Warning: The following contains spoilers.
It’s the single most important day in every person’s life. It’s the moment that every child dreams of and every adult prepares for. It’s the brief moment in time that comes to define a person’s life. No it’s not the first day of work, marriage, or the birth of a child. We’re talking about the series finale of popular television shows.
A television series finale is usually a highly-anticipated event that garners a great deal of attention. Some series finales lived up to the hype while others sent their fans into a blind rage. A good series finale could make an average show great, and a bad series finale could make a great show awful. A series finale is crucial to the lasting legacy of a show. The final episode can cement a series legacy or can tarnish it forever. Some series have the most perfect finale that usually brings closure to the show. These finales stayed true to the essence of the series and left audiences satisfied. There were no questions left unanswered, and it brought the show to a fitting end. However, not every beloved series follows the same formula. Some series went in a different direction that usually upset their fanbase. Several incredible shows put on a disappointing series finale that left audiences confused, angry, and let down. Regardless, these series finales are all memorable in one way or the other. Here is a look at 7 Most Infuriating Series Finales and 8 That Were Awesome.
15 True Blood (Infuriating)
True Blood is one of those shows that started out really strong but fizzled out at the end. The final episode is one of the most disappointing for any series. True Blood was based on the novel series The Southern Vampire Mysteries. The series aired for 7 seasons from September 7, 2008 to August 2, 2014. It started Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Nelsan Ellis, and Alexander Skarsgard. Initially, the series received high praise and positive reviews for the first 5 seasons. The supernatural horror series cultivated a strong and dedicated fanbase. However, the series was criticized for a decline in quality towards the end. Series creator Alan Ball stepped down as show runner for the final two seasons, which received mixed to negative reviews. The series finale, “Thank You,” was met with mostly negative responses. Fans of the series were disappointed with the direction the show had taken and were let down by the finale.
14 Parks And Recreation (Awesome)
Parks and Recreation’s first season was met with mixed to negative reviews. After making major changes, the series would go on to become one of the most popular. It might have struggled at the start but it ended as one of the best shows. Parks and Recreation aired for 7 seasons from April 9, 2009 to February 24, 2015. It starred an exceptionally-talented cast, including Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, and Chris Pratt. The series finale, “One Last Ride,” is widely considered as one of the best finales of all time. The critically-acclaimed episode has been praised for bringing closure to several long-term storylines. Fans were satisfied with the ending and felt that it was a very fitting ending. It was one of the highest-rated episodes in the show’s history. Additionally, the episode is dedicated to series writer Harris Wittelts, who passed away a few days before the finale.
13 Two And A Half Men (Infuriating)
Two and a Half Men aired from September 22, 2003 to February 19, 2015 for 12 seasons. Initially, the series starred Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones. The series got mixed reviews but did very well in the ratings. At one point, Charlie Sheen was the highest-paid actor on TV. In 2011, Sheen left the series after having a very public meltdown and feud with series creator Chuck Lorre. Ashton Kutcher was then brought in to replace Sheen. The series finale, “Of Course He’s Dead,” was met with divided responses. Some critics and fans did enjoy the episode and plethora of cameos. However, most fans and critics felt let down by the finale and disappointed that Sheen didn’t make an appearance. The episode is built around Sheen’s character returning. However, in the end, only his back is shown before a piano is dropped on him. Charlie Sheen didn’t like the episode and was one of the finale’s biggest critics.
12 Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Awesome)
The critically and commercially acclaimed supernatural series Buffy The Vampire Slayer aired from March 10, 1997 to May 20, 2003. It is one of the most beloved series of all time with one of the most dedicated fanbases. It starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, David Boreanaz, and Seth Green. Both TV Guide and Rolling Stone have included the series on their Greatest Shows of all Time lists. The popularity of the series resulted in the spin-off series, Angel. The series finale, “Chosen,” was met with positive reviews and universal praise from fans. It brought the series to a satisfying ending and gave audiences closure to an incredible series. It was nominated for a 2003 Prime Time Emmy award. Entertainment Weekly and the LA Times included the finale on their 20 Best TV Series Finales Ever and Most Memorable TV series finales, respectively.
11 Cheers (Awesome)
Cheers is one of the most cherished and popular sitcoms of all time. It aired from September 30, 1982 to May 20, 1983 for 11 seasons. It starred Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Kelsey Grammer, Woody Harrelson and Kirstie Alley. The series had a slow start but eventually would become one of the highest-rated shows on television. The final episode, “One for the Road,” is the second most watched series finale of all time. It was one of the most highly-anticipated series finales, and it generated a great amount of media coverage. Initially, the finale was met with mostly mixed reviews, which criticized the length of the episode and Shelley Long’s guest appearance. However, opinion of the finale has changed over the years and is now held in high regard. Many critics and fans consider it to be one of the best finales of all time. TV Guide ranked the finale at number 5 on their TV’s Most Unforgettable Finales special in 2011.
10 Dexter (Infuriating)
The final episode of Dexter divided critics and the fanbase, as some loved it while others were disappointed. Dexter aired for 8 seasons from October 1, 2006 to September 22, 2013. It starred Michael C. Hall as blood splatter analyst and serial killer Dexter Morgan. The series was mostly praised throughout its entire run. The series finale “Remember the Monsters?” received polarized opinions. Some fans were happy with the finale and felt that it was a fitting end for Dexter Morgan. In fact, many critics praised the final scene between Dexter and his sister, Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter). However, not everyone felt the same way about the final episode. Many loyal fans felt negatively about the episode, and it was heavily criticized. The ending was called “sloppy” and “a cop out.” The Atlantic Monthly called the finale an “unbelievably unsatisfying end, which ruins all that came before it.”
9 Friends (Awesome)
Friends is one of the most beloved series to ever air. The series finale featured no major twists and turns. It’s regarded as one of the most satisfying endings that brought the series to a fitting conclusion. The series starred the phenomenal ensemble cast of Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer. It aired for 10 seasons from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004. Friends became a much bigger success than anyone could have imagined. The series became a cultural phenomenon and left a lasting legacy. The series finale, “The Last One,” was widely praised by both critics and cast members. It was notable for closing off many series-long storylines and ended the show in a way that pleased the audience. It is the fifth most watched series finale of all time.
8 Scrubs (Infuriating)
The medical comedy Scrubs aired from October 2, 2001 to March 17, 2010 for 9 seasons on NBC. It starred Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, and John C. McGinley. For the first 8 seasons, the series was critically acclaimed and was commended for its cast, writing, and unique storytelling style. Initially, the series was to end with the season 8 episode, “My Finale.” The episode was highly praised and most fan and critics felt that it was the perfect ending for the series. However, ABC picked up the series for a ninth season. The setting of the show changed from a hospital to a medical school. Former cast members returned along with a whole new crop of characters. The ninth season was heavily criticized with many fans feeling that the series had been tarnished. The series was not renewed for a tenth season and the second series finale, “Our Thanks,” was a major disappointment. Several fans were infuriated since they felt Scrubs initially had a great ending.
7 Mash (Awesome)
Mash was an immensely popular series that is one of the highest-rated shows in U.S. television history. The series aired from September 17, 1972 to February 28, 1983 for 11 seasons. It starred Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, McLean Stevenson, and Loretta Swit. The series was based on the 1970 feature film MASH, which was based on the novel Mash: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. There was a great deal of anticipation for the series finale, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.” In fact, CBS sold advertisers 30-second commercial blocks that cost more than the ad time for the Super Bowl that year. The finale was met with universal praise and is regarded as one the best series finales. To this day, the final episode is the most watched television series finale in American TV history. From 1983 to 2010, it was the most watched broadcast in U.S. television history.
6 Lost (Infuriating)
Lost was one of the most popular series with an intensely loyal and obsessed fanbase. The first season was critically acclaimed and won the series an Emmy. However, later seasons received a bit more criticism. Lost aired from September 22, 2004 to May 23, 2010 and starred an incredible ensemble cast of Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lily, Terry O’Quinn, and many more. The series finale, “The End,” was met with polarizing and divided opinions. Some felt it was the perfect ending and a great finale. Other fans and critics were infuriated with the finale, which they felt gave little answers to the series’ longstanding mysteries. In 2012, Entertainment Weekly included Lost on their 25 Best Cult TV Shows From The Past 25 Years list and said about the finale, “The appeal narrowed as seasons progressed and the mythology became more complex, culminating in a still-debated finale that was deeply meaningful to some and dissatisfying poppycock to others.”
5 Breaking Bad (Awesome)
Breaking Bad is considered one of the greatest shows of all time. The series has been praised for the incredible cast, writing, and directing. It aired from January 20, 2008 to September 29, 2013. It starred Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Anna Gunn. The series won several Prime Time Emmy awards and was one of the most watched shows. The series concluded all storylines and brought the series to a satisfying end. The series finale, “Felina,” is considered one of the greatest finales of all time. Critics praised the episode and one critic wrote, “Walt’s purpose is fulfilled, and he just stops.” However, several fans proposed an alternate theory to the ending of the series. Both writer Emily Nussbaum and comedian Norm MacDonald believe that the finale is all in Walt’s head. However, series creator Vince Gilligan disputed that ending. Regardless, the series left fans satisfied with an awesome ending.
4 How I Met Your Mother (Infuriating)
How I Met Your Mother aired from September 19, 2005 to March 31, 2014 for 9 seasons. Early on, the series was praised but later seasons were met with mixed reviews. It starred Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, and was narrated by Bob Saget. As a story device, an older Ted tells his future children the story of how he met their mother. The final episode, “Last Forever,” received mostly negative reviews, and many fans were frustrated with the end result. The series was heavily criticized for the twist ending with Ted (Radnor) and Robin (Smulders) ending up together. Many fans were upset with the short role The Mother (Cristin Milioti) played. Fans had become heavily invested in her character and were disappointed that she was killed off and didn’t end up with Ted. An alternate ending was released with the season 9 DVD.
3 The Sopranos (Awesome)
The Emmy award-winning The Sopranos is one of those shows that fall into both the infuriating and awesome categories. It’s part of what makes the series and the finale so good. The Sopranos is widely considered as the greatest series of all time. It aired from January 10, 1999 to June 10, 2007 and starred James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, and Lorraine Bracco. There was a great deal of anticipation and hype surrounding the final episode. The finale, “Made in America,” initially received mixed to negative reviews. The episode is best known for its abrupt and ambiguous ending when it suddenly cut to a black screen. Many viewers thought that their satellite had cut out at the most crucial moment. Turns out, that was the intended ending. But, some fans were furious at the time. However, over time, opinion on the finale has become very positive. In fact, the finale is now regarded as one of the greatest of all time.
2 Seinfeld (Infuriating)
During the 90’s, a show about nothing completely changed the television landscape. The critically and commercially acclaimed sitcom, Seinfeld, aired for 9 seasons from July 5, 1989 to May 14, 1998. It starred Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It won several Emmy awards and is considered one of the most influential sitcoms. The main cast and supporting cast members are often held in high regard for their unforgettable performances. The series featured several memorable episodes, such as “The Parking Garage,” “The Chinese Restaurant,” and “The Contest.” However, the final episode, “The Finale,” does not fall into that category. To this day, the opinions on the finale are seriously divided. It’s widely regarded as one of the most dissatisfying series finales. Many fans of the series were infuriated and disappointed on how one of the greatest shows ended. Regardless, it is the fourth most watched series finale in American TV history.
1 Six Feet Under (Awesome)
Critics have called Six Feet Under’s final episode as “one of the finest series finales in the history of television.” Six Feet Under is often considered one of the greatest dramas of all time. It aired from June 3, 2001 to August 21, 2005 for 5 seasons. It starred Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy, and Lauren Ambrose. The series won 9 Emmy Awards and gained huge ratings for HBO. The series was praised for the writing and impressive cast. The series finale, “Everyone’s Waiting,” is highly regarded and praised for concluding storylines and giving fans the ultimate ending. The episode ends with an incredibly beautiful and emotional montage set to Sia Furler’s “Breathe Me.” The ending features Claire (Ambrose) driving away as it flash-forwards to key events in the characters' futures including all the main character deaths. It not only concluded the series but also gave closure to each character’s lives after the series ends.
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