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JosephStyles
post May 3 2021, 03:00 PM
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In light of the generally underwhelmed and unsatisfied consensus on last night's Line of Duty series 6 finale, and the potential that it could have been the last episode ever, I want to know which shows really NAILED their final season and episode, and which ones fluffed it the most? Generally talking about shows that planned a final season rather than being cancelled prematurely or just not continuing (looking at you, Torchwood).

Gentle reminder to put big plot points in SPOILER TAGS!

I'd say The Good Place is a prime example of a show that ended on a really strong note. I know people have conflicting opinions on the later seasons but I think its conclusion felt perfect and extremely satisfying heart.gif The Fosters also wrapped up perfectly for me, and I've recently just finished watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from start to finish - that final episode broke me! cry.gif Being Human's final moments are brilliantly spine-tingling because you don't know if the trio actually succeeded (in fact it's heavily hinted that they didn't), which leaves it slightly unresolved BUT I've chosen to take it as a happy ending :').

Teen Wolf had a comparatively ropey final run (the second half of season 6), it felt a bit disjointed at times, but the final couple of episodes are perfect and it ends on a really lovely note, that final episode ticked every box! The 100 is somewhat similar, I enjoyed the final season on the whole though and it was only ruined by Bob Morley taking time out, which impacted on the direction Bellamy went in I'm sure. That aside, the ending was great and the quality of the season was high. Miranda had declined in quality for its third series - good but not AS good as the first two, and the first part of the 2-part finale isn't my favourite episode but the ending was perfect. I liked Scandal's ending though I don't think they needed to kill off David??? I know final seasons can often be the prime opportunity for some big name deaths and Scandal never shied away from that anyway but it didn't feel completely needed.

For disappointing ends, Grimm's final episode was strange and became quite predictable. It had a nice ending but after such a good run (and a brilliant final season), the final episode didn't quite hit the spot sad.gif I watched Nowhere Boys last year and really enjoyed it, but the final episode had a very rushed conclusion and one that didn't really tie up all the loose ends it needed to, so I wasn't really won over by it. The Vampire Diaries ending was great (bringing back Elena and Katherine was perfect) but The Originals is a lot more divisive... I liked it but understand why others don't, particularly as it means there's no chance of Klaus popping up in Legacies. Travelers felt wholly unsatisfying as a final episode - perhaps my top choice for worst ending - as it basically hit the undo button????
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Klaus
post May 3 2021, 03:06 PM
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Game of Thrones is an obvious one from recent times but I strongly feel the outcome isnít what makes it bad, itís the fact it was so so so rushed, especially in comparison with the pacing of the previous seasons. It was an uphill battle anyway as there was no way everyone would be satisfied with the ending of something so huge but rushing it didnít help.
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Dill Doe
post May 3 2021, 03:20 PM
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Don't try and make excuses for that DUMPSTER FIRE laugh.gif rotf.gif It was trash of the utmost ordsr. NOTHING made sense. Dragons CANNOT be taken out by medieval grounded projectiles... and yet those projectiles had the strength of MODERN RAIL CANNONS and defied the laws of gravity. Lawl. Just ... no. They assassinated everyone's characters, threw away arcs in the blink of an eye, failed thematically at every turn, and gave characters Valerian steel plot armour. It was absolute NONSENSE.
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diva thin muffin
post May 3 2021, 03:21 PM
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Best: The Good Place as you noted was great but I'd add that the Parks & Recreation finale was equally amazing. Such a strong season, they handled the time jump well and the final episode made me cry like a baby.

Worst: Game of Thrones, without a doubt. I can't even rewatch the show anymore because they fumbled the ball so bad with the final season. I'd also add that the final season of Glee was pretty bad but they had been going downhill for a while tbh.
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Dill Doe
post May 3 2021, 03:27 PM
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Game of Thrones was creeping into the dumpster from the end of season 5 and definitely season 6 on. Oh, honourable mention goes to that particularly awful scene outside of KL: Qyburn vanishing after being on camera next to Tyrion, presumably teleporting back into KL, Tyrion WHISPERING and people 50 metres away and fifty feet above hearing him perfectly, Cersei not just ending the war right there and then, Danaerys going there in the first place, and mass production in a medieval setting. Those two hacks should never have been given the series.
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Chez Wombat
post May 3 2021, 03:52 PM
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I think the making of a good series is whether the makers have a plan from the start and that's what makes the best endings. A set number of seasons - usually no more than 5 and clear foreshadowing to the end throughout makes a great series. Seasons that go on for more than six I'm very hesitant towards as they almost always lose their quality and you can tell that money is replacing the heart.


Some specific examples of the good off the top of my head would be Breaking Bad, Dark, Avatar: The Last Airbender & A Series of Unfortunate Events (the latter was an adaptation so had the books to refer to ofc. but they successfully gave closure to that and their own storylines), Dark in particular however convoluted it got, never lost it's quality and the ending was just so fitting, I was so amazed how intricately the producer has plotted it.

Most common examples of bad that I've also seen would probably be Lost and Game of Thrones as already said. I pretty much entirely agree with Klaus that the actual plot points weren't terrible conclusions and I accept they had it quite tough given how slow the author was writing, but it was so rushed, not clearly thought out and so at odds with the slow-building tension of earlier seasons.

Lost was just clearly a result of Abrams writing himself into a corner and coming up with a kind of conclusion that doesn't make a lot of sense, but it'll have to do. Common feature of his work~
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Iz 💀
post May 3 2021, 04:07 PM
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Probably the best I can think of are Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which topped off a 10-episode arc resolving all of the conflicts and various arcs within the series, and Assassination Classroom, which proved it really was telling a very tight story despite its carefree nature. Higurashi (original 2 seasons), Steins;Gate, Fate/Zero all had an absolutely amazing finale too, I need to rewatch some of those. Shows which stay in my favourites tend to have a really strong final.

Breaking Bad too - that was brilliant!

I remember the biggest disappointment I had was Darling In The Franxx, a show from a couple of years ago, it had a really absolutely excellent first 15 episodes. The next 4 were okay. The last 7 were absolute trash of the highest order, that took everything possibly interesting about the show (a post-apocalyptic wasteland) and tossed it into space for some reason.

QUOTE(Dill Doe @ May 3 2021, 03:20 PM) *
Don't try and make excuses for that DUMPSTER FIRE laugh.gif rotf.gif It was trash of the utmost ordsr. NOTHING made sense. Dragons CANNOT be taken out by medieval grounded projectiles... and yet those projectiles had the strength of MODERN RAIL CANNONS and defied the laws of gravity. Lawl. Just ... no. They assassinated everyone's characters, threw away arcs in the blink of an eye, failed thematically at every turn, and gave characters Valerian steel plot armour. It was absolute NONSENSE.


none of this is why the finale was... underwhelming. Not bad, underwhelming. Basically everything that was in the finale would have been in a perfect finale, but the issue was we just weren't given the time to have the extra bits and conclusions that we needed to make it a strong show.

and btw, it is one of those that's an exception to my rule, I just now consider Game Of Thrones (Seasons 1-6) to be one of my favourite shows. The other two exist when I decide they exist.
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Iz 💀
post May 3 2021, 04:10 PM
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QUOTE(Chez Wombat @ May 3 2021, 03:52 PM) *
I think the making of a good series is whether the makers have a plan from the start and that's what makes the best endings. A set number of seasons - usually no more than 5 and clear foreshadowing to the end throughout makes a great series. Seasons that go on for more than six I'm very hesitant towards as they almost always lose their quality and you can tell that money is replacing the heart.


This is very true. 5-7 is generally the maximum a show can go without proper planning to decide where it's going if the story is truly that long. I normally like shorter shows for this reason, less chance of getting totally burned and more variety in what you're watching.
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Dill Doe
post May 3 2021, 04:20 PM
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QUOTE(Iz 💀 @ May 3 2021, 04:07 PM) *
Probably the best I can think of are Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which topped off a 10-episode arc resolving all of the conflicts and various arcs within the series, and Assassination Classroom, which proved it really was telling a very tight story despite its carefree nature. Higurashi (original 2 seasons), Steins;Gate, Fate/Zero all had an absolutely amazing finale too, I need to rewatch some of those. Shows which stay in my favourites tend to have a really strong final.

Breaking Bad too - that was brilliant!

I remember the biggest disappointment I had was Darling In The Franxx, a show from a couple of years ago, it had a really absolutely excellent first 15 episodes. The next 4 were okay. The last 7 were absolute trash of the highest order, that took everything possibly interesting about the show (a post-apocalyptic wasteland) and tossed it into space for some reason.
none of this is why the finale was... underwhelming. Not bad, underwhelming. Basically everything that was in the finale would have been in a perfect finale, but the issue was we just weren't given the time to have the extra bits and conclusions that we needed to make it a strong show.

and btw, it is one of those that's an exception to my rule, I just now consider Game Of Thrones (Seasons 1-6) to be one of my favourite shows. The other two exist when I decide they exist.


No, a LOT of that is why the entire season was utter trash. It was nonsensical, destroyed character arcs, and obsessed over "subverting expectations". It is a master class in failed storytelling. Rumours abound that GRR is now taking so long, as he is rewriting the final books following the intensely negative reaction to the shockingly bad final seasons. Having only two female rulers in history result in an apocalypse, with both being mad, is not a good look, either.
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Michael Costanza
post May 3 2021, 04:50 PM
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files (original run) both had lame finales/final seasons. The last series of Friends was abysmal but it did have a decent last episode I suppose.
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Rooney
post May 3 2021, 05:23 PM
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With American network TV dramas it can be really difficult though as the networks want the show. So a prime example of this is LOST - for what it is worth, I think the ending of the show is really fitting and a really sensible ending. A lot of the problem fans have with the shows is because Lindelof/Cuse had created storylines which got cut as they were not important and were merely there as filler because they did not know how many episodes they had to go.

Game of Thrones gets a lot of hate but people make out it's the worst thing ever - it's not. Yes, the pacing is off in some parts and they did not have the quality of GRM to help with the source material. But a lot of the hate comes from people are pissed off Bran ends up on the Throne. This is common with lots of TV shows, people dislike the endings because it is not how they wanted it to be. Ending a TV show is near enough impossible. It's really hard to think of a example of a GOOD ending.

Anyway nobody has actually found the worst of them all yet, which is Dexter. I've never seen the show but How I Met Your Mother seems universially derided too.
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Dill Doe
post May 3 2021, 05:28 PM
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QUOTE(Rooney @ May 3 2021, 05:23 PM) *
With American network TV dramas it can be really difficult though as the networks want the show. So a prime example of this is LOST - for what it is worth, I think the ending of the show is really fitting and a really sensible ending. A lot of the problem fans have with the shows is because Lindelof/Cuse had created storylines which got cut as they were not important and were merely there as filler because they did not know how many episodes they had to go.

Game of Thrones gets a lot of hate but people make out it's the worst thing ever - it's not. Yes, the pacing is off in some parts and they did not have the quality of GRM to help with the source material. But a lot of the hate comes from people are pissed off Bran ends up on the Throne. This is common with lots of TV shows, people dislike the endings because it is not how they wanted it to be. Ending a TV show is near enough impossible. It's really hard to think of a example of a GOOD ending.

Anyway nobody has actually found the worst of them all yet, which is Dexter. I've never seen the show but How I Met Your Mother seems universially derided too.


No. Read up. Those are GLARING ISSUES. It is also nonsensical that Bran becomes king the way he did. It is utter GARBAGE.
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Rooney
post May 3 2021, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE(Dill Doe @ May 3 2021, 06:28 PM) *
No. Read up. Those are GLARING ISSUES. It is also nonsensical that Bran becomes king the way he did. It is utter GARBAGE.


Which just proves my point Michael, people don't like it because they don't like what happened.

Bran was and will be the King in GRRM's books too. The difference is there was no source material to flesh out the other seeds of how it happened as it takes GRRM 10 years to write a book.
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Michael Costanza
post May 3 2021, 05:57 PM
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QUOTE(Rooney @ May 3 2021, 06:23 PM) *
people dislike the endings because it is not how they wanted it to be. Ending a TV show is near enough impossible. It's really hard to think of a example of a GOOD ending.


Bingo.

Everyone has the ďperfectĒ ending of any given TV show in their head and itís basically impossible for it to actually happen.
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Harve
post May 3 2021, 05:59 PM
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Fleabag's final series was good, and I know that might not seem too notable as there are only two series, but it's because it was stopped after such a short time that its ending was fitting.

Catastrophe's ending was amazing and very much at the right time.

The Thick of It's final series is perhaps its best.
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Quarantilas
post May 3 2021, 06:02 PM
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One of the worst for me is the original ending of Will & Grace. It was untrue to the characters and total opposite to what we'd spent 8 years watching. Hated every second of it. I still haven't finished watching the revival, but I am glad it exists purely to retcon that atrocious ending and give us something better.



In recent years I think Schitts Creek is one of the most beautifully ended shows. Everything made perfect sense. You saw the character development unfold and it ended in a way that was faithful to who they had become and to the journey they had all been on. One of the most spectacularly ended shows I have ever seen I think. Especially as it was highly anticipated - but also you could clearly see how well planned it was. Superb job all round really.
(TGP is a nomination I mostly agree with too. I liked that)
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diva thin muffin
post May 3 2021, 06:27 PM
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QUOTE(Rooney @ May 3 2021, 05:37 PM) *
Which just proves my point Michael, people don't like it because they don't like what happened.

Bran was and will be the King in GRRM's books too. The difference is there was no source material to flesh out the other seeds of how it happened as it takes GRRM 10 years to write a book.

The issue isnít Bran being king or the ending per se. Itís how they got there and how little sense it made. They could have made him king and done it well but instead it boiled down to ďwHo HaS tHe BeSt StOrY 🥴Ē which was just.. what? None of that final season made sense because none of it was actually set up. Bran becoming king, Arya killing the night king, Dany going crazy. It was all just for shock value instead of actually making a single lick of sense.

It was an awful season because it was rushed, poorly written, didnít make sense and was more about shocking gags than actual quality. D&D were even offered more seasons and more episodes by HBO but didnt want it. No one expected GOT to have a happy ending but we all expected it to make sense, which is where they failed.
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Rooney
post May 3 2021, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE(diva thin muffin @ May 3 2021, 07:27 PM) *
The issue isnít Bran being king or the ending per se. Itís how they got there and how little sense it made. They could have made him king and done it well but instead it boiled down to ďwHo HaS tHe BeSt StOrY 🥴Ē which was just.. what? None of that final season made sense because none of it was actually set up. Bran becoming king, Arya killing the night king, Dany going crazy. It was all just for shock value instead of actually making a single lick of sense.

It was an awful season because it was rushed, poorly written, didnít make sense and was more about shocking gags than actual quality. D&D were even offered more seasons and more episodes by HBO but didnt want it. No one expected GOT to have a happy ending but we all expected it to make sense, which is where they failed.


I'm not saying it wasn't poor, it was. But I don't think it was as simple as HBO wanted more episodes. They probably did but that's it in simple terms - you have major budget constraints, contracts and other non-factors too. I think they fell in to the trap that people wanted huge action sequences rather than character driven stories. Dany going mad, Bran sitting on the Throne and Arya killing the Night King all make sense, I totally agree the show just did a really daft thing - imo a lot of this is to do with the show becoming movie like with every episode.
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post May 3 2021, 08:00 PM
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The final full series (excluding one-offs) of Blackadder was brilliant. If a programme that only had two series counts, there is Fawlty Towers as well.

In my opinion, British series tend to be better at finishing before they reach their best before date (Last Of The Summer Wine being an obvious exception) while American shows often go on for several series too many.
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Dill Doe
post May 3 2021, 08:27 PM
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QUOTE(Rooney @ May 3 2021, 06:37 PM) *
Which just proves my point Michael, people don't like it because they don't like what happened.

Bran was and will be the King in GRRM's books too. The difference is there was no source material to flesh out the other seeds of how it happened as it takes GRRM 10 years to write a book.


If the story made sense, that would be one thing. The choice of Bran is in and of itself utter tripe, and anti-feminist, but how we got there, plus the terrible production, plot armour, and destroyed character arcs and thematic failures, is what makes it so bad. The storyline clearly frayed at the end, and D ans D are two massive hacks. They could not handle it.

Oh, and none of teh dany, Arya or Bran stuff make any sense, and all three completely destroy their ENTIRE character histories and arcs. Trash.
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