Bad Endings

I love watching television shows, only when I believe they are really good. I can’t watch shows which are mediocre for mediocre’s sake (I’m talking to you “According to Jim”). So when a TV series hypes up its grand finale and it fails like Sarah Palin doing a geography test, it can sully the show’s whole legacy. Here are a few shows that were incredible until that final episode.

Seinfeld:
This is perhaps the cream of the crop when it comes down to “Best Sitcom Ever.” But people will always remember that the show ended on what can only be considered a complete failure. Granted, a huge ending would never have fit into the program’s general philosophy of being about nothing.
Yet, it ended with the gang getting arrested for violating a general decency code. It sort of defeats these characters’ roles because they are self-involved ego maniacs.

I can forgive this atrocity with the fact that “Seinfeld” got a real ending to make up for this one since the show’s co-creator, Larry David, gave it a proper ending on his HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

The Sopranos:
This HBO series based around the life of a New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano was one of the best-written TV series, in my opinion. For 6 1/2 seasons, we watch Soprano go from a generally likable Mafioso to ultimately the psychotic murderer he truly is.

So, when the hype up for the finale in 2006 was arriving, I purposely got premium cable to catch it.
That was one of the worst decisions I ever made.

It wasn’t worth the money for all the speculation of whether Tony Soprano dies or gets arrested. Because we will never know. It ends with a close up of Tony’s fat face while Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” is blasting and — the screen goes black.

What?

At first I thought my cable went out. Nope. That’s how they ended an incredible series, by basically telling the viewers the writers couldn’t figure a proper ending. Or, in my cynical view, more likely for a potential movie once they realize they need the money.

Lost:

This is one of my favorite shows ever. A combination of science fiction, philosophy, religion, morality and a giant pillar of smoke that kills people can’t go wrong.

Except at the very end, that is.

The final season (which I’m rewatching after work on DVD) was fine. A couple of episodes were among the best and some were — eh. But when that two-hour finale aired, I was psyched. Watching the final battle between the two forces of this mysterious island go toe-to-toe was great.

Then the final scene happened.

The so-called flash sideways (no room here for explanation) turns out to be purgatory and the people from the island move on into a bright light. It was a cheap and predictable ending for a show that was not generally neither of those things.

What made me angrier is the DVD comes with a 15- minute extra that takes place after the finale that explained more about the show than two hours of cheap gibberish called “The End.”
I could go on, but these were the main ones that bothered me most.