We're coming up on that time of the year again, the dreaded TV finales. While some finales stay true to the show and offer phenomenal ends to the season (or in some cases the series), others fall desperately short. Sometimes, a show's series finale is so horrible, that nearly everybody hates it, and the reason for a such a terrible ending can be easily seen, i.e. the whole last season was rife with pitfalls, the show's been on too long, horrendous writing, etc. But unfortunately other times, the reason isn't clear, we just know that the ending to a once beloved show ruins everything. Gathered below are the 7 most disappointing TV finales of all time. (Before we jump in, please be aware there are SPOILERS lurking below, as we will be discussing the ins and outs of various shows).
7. Two and a Half Men
We really should have given up on this show after Charlie Sheen left (I mean he made up one of the two and a half men). Those fans that stuck around when Ashton joined the cast were severely disappointed by seasons 9-12. However, nothing in the years leading up to the finale could have prepared us for the 'interesting' finale. The finale focused on the fact that Charlie Sheen's character, Charlie Harper, was still alive and being held captive by the obsessed ex-girlfriend Rose. The episode did have some upsides, such as the memorable cameos made by stars John Stamos, Christian Slater, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
6. The Sopranos
The ending of The Sopranos is one of the most controversial endings in recent memory. People were left with quite the cliffhanger: is Tony dead? For several years, people were wondering if the mysterious man in the bar "whacked" Tony. However, the creators of the show believe we have all been asking the wrong question. Show creator David Chase has gone on record several times stating:
"Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point." So what was the point of that final scene? According to Chase's representative, "the final scene of The Sopranos raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer." What is the 'spiritual question' we are supposed to be asking? I honestly have no idea, if you think you might know, let's talk about it in the comments below.
5. Star Trek: Enterprise
Sometimes a cast member will come out and talk bad about a show they've been on. Most of the time, we take that with a grain of salt and assume they're just mad about something. However, when Jolene Blalock, who played T'Pol, said the episode was "appalling" maybe we should have listened. She went on to clarify that she was disappointed "the finale [was] a The Next Generation episode rather than an end for Enterprise." In fact, she wasn't the only cast member to take issue with how the show ended. The actor behind Commander Trip, Connor Trinnee, wanted a more memorable finale à la M*A*S*H. The initial backlash from these comments and early criticisms from reviewers led the studio to hosting a conference to address the issue. However, many fans still feel sore when thinking about that ending, but fear not, it looks like we're about to get a pretty awesome new Star Trek.
It's impossible to make a "disappointing finales" list without including Lost. A series that had the potential to leave us with deep philosophical questions, but instead gave us one of the worst cliches in history: everyone was dead (well sorta). What was the real problem for Lost was that the ending was quite misunderstood. Many fans thought the big reveal at the end was that everybody was dead the entire time and all the island stuff never happened. However, the intended meaning was that the flash sideways we had been seeing never happened, but the island was 100% real for everybody involved. We unfortunately don't get a happy ending, instead, the show reveals the whole reason for the "flash sideways" was a way for the Oceanic 815 survivors to "let go" and "move on." To be fair, when the finale was first aired it received a rather polarizing reviews, with some loving it and others hating it. Where do you stand? Let us know what you think of the finale in the comments!
3. True Blood
According to statistics, True Blood's finale is the third worst finale in the history of finales. For many fans, the ending was just lacking the overall feel of the series that had made it so great. It was called lackluster, disappointing, dull, and more by fans all over Twitter. In a series that normally shows huge amounts of blood, gory violence, lots of nudity, and compelling parallels to real life societal issues, the finale lacked many of those items. However, no matter how angered and disappointed fans were with that, there was one thing the majority of them could agree on: It's not as bad as the final two shows on this list.
2. How I Met Your Mother
I would really rather not even talk about this episode. It hurts just to think about what the show creators did to fans after nearly a decade. The last season should have been about turning Barney into a family man, having Ted grow old and happy with the Mother, and the audience finally learning who the Mother actually is. Instead, the series finale threw everything out the window. We watched an entire season wedding get tossed out in a montage, we saw the Mother fall for Ted and then die in a montage, and we learned that the whole point of the entire show was just so Ted could convince his children he was still in love with Robin after all of these years. If that's what we wanted to see we could've stopped at the first season. If you would like to continue liking this show, just don't ever watch the finale, watch every other episode, but for the love of all things good, don't watch the finale.
You know what, maybe 2013 and 2014 were just bad years to end a show (seeing as the top three contenders for worst finale aired in those two years). However, in a world that rarely agrees on anything, it's pretty widely accepted that the ending to Dexter was abysmal. Honestly, there was only one way to make fans accept that Dexter had to come to an end, and do so in a fitting way to the story: Dexter would have to die. However, that's not what we saw, not at all. Instead, Dexter became a....lumberjack? Really, the ending just wasn't satisfying, it was not the ending the show deserved and its not the ending that Dexter deserved. Even the actor who portrayed Dexter, Michael C Hall, was disappointed with the finale arc in his character's story (because it's disappointing for a mass serial killer to pick up an ax and use it for its intended purpose), but he also saw where the show's writers were coming from:
"Given what [Dexter] had been through," Hall explained, "and his attempts to have his cake and eat it too in regards to indulging his compulsion to kill AND have a more authentic life, his self-imposed exile did resonate. I think Dexter came to believe that... anything he touched would eventually be destroyed and so he felt he needed to let it all go. Of course, Dexter is also a pragmatist and a self-preservationalist so he didn't do himself in. But rather put himself on hold."
While the sentiment is on the right track, the finale is still the worst we've seen. But perhaps, the single episode isn't to blame, as the entire last season was in a desperately sad state, but the finale's events made no sense whatsoever when thinking about what Dexter was really all about.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end (including this article). Some series really know how to end a show (notable examples include Glee, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Cheers), whereas others just leave fans with a stark feeling of disappointment. As we move into finale season, let us hope that our favorite shows don't manage to find their ways onto this list.