Watching a TV show can be considered a personal investment of sorts. Most shows are on for years, and over time you can find yourself becoming engrossed in each character’s life, looking forward to the next episode every week. So when a show comes to a close, it is natural to get nervous, praying that the writers give the ending of the series some justice and avoid an eternal disappointment.
Unfortunately, a perfect ending isn’t always the case, and sometimes a bad ending can ruin an entire series — no matter how good it was. Take caution when reading this list of the worst TV show endings. It’s bound to bring up some bad memories and unresolved feelings.
Dexter truly did start out strong. A serial killer who works hard to cover up his “dark passenger” by working for the Miami Police Department while maintaining a relationship with a single mom and his eccentric sister? So good.
After that bombshell of a season four finale which left viewers wanting so much more, the show kind of lost steam. The series went on for two more seasons before ending in the most unsatisfying way possible. With our lovable murderer becoming … a lumberjack.
Yes, an actual lumberjack with an axe used only for cutting wood and not limbs. It just seemed odd, unfinished, and out of character. Needless to say, viewers weren’t the only ones who were disappointed. When asked if he liked the finale, star Michael C. Hall responded, “Liked it? I don’t think I even watched it.”
Ugh. Roseanne. There really is nothing worse than investing time and emotion into a show only to find out none of it even mattered. When Roseanne began it was offbeat and so much different than other shows on TV. While some shows had attractive 20-somethings drinking coffee and gushing about life, Roseanne focused more on the reality of the average American family.
The relateability to Roseanne and Dan made the finale that much more depressing. When entering its final season, the show took an odd turn with the family winning the lottery. Storylines shifted and the entire season was just bizarre. In the finale, it was revealed that the season was all a figment of Roseanne’s imagination as she entered a deep depression when Dan actually died from a heart attack in the season 8 finale.
The twist left fans feeling gypped of an actual closing to the show, making it a pretty unwatchable final season overall.
Two And A Half Men
Two and a Half Men transformed from a funny comedy starring Charlie Sheen into Chuck Lorre’s vindictive revenge against his former star.
After Charlie Sheen went off the deep end in 2011, his character was replaced by Ashton Kutcher and presumed dead. The finale reveals that Charlie is, in fact, alive and has been kept captive in stalker Rose’s basement.
Charlie escapes and the search is on to find him. In the final scene, shown only from the back, Charlie rings the doorbell to the beach house, as a piano falls on his head, officially killing him. The camera then cuts to Lorre who simply says, “Winning”.
It came across as petty. Not a great way to end a 12-season hit show.
True Blood began with a bang at the height of the vampire craze. There was blood, sex and hot vampires. What more could you want out of an HBO show?
However, as time went on, the show lost its edge and got a little boring, to say the least. So much so that when the finale came around, there wasn’t much going on. Sookie and Bill’s story ended with him asking her to kill him, and a flash forward to her married and happily having dinner. Not much to it.
The ending felt especially lackluster as the show had declined over the course of its seven-season run.
Talk about depressing. For five years, fans watch Quantum Leap‘s Dr. Sam Beckett leap around from place to place, time period to time period, and when the series came to a close it was assumed he would go home. A happy ending for all!
Until it wasn’t and it was revealed that he was stuck in a cycle of forever leaping, never being able to leap home. The ending was especially a letdown for fans as it was never actually meant to be the series finale. NBC decided to end the show after the episode was already filmed resulting in a rashly written add-on to the end saying “Dr. Sam Becket [sic] never returned home.” Oh boy.
Seinfeld was not only the ultimate show about nothing, it was one of the ultimate TV shows of all time. So when it ended, people expected a lot. Maybe even too much. Let’s be honest. The Seinfeld finale was not good, but it also didn’t have a shot with the high expectations viewers expected.
The Larry David-written episode received mixed reviews. There were appearances from different characters from throughout the series and it just felt busy. The hour-long send-off was not at all what viewers were expecting, and didn’t really give them a chance to say goodbye to their favorite characters.
Another Showtime show that started out strong and flopped at the finale, Weeds was a great show that should have ended way sooner. Sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad, and it is better to quit while you’re ahead. This is exactly the case with Weeds.
The finale flashed eight years into the future to show viewers what was to become of the Botwins, tying up each storyline the best they could resulting in a lackluster, mediocre finale.
The one thing Weeds seemed to deliver on was gifting viewers with the original opening theme song in the final episode.
Okay, this one is a little tricky, because technically it has had TWO season finales. After some behind the scenes disagreements with the studio, Gilmore Girls writers Amy Sherman Padallino and Daniel Padallino left the show, resulting in one awful final season. Fans were not happy with the way the season played out, and especially unhappy with how it ended.
Padallino always said she knew in detail how the series was supposed to end, right down to the last three words. The idea that the show had ended not in the way it was supposed to added to the hype of how terrible the finale was.
Hearing the years worth of complaints from fans, Netflix decided to get involved with Padallino to give fans the finale they deserved, and in 2016, the revival aired.
It was exactly what you would expect from a revival and it ended with a cliffhanger. Yes, it turns out Padallino’s big finale for all these years was a cliffhanger left up to the viewer to determine the outcome.
In fairness, while the plan was always to end with the cliffhanger, there have been rumors of a second revival, so we will see. Gilmore Girls may be back for another series finale soon enough.
Keeping with the theme of Netflix reviving shows only to break our hearts, see Arrested Development. The cult classic was canceled after only three seasons in 2006, but revived in 2011 for a final season on Netflix.
The much-anticipated revival season left many fans disappointed. The flow of the show was wrong, having the actors film most of their scenes separately due to scheduling conflicts, and the story dragged.
What was once a quick and witty show became underwhelming. Since the release in 2011, rumors have swirled of a second go at a revival in the form of a prequel or a feature film. But nothing has been confirmed.
Battlestar Galactica was a clever science fiction show with a large, devoted following. After four seasons, the show came to close with viewers tuning in hoping for a solid finale complete with answers.
Instead what they got was the easy answer that everything is explained through a higher power: God. The revelation that everything is determined by a higher power felt like a cheap move by the writers, an easy way to wrap up the series without giving any actual answers.
The finale left fans enraged. The lack of a satisfying ending ruined the entire series for some, changing their entire opinion of the show.
How I Met Your Mother
Oh, this one still stings! How I Met Your Mother was smart. So smart. Too smart. The show took continuity to new levels, constantly keeping viewers tuned in and bringing back small tidbits that sprinkled throughout the series.
When it was announced that the ninth season would be its last, people were sad. Another good show comes to an end. Until the end actually came, then it was a relief. The final season was terrible. There was literally an entire episode about a scrambled egg competition.
The entire series was drawn out over the course of one weekend, Barney and Robin’s wedding weekend. 24 episodes making up one single wedding weekend. Nine seasons of Ted telling his children the drawn out, ridiculous story of how he met their mother.
All for Robin and Barney to end up divorced, the mother to die, and Ted and Robin end up together?
St. Elsewhere was a medical drama, gracing TV screens with dark comedy and drama for six seasons. The Emmy award winning show came to a close in 1988 and left many viewers scratching their heads in disbelief.
The series ended its run in the most bizarre way, revealing that the series was never actually real but dreamed up in the imagination of an autistic child, Tommy Westphall, through the inspiration of a snow globe.
The finale was a memorable one which launched a slew of conspiracy theories about TV shows St. Elsewhere crossed over with. Could those have been figments of Tommy’s imagination too?
Filling out the young adult genre is Gossip Girl. The show followed the unrealistic lives of Manhattan’s elite and the drama that an internet gossip blogger caused by posting their secrets.
Most of the characters found themselves with their lives spilled out on the web for all to see, all while trying to figure out who Gossip Girl could be.
Rumors floated around as to who she was, from Blair’s maid Dorota, to beautiful Serena, or grungey Vanessa. The season finale reveals, however, Gossip Girl was never a “she” at all but lonely boy from Brooklyn named Dan Humphries.
Since much of the gossip described intimate details of his family and girlfriends, the revelation makes Dan seem almost psychotic, making viewers wish the real Gossip Girl was actually Dorota after all.
Okay, so The Hills was never actually a great show to begin with, but it has to be agreed that the finale was ridiculous.
MTV aired The Hills as a reality show, giving a peek into the lives of Lauren Conrad as she worked her way through Teen Vogue and navigated life in southern California. After Lauren’s departure, the show continued with Laguna Beach alums Kristen Cavalleri and Brody Jenner as the main cast and ended with them saying goodbye.
As they hugged, the giant Hollywood sign behind them drops and it is revealed they are actually in a studio, further confirming that the “reality” was nothing more than a scripted show with terrible acting.
Star Trek: Enterprise
Nothing is quite as bad as a terrible series finale, but do you know what’s worse? Having the season finale actually be the pilot episode of a brand new show. That’s exactly what happened with Star Trek: Enterprise.
Cast member Jolene Blalock spoke about the episode prior to airing warning fans, “the finale [was] a The Next Generation episode rather than an end for Enterprise.“
The backlash was so bad the studio had to hold a press conference to address the issue with fans.
Yikes, not a good way to end a favorite or start a new show.
The issue with Felicity was a unique one. The show had actually already finished filming its episodes, including the perfect series finale, when the studio decided to add on five more episodes.
Stuck and unsure what to do, JJ Abrams went with a time traveling storyline that had Felicity traveling back a year earlier to change the future.
The story arc felt very out of place (because it was) and kind of stomped all over the actual finale that had been planned. Luckily, the show was able to still wrap the series up exactly the way they wanted to despite the detour getting there.
Sex And The City
Sex and the City is a tricky one, and the opinion of the series finale can be pretty controversial. The issue with it is how it pretty much goes against everything viewers came to know and love about Carrie Bradshaw.
This independent New York woman and her three best friends took on the city, men, and their careers for years, only for Carrie to throw it all away for the most uncommitted relationship she ever had a la Mr. Big?
The movie follow-ups, despite being fun, did not better the opinion of Carrie, making her appear weaker than she ever had been perceived before. The finale made the entire series about the importance of having a man in her life rather than herself and her girlfriends.
Lost did a lot of crazy things over its run, but nothing was as infuriating as the series finale. This is a show that had polar bears on an island, men living underground in hatches, and time travel, however, the finale unwound six seasons of mystery and left the viewers with pretty much nothing.
With a slew of unanswered questions, 13.5 million viewers tuned in for the finale they have been waiting for only to discover in the end scene of the cast in a church together that everyone had died and moved on to some sort of purgatory before moving on to the real afterlife together because … who knows.
The Good Wife
It is such a letdown when a great show has a terrible ending, which is exactly the case with The Good Wife. Fans were ready to tune in and see Alicia Florrick’s life wrap up with a perfect little bow.
However, the finale shattered all of that. Instead of a happily ever after, viewers were met with a scathing slap right across the face, courtesy of Diane Lockhart after Florrick betrays her in the courtroom.
The writers anticipated the backlash that was to follow ending the series this way, so much so that a video explanation was filmed and aired following the finale.
The Sopranos finale left so many viewers lost and confused, people were calling their cable companies to see if their cable cut out. This finale has been viewed as genius or horrendous, depending on who you talk to.
For some, the ending was perfect, as it allowed the viewer to determine what happened. For most, it sucked. Was he shot? Right there eating with his family? Was that why the screen went blank – or was it something else?
Unfortunately, those are answers that will never be resolved, making this HBO drama one of the most controversial and disappointing series finales of all time.
Beverly Hills 90210
One of the most recognizable sitcoms on this list had a questionable ending. Beverly Hills 90210 called it quits after ten seasons on Fox in 2000. Fans got to see David and Donna (Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling respectively) finally tie the knot! Outside of that passionate relationship, Kelly ended up pursuing her relationship with the chick magnet and rolling stone, Dylan. Many thought she should have just gone on with her life but hey. And to make things more interesting, Jason Priestley was reduced to just a video message. He couldn’t even make a return in person to give his buddies warm wishes.
My Name Is Earl
This ending still has some fans highly upset. For an ending to just be flat out bad, okay, that’s why we are here/ However, for it to be a cliffhanger that leaves “To Be Continued” on a black screen is a whole different level of deceit and betrayal. The cliffhanger was the paternity of Joy’s son. And finding out who a parent is probably the ultimate cliffhanger to set up a new season but a new season never came around. NBC had plans of picking up the show beyond the fourth season but they never got the chance to.
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
The cliffhanger from the last slide was probably the worst but this one is up there too. A time traveler appeared and dropped off a baby to Lois and Clark and he was wrapped up in a Superman cape. It was speculated that the baby was a potential descendant of Lois and Clark from the future but that was how the show ended so fans will never know. At the time, Teri Hatcher was the It girl and almost every guy had a crush on her. So to leave the series on a cliffhanger like that plus takeaway every guy’s TV crush was harsh.
Perfect, a show that breaks grounds by having an African American lead that just so happens to be the first female to play in Major League Baseball must be a hit, right? Mixing America’s past time with a strong and beautiful young lady is a great mixture, or so Fox thought. The creators, Dan Fogelman and Rick Singer ended the first season with thoughts that it would return for a second season. It took five months of waiting before Fox chose to end the series. It ended with Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) having an MRI to reveal how serious her injury was.
Well, this one was foreshadowed by the title of the show, No Tomorrow. Ruth Kinane wrote a great description of the ending when he wrote this, “Guess we’ll never find out if Xavier (Joshua Sasse) and the kids at NASA can find a way to stop the asteroid hitting the earth, or if Evie (Tori Anderson) is really meant to be with dreamy Mr. ‘Doctor Without Borders If We’re Meant to Meet Again We’ll Meet Again’ Graham rather than the doomsday predictor X-man, or if a pending apocalypse is actually great for Cybermart’s sales (people tend bulk buy in times of crisis, after all). Guess you can check ‘go crazy over unanswered questions’ off your apoca-list.”
It is said that if you enjoy shows with proper endings then you shouldn’t be viewing any series that has Tyler Labine in it. Becoming too emotionally invested in any of Labine series will leave you distraught. His track record includes Invasion, Mad Love and Animal Practice. Don’t expect a great ending to any of those shows. With Reaper, it ended before it was to reveal something that would have changed the whole premise of the series! It’s tough to say a show had a good finale when they pull something like that. Leaving fans wondering what if.
An MTV show that lasted a whole two seasons also ended with a bit of a headscratcher. A finale filled with death and uncertainty is sure to leave fans shook.
“After Max witnessed Jared shoving Carter, Finding Carter’s sweetheart lost control,” said Samantha Highfill. “In a rare moment of anger from Max, he hit Jared over the head with a bottle. Sadly for both of them, it resulted in Jared’s death. Even worse? Season 2 ended with Max turning himself in for the crime, and now that MTV has canceled the show, fans will never know whether Max is spending his life behind bars.”
Imagine watching ABC’s hit series, Grey’s Anatomy and in one season finale, the star of the show (Meredith Grey) goes under for a surgery but at the end of the episode, she flatlines. And not only is that how the episode ends but the show never comes back.
The Whispers was about an alien force who used children to do their dirty work. “And if abducting all the show’s children wasn’t enough of a cliffhanger, the season ended with Claire Bennigan (Lily Rabe) sacrificing herself to save her son,” said Highfill. “In other words, the star of the show was just abducted by aliens … and we’ll never know what happened next.”
“The pilot is the only thing I am particularly, extremely proud of. There were great moments along the way,” David Lynch said. “The second season sucked.” Not even the shows creator was fond of the second season which happened to be when the [first] series finale took place. According to Lynch, the network wanted to push out who killed Laura Palmer but the premise of the show revolved around that mystery. “That was the goose that laid these golden eggs. And at a certain point, we were told to wrap that up, and it never really got back going after that.” That ultimately is what led to such a terrible series finale.
The Tomorrow People
Just like when Neo was told he was “the one”, audiences were quickly trying to figure out just what that meant. Luckily, it was revealed as the movie went on and as more installments of the film were made. But when the main character of this show was revealed to be a special person, the show was ended.
“From day one, it was teased that Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell) was a special type of Tomorrow Person, but it wasn’t until the season finale that we realized just how special,” Highfill said. “When Stephen witnessed Cara (Peyton List) being shot and killed, the sadness he felt somehow reversed time, up until the point that he was able to go back and stop the shooter from killing Cara.”
This show ended with a major cliffhanger. Watching one of the main characters get gunned down and to have him lying down bleeding with no word on if he survived the gunshot is something the fans would like to know.
“Southland was canceled after its fifth season, which ended with the show’s biggest cliffhanger to date,” said Highfill. “Fed up with life in general, Cooper began to beat his neighbors, and by the time the cops showed up, they saw a gun in his hand and fired. The final shot? A bleeding John Cooper lying on the pavement as sirens blare in the background.”
This is a show that people are still not over. It had some of the questions answered before it was canceled but there was one big one that remained a mystery. If you appeared on someone’s doorstep after having thought of being dead, how would you explain yourself?
“Even the lyrical tones of Jim Dale’s narration couldn’t soften the blow of Pushing Daisies‘ untimely demise, which came after a shortened second season that literally opened the door to a whole new show. We left Ned (Lee Pace) and Chuck (Anna Friel) on her aunts’ doorstep, waiting to reveal that she was alive,” wrote Kelly Connolly. “And although an epilogue gave viewers a sense of what was to come, the unanswered questions — how did Ned explain himself?”
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
You would think that fans of the movies would have all gravitated towards this show but that wasn’t exactly the case. This finale was not supposed to be a series finale so that made for one difficult pill to swallow for fans.
“Even with Lena Headey and Summer Glau starring, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles had a rough go at finding a stable audience throughout its two-season run,” said Dalene Rovenstine. The 2009 finale — which ended up being a series finale — saw John Henry, Weaver, and John Connor flee to the future. But once there, no one has ever heard of John Connor.”
You wouldn’t typically expect for an HBO series to have an awkward ending but Deadwood (and the show we will feature next) did and it wasn’t very fair to the fans. An elaborate set up for a finale that would not be expanded on is a heartbreaker.
“Long story short: After Trixie shoots Hearst — making Hearst thirsty for revenge — Al, Bullock, and Star kill an innocent woman to use as a body double for Trixie and fool Hearst,” said Highfill. “It works. How is that the end of the story? Well, it’s not, and it left a lot of fans uneasy.”
How To Make It In America
This show symbolized every millennial who is trying to make it their own way in any artistic industry. How to Make it in America bolstered a star-studded cast including the likes of Kid Cudi, Lake Bell, Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk so it was an interesting show to watch. The shows two main characters (Rasuk and Greenberg) were hustling up and coming fashion designers trying to make it in New York.
The show’s second season featured a lot of ups and downs which included best friends fighting over women and adultery of all forms but it was all apart of the journey that finally led to the two stars signing a deal with a distributor for their clothes in the final episode. Unfortunately, we never got to see past that.
Here’s another show that hopped to ride the coattails of the original classic. For this particular series, show creator Bryan Fuller knew this one might not last so he purposely made episodes with that in mind.
“Each season finale was designed to provide both a thrilling cliffhanger and possible closure,” wrote Christian Holub. “Season 3 took this a little too literally, sending Will and Hannibal off the edge of an actual cliff. For now, that’s quite a Thelma and Louise conclusion to this bizarre love story. But any real fan has to be desperately aching to see how the rest of Fuller’s mad scheme would play out.”
A show that carried plenty of potential solely from the premise. However, it wouldn’t last as long as many expected and it finished with one question that many would love to have answered.
“The high-concept drama about a global blackout during which people glimpsed their futures started out compelling, but by the time it reached its first season (and series) finale, FlashForward was running on narrative fumes, ending with what amounted to a “huh?” of a cliffhanger,” said Shirley Li. “A second global blackout ensues. A montage shows what happens to some of the major characters. And then the FBI building explodes with Mark (Joseph Fiennes) still inside. Does he survive?!”
A highly popular show for the most part, which is why it was so bewildering that it was canceled the way it was. It had a dramatic ending that made fans have to guess what happened. We all love unsolved cliffhangers.
“The ending of Angel was no joke: Cordelia was dead, Fred was overtaken by Illyria, Wesley was dead, and Lorne went his own way after killing Lindsay,” said Highfill. “Then, just as Angel, Illyria, Gunn, and Spike are overrun by demons and dragons, etc. in an alley, all fans see is Angel swinging his sword toward the screen as it fades to black. And then, the show’s canceled. So we’ll assume he won?”
Curb Your Enthusiasm
In 2011, we saw Larry David take on Michael J. Fox in a battle of “who is more favored” in New York City. Fox took that victory and David was forced out of the city. After leaving LA to avoid an event he was invited to, he chose to go to New York but that didn’t end up going too well, clearly. Once he was kicked from the city, he and J.B. Smooth uproot and go to Paris. The final scene was David arguing with some random person in a different language, in true Larry David fashion. Does he stay in Paris or was this a temporary thing? That was how the show ended but luckily the series returned six years later to answer our questions revolving around David.
The King of Queens
The King Of Queens gave us nine seasons of heartwarming hilarity. The chemistry between Kevin James and Leah Remini was undeniable (so undeniable, Remini recently joined the cast of James’ new show, Kevin Can Wait). The show realistically depicted the ups and downs of marriage – the sometimes rivalry and passive aggressive nature in long term relationships between two middle class people. Unfortunately, the finale played into overdone tropes and was far from realistic. After years of thinking about having kids, Doug and Carrie Heffernan finally decided to adopt, only on the airplane to pick up their adopted child, Carrie finds out she is pregnant. It’s a serious cliché.
The series finale of friends may have been the fourth most-watched finale in U.S. history, but that doesn’t mean it was a good ending. The ending of the series saw Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) and Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) finally reunite – and while this ties up the series with a nice little bow, it’s hardly an interesting ending. Fans of the series argue that Ross and Rachel make no sense in real life. The couple just didn’t work together, and seeing them reunite and the ending was too expected to be interesting, especially because it involved a mad dash to an airport and a couple false alarms. It was cheesy beyond belief.
Mork & Mindy
The family friendly sitcom Mork & Mindy was already pretty wacky. Robin Williams starred as a kooky alien from the planet Ork. It definitely had its fair share of weirdness, but the three part finale was out of control. In the finale Mork and Mindy duke it out with an alien trying to kill Mork by sending suicide-bombing robots into Mindy’s apartment. That’s pretty darn dark for such a comedic show. If that wasn’t bad enough, the pair go back in time with a pair of time-travel shoes. Unfortunately, the shoes break and Mork and Mindy are seemingly forever stuck in the prehistoric age. They eventually boot the faulty shoes up again and fly into a vortex where they apparently remain forever (because that’s where the episode ends). How is that an ending?
The entire premise around Smallville was that we got to see the very beginnings of Superman. We watched him grow up and save lives in his tiny town mysteriously populated with only the most attractive teenagers in existence. Unfortunately, the CW offered little when it came to finally seeing the thing we’ve been waiting for throughout the entire series.
In the very last episode of Smallville, Clark Kent is finally given his iconic Superman suit by his dead dad. He leaps up to save Air Force One, but we never actually get to see him in his Superman suit. Yup, the CW thought it was totally okay to tease us with the idea of Superman for a decade but never actually show us the real end of the story. How could Smallville possibly be complete without seeing Clark Kent as Superman?
Gossip Girl let us see a slice of life from the most elite Manhattanites. We watched Blair grow up from headband-clad mean girl on the Met steps to real life princess and Serena from drug addict to self-assured adult. Throughout the entire series we agonized over who the heck actually was Gossip Girl, the anonymous blogger who tormented the Upper East Side and was voiced by Kristen Bell. Spoiler alert, but it turned out to be Dan (a.k.a Lonely Boy). Why would Dan have been voiced by Kristen Bell? Why would he have written life-ruining things about himself in the third person? It doesn’t make sense aside from the fact that he was a writer.
My So-Called Life
My So-Called Life was a ground breaking ’90s teen drama. It covered hard-hitting topics like drugs, sex and homosexuality in a way that teenagers actually related to. No show that came before it ever explored the teenage narrative in such a realistic way – with indecisive Angela Chase at the helm carefully navigating the social structures of high school and learning through her mistakes. Unfortunately, the ending was disappointing — firstly because it ended after just a season and secondly because she ended up with Jordan Catalano. Throughout the entire series we were vying for Angela to choose herself and her dreams, but instead she just chose the not-so-nice cool guy. Boring.
Thankfully, The X-Files reboot gave the series a chance to redeem themselves. Boy did they need it after what happened in the first series finale. In the last season, the spooky, alien-infested show pulled a move fans were elated by – they brought Mulder back. Sadly, that was a complete tease. Mulder breaks into a government building, electrocutes an alien disguised as a human and then is caught right away and put on trial for murder. Mulder and Scully call witnesses who provide cheesy as heck flashbacks of all the crazy stuff the pair have done throughout the series. Mulder of course is found guilty and he has to escape. He ends up sequestered in a cheap motel with Scully where they finally bang it out and release some of that insane sexual tension. We kind of hoped their relationship would be left up in the air – it was too easy to end it like that. By the way, the X-Files movie completely ignores this ending (an admission that it was terrible, if there ever was one).
Life On Mars
Life On Mars may have aired in the US, but the series was based on a critically acclaimed British TV show. Though it’s very easy to miss the mark on remakes (American aesthetics don’t always match up to Brits), Life On Mars did a pretty good job with its specific brand of science fiction crime. At least until they got to the series finale. Fans long speculated about what happened to Sam Tyler – did he travel back in time? Did he die? Was he in a coma? Nope. The finale revealed he was actually an astronaut on his way to Mars and was sleeping in a hibernation chamber the whole time. Did anything really happen?
The finale of the American version of the British comedy The Office was only disappointing because it felt too much like a finale. After nine seasons, it was clear the writers were trying to wrap everything up in a neat bow. It was basically a throw-away episode that returned to film a follow-up on the documentary we all forgot was actually the entire reason The Office existed. Fans barely get to see Michael Scott, who was the driving force behind the series, and it was really sort of anticlimactic. Fans would argue the show wasn’t worth watching since Steve Carell left, anyway.
Breaking Bad was one of the most intense series on TV. AMC’s hit show explored how one man transformed himself from the shy, cancer-stricken scientist to a brutal, soulless drug lord. The finale, though, raised a major question. Did Walt really deserve what happened to him? Walt is in complete control throughout the entire ending, and rather than tying up loose ends in a messy sort of way, it wrapped them all up in a neat bow. In fact, for some it was too perfect. It was missing a key thing: Walt’s moment of reckoning with himself. We never saw it. He committed suicide and never had to face the trouble he sowed.
Dinosaurs was an iconic sitcom in the ’90s. It was known for its humor and not for the fact that it was dark, sad and hard to watch. Despite this, the ending of the series was absolutely gut-wrenching. We know what happened to dinosaurs (the world today is living proof), but we don’t need to see the dinosaurs we love dying on TV. How is that an okay ending to a family comedy?
In the last episode of the series, dino-dad Earl had to admit that he made a terrible mistake and everyone was dying (everyone as in the entire dinosaur race). Children of the ’90s never really recovered.
Alf was a kind soul who minded his own business, collected lint and was generally pretty silly. All he wanted was to go back to his home planet, and everyone was rooting for him. After four seasons, it finally seemed like he was going to get home. Sorry, but nope. On his way back to Melmac, the military scooped in and captured him. What did they do him? We don’t know. It was probably something horrible because Alf was an alien and TV history tells us the U.S. government isn’t very kind to extraterrestrials. Poor Alf probably never made it home and the hearts of children everywhere were smashed into pieces.
We expect a lot from J.J. Abrams. The writer and producer has a sci-fi, action legacy, especially after working on the Star Wars and Mission Impossible franchises. You would think his ending to the sci-fi action drama Alias would have been lauded as one of the greatest endings in sci-fi history (or at least one of the okayest endings). Unfortunately, J.J. Abrams tangled himself into a mess of mythology. By the ending it was so confusing he ended up just racking up the death toll and wrapping it up with an uncharacteristically sappy ending that no fan of the show actually wanted.
Pretty Little Liars
Pretty Little Liars had a lot going for it. For the first few seasons, fans remained constantly on the edge of their seats, but by the series finale the show had grown so confusing and so complicated with so many twists, even the most avid fans had no idea what was going on. Pretty Little Liars was a victim of its own premise. Fans that endured all seven seasons found themselves confused at who A.D. actually was. It launched so far into the future the children on the show, who started out as high school teens, had homes and kids of their own. Aria and Ezra were planning a wedding (why the heck were they even still together when their creepy relationship walked the line of criminal?) and at this point did anyone even care?
Sci-fi series’ always seem to have a lot of trouble wrapping things up, but we expected a whole lot better from Hayden Panettiere in her hit NBC drama. The series finale, which landed after four seasons, had a whole lot of promise. We expected superhero fights, anxiety-inducing danger, or really, any sort of climax at all. The season finale was boring. It delivered none of the intensity we grew to know from the series and tons of sub-par special effects. Of course, this wasn’t supposed to actually be the series finale, but that’s all that Heroes fans apparently got.
Throughout the show, fans of the British series were hoping Dr. Gemma Foster (Suranne Jones) would finally get deadly revenge on her ex-husband Simon Foster (Bertie Carvel). We also expected Dr. Foster’s teen son Tom to break over the edge and descend into some sort of madness. We expected some sort of climax, but the series finale was a total let down.
At the end of the final episode, Gemma hops in her SUV and drives towards Sam’s back while he’s walking alone on a deserted road. It feels like she’s going to hit him. We’re begging for it, but instead she veers off and goes to meet up with her son to help wade through the emotional issues caused by his dad. It seemed like Tom was on the edge of suicide, but apparently, not. He moves away instead, and Gemma says she’ll eagerly await his return. Boring.
It’s not really shocking that Futurama’s series finale was less than stellar. The show had been losing viewers and fans argued that its final seasons were lackluster (the FOX finale was a total flop).
In 2013, the Comedy Central series finally ended with an episode set at Fry and Leela’s wedding (why was this happening in the first place?). In the episode, time had stopped. Apparently, so did the attention of everyone else. The finale’s rating was far below the show’s typical ratings. It’s not that the episode was terrible, though Leela and Fry had no business getting married, and it felt wildly out of character for the pair. It’s just, at that point, longtime fans had already checked out.
British supernatural drama Misfits was starting to get pretty ridiculous. The cast change-ups and the wild plot were too much for some fans to handle. The fans that remained for all five seasons had nothing to look forward to but a lackluster finale. The finale didn’t wrap things up evenly. It largely focused on Rudy and ignored the plight of the other characters. Not to mention, the super powers were out of control. Would Luke really launch girls forward in time to give them babies? Why? How did he know Jess would even get pregnant and why did she sleep with a stranger? It’s all very out of character.
Charlie’s Angles was iconic. Who doesn’t love the idea of three babes fighting crime? Unfortunately, the series finale showed a lot less butt-kicking and rather, the Angles got massacred. In the first moments of the finale, Kelly is shot in the head and Bosley just watches (um, is he not highly trained? Would he not handle this immediately?). As soon as this happens, the Angles hightail it to a hospital where they sit for the entirety of the episode. There’s no action, but of course, there’s a ton of cheesy flashbacks. By the way, Kelly doesn’t even die.
“People just come and go and no one says goodbye.” That quote from Don Draper, matriarch of Mad Men, rings true in the frustrating finale. The finale attempted to wrap up the stories of three of the show’s most titular characters: Joan, Peggy and Don. Only one of them got a proper ending. Peggy’s relationship with Stan was a shining, heartwarming moment, and Peggy’s ending seemed delightfully wrapped up; however, Joan’s ending was not so. We don’t know much about Richard, so their issues seem confusing. Richard does not seem like the type to reject Joan for her career aspirations, though he does. Don also seemed a bit too cold-hearted. He didn’t rush home when Betty was dying? Why? Typical Don, but we expected him to do better by the last episode.
Scrubs’ finale was doomed for failure before it even began. While many viewers fell in love with the long-running series when Zach Braff was at the helm, but by season nine most of the original characters had already bailed. The season nine finale took place in an entirely different location and had, for the most part, an entirely different cast. Why would fans of the show even care? It was like an entirely new show at that point. The season eight finale, which was intended to be the actual series finale, served much better. The original cast got to say goodbye and tie up loose ends. Season nine was simply overkill.