The Breaking Bad finale is just a couple of weeks away, and it’s a great time to reflect on some trull terrible endings. These are the four worst finales that I have seen.
Obviously Spoilers lie within
The most popular show of the 1990s. Easily the most anticipated comedy finale of all-time, and prior to The Sopranos finale, probably the most anticipated finale in decades. Seinfeld had gotten off the rails in the final seasons, as many sitcoms tend to do. The last actual episode prior to the finale was the controversial “The Puerto Rican Day”, which didn’t air in syndication for years. The Finale featured a ridiculous plot in which the group gets arrested for not stopping a car jacking.
The ensuing trial featured characters and callbacks to past seasons, but the new original funny moments were very limited. It was actually a fitting ending to a show that had almost no continuity from episode to episode, but it seemed so janky and over the top that it was considered by most to be a letdown. Those most hardcore fans though have to appreciate the very last pre-credits exchange being the exact exchange George and Jerry had in the very first scene of the pilot.
Entourage was my favorite show on TV for a while. Starting around season 5 it really started to slip. By the end, it was going to be interested to see how it was all going to come to a close. And then Doug Ellin and the writers decided it was too easy to just mail it in and throw something together, no matter how lame it was. Vince convinces a educated, successful non-actress to marry him after a few weeks, which made no sense. Vince never seemed like the marrying type, but he just flips a switch.
Sloan is pregnant and spends the entire episode wanting nothing to do with Eric, and suddenly at the end of the episode she is ready to run off with him. Oh, and her father literally threatened to murder him.
The only semi-believable angle was that Ari would quit his job to get his family back. But moving to Italy (or France or wherever it was) seemed crazy. For someone that cares about his family, I am sure his kids were on board1.
This show wasn’t going to be easy to end, but they could have done better than this.
As this list indicates, sitcoms are hard to end, particularly ones that run 220+ episodes. My family watched this show from the beginning, and although I don’t exactly remember watching the finale, I remember how disappointing it was. Essentially the last season was total fiction, with Dan having died instead of surviving his heart attack, and the family never won the lottery. But it went further than that.
Apparently the entire series was fiction, a book that Roseanne was writing. It was like Ocean’s 122 where everything you saw was not really happening. Such a lame letdown, and slap in the face to fans. After 220+ episodes, fans deserve more, especially for a show that took so many successful chances along the way.
1. Big Love
Bill Hendrickson was a bad guy. Not Tony Soprano or Walter White bad, but still bad. For Big Love to finish with a happy ending probably didn’t make sense, but how things got there was more important. This show didn’t have a huge audience, and with a very different subject matter than most shows, it apparently wasn’t that important. I know this because in researching this piece I didn’t see it on one list of “worst series finales”.
I hadn’t seen this one since the first time I saw it until I watched it to put this post together. The way the episode was going it really seemed like the show would move on with kind of a new start for Bill, and then BAM! Bill gets shot. Not by Albie, or Roman’s ghost, or any of the first 100 people that anyone who watched this show would assume would do it. Instead, it was the neighbor, who was a minor character who most people didn’t even care about. I have never sought out reasoning for for this ridiculous decision, but there is no good explanation.