I wanted to see those characters, I'd just go watch the episodes they were in.
 
2012-05-21 12:22:28 PM
no quantum leap?
 
2012-05-21 12:22:51 PM

MorganFreeman: Breaking Bad. It hasn't aired yet, but I'm confident it will crush pretty much all of these.


The cool thing with the season finale of BB was that it wasn't really a cliffhanger. It could be that I have ADD now but I'm tired of cliffhangers. Like sure there are things that should be tied up but if BB ended with that episode, I'd be satisfied.
 
2012-05-21 12:23:19 PM
#15 Seinfeld.

Alright, listen. I love Seinfeld. Love it.

The series finale was absolute garbage.
 
2012-05-21 12:23:45 PM

fawlty: 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.

The problem with the ending was they had all those folks sit on the stand and tell their stories. We know their stories so it wasn't funny just to hear them tell it. It would have been funnier just to parade them, have them enter to courtroom and have Jerry say, "Soup Nazi!" "Virgin!" "Pool Guy!" "Mulva!" Just some phrase that he has in his head to identify these people that passed through his life. Just quick hit after quick hit. Which would make the same "he's shallow" point because he would never use the folks' names, just some descriptor because he doesn't even bother to learn or remember their names.


They were on trial, that's why there was a lengthy courtroom act to the show (that's the joke). The point was to contextualization incidents people found funny.
 
2012-05-21 12:24:41 PM

ontariolightning: Rwa2play: texdent: The Stealth Hippopotamus: whar Smallville whar!!

I've said this before. The series finale could have been better. The wedding could have been shorter, they could have showed short clips of what the other heroes were doing, show Tom Welling in the full suit.

I agree about showing Welling in the suit, the whole series had been primed for him becoming Superman. Just showing his head holding on to Air Force One while Lois looked on and not him in the suit was a let down.

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


O-O...really? Wow, that sucks. He got out of jail because he would not suffer the fate that Reeves and Cain did by wearing the suit throughout the series. He'd only wear it one time as the payoff.

So, so lame of him.
 
kab
2012-05-21 12:25:08 PM
Remove Seinfeld and Lost, and it's a decent list.
 
2012-05-21 12:26:23 PM

Rwa2play: KellyX: Shield - The ending was good, but holy shiat, you felt so bad for Vic... that was his version of hell.

That was a great ending. A sort of poetic justice that Vic's "reward" was far worse than what the "punishment" could've been.


That's exactly it.

The last season of The Shield had everything spiraling out of control with everybody on that team receiving some form of comeuppance, but finally Vic is left knowing he's betrayed everybody who trusted him, lost his family permanently, and will never again regain trust from his coworkers. He lived for the chase and the excitement, and he's now not just an office drone, but a despised one- they know what he has done, and while he may have shed his crimes, everything he once enjoyed is GONE.

He's left marking time in a cubicle as he watches others do the work he once loved (even though he was a dirty cop, he still loved the streets).
 
2012-05-21 12:29:16 PM

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


I barely watched the show but why the hell wasn't there a smooth transition from the show to the new movie? Smallville obviously had a large fan base and no one knows the guy who is playing him in the movie any more than Welling so it's not a question of star power. I guess they want to completely reboot it YET AGAIN but who the fark is in the mood for that? Just like, I don't want to see Spider-Man bitten by a spider yet again, I don't need to see Kal shot out of a Christmas tree ornament and live in Smallville again.

People's attention spans are short but we're not at goldfish level yet. And really, are they going to do that shot of Superman flying away from Krypton without John Williams' music and the awesomeness that it was 35 years ago?
 
2012-05-21 12:30:36 PM

MorganFreeman: Breaking Bad. It hasn't aired yet, but I'm confident it will crush pretty much all of these.


But not the Newhart one. Unless Walter wakes up in bed with Lois.

/hope they'll do something like that for a gag reel...
 
2012-05-21 12:30:43 PM
As a fan of Lost and Seinfeld, I'll readily admit the finales farking sucked. They just weren't done well
 
2012-05-21 12:31:46 PM
Lol, Seinfeld and Galactica on there.

i2.kym-cdn.com
 
2012-05-21 12:33:20 PM

Invisible Pedestrian: MorganFreeman: Breaking Bad. It hasn't aired yet, but I'm confident it will crush pretty much all of these.

But not the Newhart one. Unless Walter wakes up in bed with Lois.

/hope they'll do something like that for a gag reel...


That would be awesome.
 
2012-05-21 12:33:51 PM
list sucks without Babylon 5's Sleeping in Light.
 
2012-05-21 12:36:28 PM
Out of all of them (at least the one's I've seen), Sopranos was the one that was the most disappointing at the time.

I just remember thinking my cable box went out or something like that and cursing a blue streak.

Looking back several years later, I can step away from my initial disappointment and see the brilliance in it for what it was.
 
2012-05-21 12:37:11 PM

SurfaceTension: Fail for not having M*A*S*H at #1. And I still get chills just thinking about the St. Elsewhere finale. Cheers finale was better after the actual episode, when they were all hammered and went on Leno.


No, #1 was exactly right. MASH could have been higher, if only because of cultural significance.

And Cheers definitely had the best after party.
 
2012-05-21 12:38:03 PM

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.
 
2012-05-21 12:38:41 PM
Battlestar Galactica and its bullshiat copout ending? You have to be farking kidding me.

I stopped reading the list at that one. The single worst series ending I can think of. So bad, I can't even stomach re-watching the series again. Now that I know that they're going to eventually completely shiat on anything interesting that they do the whole series is spoiled for me.

And the final five Cyclons were such bullshiat. They should have just been random shmoes that nobody would have seen coming, but instead they had some kind of lame fan-service circle jerk. Fark that show.
 
2012-05-21 12:38:55 PM
List fails without the original series "scrubs" ending
 
2012-05-21 12:40:22 PM

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

I barely watched the show but why the hell wasn't there a smooth transition from the show to the new movie? Smallville obviously had a large fan base and no one knows the guy who is playing him in the movie any more than Welling so it's not a question of star power. I guess they want to completely reboot it YET AGAIN but who the fark is in the mood for that? Just like, I don't want to see Spider-Man bitten by a spider yet again, I don't need to see Kal shot out of a Christmas tree ornament and live in Smallville again.


See the truckloads of money "The Avengers" is getting and the truckloads "TDKR" will get and there's your answer. Marvel's going to have sequels for all of their franchises (that they control) including "The Avengers." DC's way behind the 8-ball when it comes to their characters with the only one on the horizon is "The Man of Steel" and IIRC a Green Lantern sequel a couple of years from now.

People's attention spans are short but we're not at goldfish level yet. And really, are they going to do that shot of Superman flying away from Krypton without John Williams' music and the awesomeness that it was 35 years ago?

That's why "Superman Returns" was done; they couldn't recreate the magic of the original. "The Man of Steel" is being done in the same vein.
 
2012-05-21 12:42:12 PM

Mugato: Glad 24 and Star trek were there.

Seinfeld? Really?


The Seinfeld finally actually turned me off the show.
 
2012-05-21 12:42:24 PM

Mugato: Well I'm not going to argue. DS9 had the more climatic ending and of course had more of a resolution to it than TNG's, "Let's start making shiatty movies now". But I thought the three separate timelines were well done and it served as a bookend to the first episode. So they were both good in different ways. As a series as a whole I liked DS9 better.


I never felt emotionally invested in the characters on TNG either. DS9 was my favorite series as well. And something about that final shot, with Kira and Jake looking into the wormhole, hits every time. That whole montage as everyone gets ready to move on is just awesome. It felt like a proper series finale.

And I still say that the Seinfeld finale was perfect; the fact they went on trial and were found guilty because they did nothing was genius.
 
2012-05-21 12:42:28 PM
I think you can argue about whether certain finales were good or sucked, but if you think the Lost finale was anything but the cheesiest piece of crap ever to air, you are incorrect. It only gets worse in my mind as time goes on.
 
2012-05-21 12:43:25 PM

DeaH: Mugato: Glad 24 and Star trek were there.

Seinfeld? Really?

The Seinfeld finally actually turned me off the show.


So you ended up missing... nothing.

Seems appropriate somehow.
 
2012-05-21 12:43:58 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.


yes. exactly. I have no compunction to rewatch any of it just for that reason. Now I hated the Sopranos ending, but I could see myself rewatching the whole series.
 
2012-05-21 12:44:01 PM

tboucher: list sucks without Babylon 5's Sleeping in Light.


If Tor.com's blog was making this list, yeah, maybe. EW? I'd be surprised if anyone on their staff (with the possible exception of Ken Tucker) even knew what B5 was.
 
2012-05-21 12:44:44 PM
I still remember the finale of Soap. And I still have a crush on Diana Canova.

\off my lawn
 
2012-05-21 12:44:46 PM
Eureka, Big bang theory, and 2 and one half men are on my list.
 
2012-05-21 12:44:47 PM
Agreed that M*A*S*H's ending should be higher up the list. But Newhart as #1 is absolutely correct. That still remains the best ending to a show ever. It was hilarious, unexpected and supremely enjoyable.
 
2012-05-21 12:45:06 PM

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.
 
2012-05-21 12:45:26 PM
Wow, some really bad picks.

STTNG: They total fubared this ending. The whole premise was that the Enterprise "created" the event that was causing the time issues (I forget what they called it in-show). The "event" was going backwards in time from that point. And yet when the Enterprise goes to investigate that spot, it's not there. That's impossible based on the way they defined it - an event travelling backwards in time. And then, to make matters worse, they go back and the event is there after it's been created So we have something that travels backwards through time that isn't there when they go to see it at point X - 1, is created at point X, and then is visible at point X + 1. That completely messes up the basic premise they are using to construct the dramatic tension of the show.

Seinfeld: Yes, we get it, they were selfish, self-absorbed people. But it's still an idiotic premise - they watched a crime, recorded it, and had evidence they could give the police to help catch the criminal. The expectation they should go put themselves in harms way to try and stop the crime is ludicrous, making the entire rest of the show pointless.

BSG: Well, it's all been said before. Angel Starbuck. "Humans" in history. Sufficient population to sustain a colony. Inability to interbreed with local inhabitants. Pointless sermonizing. Just a really, really bad ending to what started off as a really good show.

Plus, yes, it need Babylon 5 (although I'm sure that wasn't mainstream enough to make the list).

/And this concludes my nerd rage for the day. Carry on.
 
2012-05-21 12:48:05 PM

thornhill: fawlty: 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.

The problem with the ending was they had all those folks sit on the stand and tell their stories. We know their stories so it wasn't funny just to hear them tell it. It would have been funnier just to parade them, have them enter to courtroom and have Jerry say, "Soup Nazi!" "Virgin!" "Pool Guy!" "Mulva!" Just some phrase that he has in his head to identify these people that passed through his life. Just quick hit after quick hit. Which would make the same "he's shallow" point because he would never use the folks' names, just some descriptor because he doesn't even bother to learn or remember their names.

They were on trial, that's why there was a lengthy courtroom act to the show (that's the joke). The point was to contextualization incidents people found funny.


Or, as I like to call it, throwing anvils at the audience. Look, I have no tolerance for anyone who wanted Jerry and Elaine to end up together (frankly, I had no idea that such people existed before this thread), but that ending was an act of contempt to those of us that watched the show from the beginning. Frankly, I would have been happier with Kramer dead, George in jail, Elaine old and alone with her cats, and Jerry rich as Croesus from making fun of his closest friends. Sure, it's in the nose, but a heck of a lot more subtle than trying and jailing them.

Seriously, that ending still pisses me off.
 
2012-05-21 12:49:03 PM

Eirik: DeaH: Mugato: Glad 24 and Star trek were there.

Seinfeld? Really?

The Seinfeld finally actually turned me off the show.

So you ended up missing... nothing.

Seems appropriate somehow.


Nothing would have been so much better.
 
2012-05-21 12:49:04 PM

MorganFreeman: Invisible Pedestrian: MorganFreeman: Breaking Bad. It hasn't aired yet, but I'm confident it will crush pretty much all of these.

But not the Newhart one. Unless Walter wakes up in bed with Lois.

/hope they'll do something like that for a gag reel...

That would be awesome.


Walt was shot by Jessie in the pilot and has been dying the whole time.
 
2012-05-21 12:49:44 PM

Rwa2play: See the truckloads of money "The Avengers" is getting and the truckloads "TDKR" will get and there's your answer. Marvel's going to have sequels for all of their franchises (that they control) including "The Avengers." DC's way behind the 8-ball when it comes to their characters with the only one on the horizon is "The Man of Steel" and IIRC a Green Lantern sequel a couple of years from now.


Right, which is why I'd go with the built in audience that Smallville had and make sequels from that. Plus they set up other DC heroes in that show, sort of the equivalent of Marvel setting up the Avengers in the standalone movies. So less origin stories and more just getting down to business, which is what the Avengers had going for it. They had to set up the team but they didn't have to set up each individual character again.

The Green Lantern kind of bombed, BTW.
 
2012-05-21 12:50:33 PM

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.
 
2012-05-21 12:50:45 PM

mongbiohazard: Battlestar Galactica and its bullshiat copout ending? You have to be farking kidding me.

I stopped reading the list at that one. The single worst series ending I can think of. So bad, I can't even stomach re-watching the series again. Now that I know that they're going to eventually completely shiat on anything interesting that they do the whole series is spoiled for me.

And the final five Cyclons were such bullshiat. They should have just been random shmoes that nobody would have seen coming, but instead they had some kind of lame fan-service circle jerk. Fark that show.


I thought that ending was almost right, but it went a couple steps too far. They made a couple mis-steps that ruined it. The whole Starbuck thing was a problem. She should either have never come back (or never been killed) or having come back should have turned out to be a Cylon or something. Making her mystical ruined it a bit.

I actually didn't have a problem with them settling a primitive Earth and starting over from scratch. That not only seemed right on some level, but completely made some kind of BSG: 2010 impossible.
 
2012-05-21 12:51:12 PM

KellyX: Shield - The ending was good, but holy shiat, you felt so bad for Vic... that was his version of hell.


Yeah, but the way he got up from the desk, grabbed his gun and strutted out of the office with his head held high showed that he was beaten, not broken. That's part of what made me love that finale.
 
2012-05-21 12:51:46 PM

Kanemano: MorganFreeman: Invisible Pedestrian: MorganFreeman: Breaking Bad. It hasn't aired yet, but I'm confident it will crush pretty much all of these.

But not the Newhart one. Unless Walter wakes up in bed with Lois.

/hope they'll do something like that for a gag reel...

That would be awesome.

Walt was shot by Jessie in the pilot and has been dying the whole time.


Been done.
Ending of the movie Jacob's Ladder.
 
2012-05-21 12:52:40 PM

tboucher: list sucks without Babylon 5's Sleeping in Light.


That would be my favorite, yes. Particularly the tearful goodbye scene with Sheridan and Delenn.

Not a lot on the list here that I did watch, save for M*A*S*H, of course. And Star Trek:TNG, but I thought it was all too typical of the show: by the end of the episode, everything that had happened, no longer had happened.
 
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