RANKING THE ENDINGS OF MY FAVORITE TV SHOWS
A show's closing moments, series finale, or final season can make or break its legacy. Sometimes it can wrap the entire series up in a really beautiful or meaningful way. Other times it leaves you hanging, and sometimes it just leaves you mad. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
- •10 - How I Met Your MotherHIMYM was the first show I ever binge-watched, it was the reason I signed up for Netflix after my free trial ended. My days are still filled with quotes and little references to this show and when I haven't watched it in awhile I actually feel a profound sense of missing my "friends in New York" however the last season is. so. fucking. terrible. They spent two entire seasons building up to Barney and Robin and an entire season on their wedding weekend just to split them up TWO MINUTES LATER!?
- •HIMYM - continuedThe finale re-wrote the entire show and you can't even watch it the same again. I had watched seasons 1-7 probably three times (judge me, do it) and now all I can think about is the finale. I don't even mind that the mother died and actually think that's really poetic, but to send Ted back to Robin after all that?? And I like the way Barney's storyline ends, but why put us through all that with Robin first? and WHY bring up issues between Marshall and Lily again!? It all just makes me mad.
- •9 - FriendsThis is a case of my expectations being just too high. I didn't watch Friends as it aired, but I grew up hearing about it and for years had heard it was the best sitcom ending ever. So when it came to Netflix I binged through it in two months and was left with a severe sense of "That's it?" The last few seasons had so many flashback episodes I nearly quit watching completely. and the Ross and Rachel of it all wasn't that suspenseful or exciting. It left me with no desire to rewatch the show.
- •8 - Gilmore GirlsI'm actually very excited for Netflix to reboot this because I know that the way it ended wasn't what the show's creators/head writers originally envisioned. It wasn't bad, per say, but it felt rushed and didn't bring the kind of closure to such a great show that we, the viewers, needed. I'm excited to see what the Palladino's do with their second chance at ending the show with Netflix.
- •7 - Arrested Development(not counting the Netflix season here) Arrested Development was truly a show ahead of it's time. I think if it aired today, in the era of streaming, it would have done much better. It's a show that would've been hard to follow because there are so many little running jokes and foreshadowing that week-to-week viewing just doesn't support. As a result it got cancelled early, and the ending was rushed, empty, and sad. As well as full of desperate pleas to get more people watching.
- •6 - ChuckFor years, Chuck lived with that uncertainty of being renewed, including its final season. Because of that each season left off in a very vague place, and the series finale wasn't any different. It left with a small amount of closure but the ability to also keep going if it was renewed. It was a sad ending, but beautiful. It circled back to the end of episode one, Sarah and Chuck sitting on a beach, but this time it was Chuck telling Sarah that everything would be alright.
- •5 - Parks and RecreationParks and Rec had a near perfect ending. The finale, co-written by Amy Poehler, allowed the show to say goodbye to the characters we all loved in meaningful and heartfelt ways. In contrast to several of the finales above, this show ended things on its own terms. I laughed and choked up as each character's flash forward showed the ways they won't ever change, but demonstrated how much their lives had been changed throughout the show.
- •4 - ParenthoodAs early as season four, I began to realize the inevitability of how Parenthood would end, and it delivered in a way only Parenthood can. I almost can't even write about it because of just how emotionally devastating and perfect it is. Like Chuck, the episode beings the series full circle, ending with the Braverman's scattering Zeek's ashes in the same place the pilot ended, a baseball field, as a perfect cover of the original theme, Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" plays the show out.
- •3 - ScrubsScrubs (season eight, season nine was truly a spin-off) has perhaps one of the most beautiful series finale's in sitcom history. After the writers strike killed season seven, ABC bought the rights to Scrubs and signed it off beautifully. The writers wrap up the characters perfectly, closing their storylines and showing them all as move forward in their lives, The true beauty is in the series finale, combining the motifs of the show perfectly and leaving you in tears for the entire twenty minutes
- •Scrubs - Continuedand cry for the next twenty hours after finishing it. As J.D. walks through the fantasies of eight seasons, the loves, the friends, deaths, and all the lives that have touched him, it brings to a close so many great moments. Just when you think your emotions can't handle it anymore, he steps outside and sees the future he plans and Book of Love is playing and he says "Who's to say this isn't what happens? Who's to say my fantasies won't come true, just this once?" and it's perfect.
- •2 - Breaking BadThis show warrants a hundred lists of it's own, and the ending warrants a hundred-point list by it self. But I'll attempt to break it down here. At the beginning, Walter White is a character you sympathize with. He's just trying to do what's best for his family, by any means necessary. But eventually Walt's survival turns to selfishness and greed, he becomes the bad guy. He becomes a man you hate that you love. You realize you're sympathizing with and siding with a man who has become truly evil.
- •Breaking Bad - ContinuedThe finale ends Walter White's character arc in the most beautiful way possible. He dies surrounded by his chemistry equipment, having tied up the loose ends of his insanity. He, to some degree, salvages his morality and makes things right with Skylar, Hank and Marie, and in his final moments, Jesse Pinkman. he protects his partner, saving the life he originally saw as useless, setting him free to pursue a good life.
- •1 - The OfficeWhen Steve Carrell left after season seven, it seemed like @TheOffice lost a little bit of its focus. Season eight (while still fantastic television) saw the strange story arc of James Spader as Robert California and the affair between Oscar and The Senator. There were some great moments, I loved the Florida trip and the relationship drama between Andy and Erin, but in season nine I think the writers knew it was coming to an end and brought it home right.
- •The Office - ContinuedWhile it was heart wrenching to watch the issues between Jim and Pam, it made their relationship so much more real and that much more perfect. and so many characters get such perfect closure. While there are some perfect final lines, Two of my absolute favorite lines in television happen in The Office finale: "I wish there was a way to know that you're in the 'good 'ole days' before you've actually left them" and "There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things, isn't that kind of the point?"