Endings are hard (TV endings I mean)

I have a weird tendency to not watch the ending of TV series I like. You’ll notice that I didn’t say “habit” but “tendency” because I swear it’s unintentional.

I feel like I may have told you this at some point. Did I? My memory isn’t the greatest right now, still.

To this day, I haven’t watched the finale of 30 Rock, in spite of it being one of my top five favorite shows of all time.

Property of NBC or similar

Property of NBC or similar

Part of that stems from the whole Hazel character introduction because UGH. The rest is me worrying that the ending won’t live up to the show.

I remember when Seinfeld was ending, the script for the final episode leaked a month or more before the finale aired. This was long before Twitter and Facebook, but we had email so that script made the rounds. People debated whether or not to read it.

I chose to read the script and my initial reaction was “no way is this real.” It struck me as silly and not up to the standard of the show. When the Seinfeld finale aired, sure enough: that was the actual script I had read.

“Whoa, really?” I thought. I didn’t know if I was more disappointed by how they wrapped up this legendary show or by the fact that little old me had access to the script in advance.

The funny part is that when I rewatch the finale now, I think Seinfeld wrapped up perfectly.

And I’m not just thinking about endings because of my terrible summer (not completely anyway). I also read this amazing Vulture piece on the end of Six Feet Under which is still one of my all-time favorite shows ten years after its finale.

On top of the last episode being truly perfect, Six Feet Under introduced me to Sia. Thank heavens for that.

6 thoughts on “Endings are hard (TV endings I mean)

  1. Paul

    You scared the sh*t out of me. You do a number of posts on cancer and then a post title pops up reading “endings are hard…” in my e-mail (the rest gets truncated because I have the font set too big). Whew!

  2. Candace Armstrong (@candacearm)

    Yessss, love! I have an unusual amount of thoughts on tv finales and am so glad to finally have a medium to bring them up ;). They are rarely as good as we want them to be, because we as an audience put so much pressure on them. How do you perfectly wrap up something that’s been a part of your life for the past 4-10 years? It’s damn near impossible. When I think of recent amazing finales, the main two that come to mind are Scrubs (which I sobbed uncontrollably as though I was losing my real friends….because that’s what it felt like) and Breaking Bad (which I thought was perfect, but know others did not).

    I also think depending on the type of show and the subject matter, the finale might not matter. While it had HUGE implications for BB, I honest to God barely remember the 30 Rock finale. I thiiiiiink I remember what happened, but I’m not even sure. That doesn’t take away from it being one of my favorite shows of all time. But then when I look at Scrubs, whose quality had taken a nosedive by the time the finale happened, it helped redeem the show in my eyes.

    I won’t talk about the Lost finale though. People get so angry. (Also sobbed. Loved it.)

    (Another note: Fresh Prince finale just came to mind. Also great. But back then I don’t think we were as demanding for perfection)

  3. markbialczak

    That Six Feet Under finale was a great one, Jen. I agree. It’s so tough to meet or surpass all the expectations built up over years of viewership. For example, I disliked the final scene of the Sopranos so much, leaving us hanging so much. I’m impressed little old you got that Seinfeld script, by the way. Yes, that finale does wear better after time, I agree. Getting all those characters jammed in was one heck of a feat.


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