What was the best/worst television series finale?
The Best series finale ever hands down was the ending of Newhart (the one in Vermont). When he woke up in bed with Suzanne Pleshette in the bedroom of the The Bob Newhart Show and said he’d had the strangest dream that he had owned a Inn in Vermont. It was gold!
Worst finale – The end of The Sopranos. Do I really need to explain why?
Although its later seasons weren’t anything to write home about, I’d have to say M*A*S*H for best series finale, as it just wrapped everything up in a very satisfying and bittersweet manner. As for worst—yeesh. I know a lot of people go with either Seinfeld or The Sopranos, but I haven’t really watched those, and anyway I have a better one. Roseanne. If you don’t know what I mean, look it up. What a mindf**k.
I’m going with The Sopranos for best because in that last four minutes you get to look through Tony’s paranoid eyes as you watch, thinking each person in the diner will off him, and you get to see the side of him you never saw before and what his life was really like. It gives you a new perspective on the whole series.
Worst is Babylon 5 which did some sort of lesson about how bad people are and it just p*ssed me off.
Panelist: Tennessee Jed
I thought Dallas was unsatisfying. That whole Devil and J.R. thing. The series was originally great fun as a "guilty pleasure" over the top prime time soap, and J. R. Ewing a great character, but it went on too long and became a parody of itself. I was a big fan of the final Soprano's episode because the viewer is required to imagine what happens for themselves. They may have hoped by leaving options open to have a reunion film down the road, but, alas, that option is gone forever. The other finale I really enjoyed was J.A.G. That series was originally pitched as a marriage of "Top Gun meets A Few Good Men". Over time, it became a classic sexual tension format with romantic undertones between the male and female leads (David James Elliott and Catherine Bell.) It became clear that those two had to get together, but only at the end of the series. That scenario is a bit of a cliche, yet J.A.G. handled it in a nice, classy way.
I didn't watch much of the show, but the Newhart finale was the best. In the final scene, Bob Wakes up from a dream rolls over, turns on the light, and Suzanne Pleshette (from the 1970s Bob Newhart Show) is in the bed and bedroom from the Bob Newhart Show set. That the second show had all been a dream by the 1970s Bob Newhart was genius -- straight up. In a drama it would be a cop out that would hack off millions of viewers. Given the nature of Bob Newhart's comedy -- it was pitch perfect. This answer is contingent on the upcoming Breaking Bad series finale.
Worst... I don't know if I have a worst either. Any show that just fizzles out like Star Trek: The Original Series...
Given that most of my favorite shows never had a proper "finale," I would say The Larry Sanders Show had the best one. The show was on my radar but I might've been too young to appreciate it at the time. Worst finale would be the one that aired around the same time: Seinfeld. A glorified clip show, with the gang acting somewhat out of character. I feel bad for folks - mainly non-fans - who tuned in just because of the hype. Thankfully, Larry David and Co. rectified this on Curb Your Enthusiasm, in which one of the plotlines was a Seinfeld reunion.
I won't even give the Star Trek: Enterprise finale the dignity of a response.