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Author Topic: Good and Bad TV Series finales  (Read 3416 times)
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cheeba
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« on: March 25, 2009, 04:51:30 AM »

In the BSG thread a good point was brought up about how many series actually have good, satisfying endings. That got me to thinking. Do you have any favorite endings, or any hated endings?

Obviously this thread will have many SPOILERS!

Battlestar Galactica - Ending was OK. Some good, some bad. Glad it ended.
Seinfeld - Controversial ending that I thought was decent and appropriate, but not all that funny.
Star Trek: TNG - I thought this was a great ending, with Q fading to black saying, "see you... out there!"
Sopranos - Overall I didn't like it much, but it's pretty much exactly what I expected.
The Wonder Years - Hated it! Kevin didn't marry Winnie! That still upsets me.

I can't think of many other series whose endings I cared enough about. Usually I guess the shows fade away for me before their endings.
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2009, 05:11:47 AM »

I'm sorry but "The Wonder Years" was the best. That the narrator was Kevin; "Those years of wonder". The best. Kevin and Winnie? Not in the real world.

Now where's my jets jacket?
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 06:01:16 AM »

Newhart - wakes up next to former TV wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette from "The Bob Newhart Show") and realizes his life as an innkeeper in Vermont was all a dream/nightmare.

M*A*S*H - hokey, but still a classic

Cheers - The final words Sam uttered to a late-arriving patron -- "we're closed".   crybaby

Quantum Leap - annoying since there was no resolution and he never got to return home.
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2009, 07:06:32 AM »

Best -
Newhart - The writers had free reign in the final season, and it was crazy and wonderful.  I doubt it will ever be topped.

Star Trek : Deep Space 9
Angel - especially the final shot

Worst -
Seinfeld - The only good thing about it was how it reminded you of all the actually funny episodes they referenced.  Pretty much all of the later Larry David scripts were bad, but this was the worst of the lot.  An unfortunate way to end such a great series.

Buffy - It wasn't a bad episode, but it needed to be two hours and the way UPN basically spit on the show and used it to promote "America's Next Top Model" was an unfortunate harbinger of bad days to come for television.

Star Trek : Enterprise - When when of the stars of the show calls the finale "appalling", you know it's going to be bad.  It was basically a big "screw you" to fans by the producers, and hopefully there will never be a worse finale.
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2009, 10:52:57 AM »

I thought Angel had an excellent ending, as did The Shield.

The finale for Buffywas a somewhat of a disappointment.  Not terrible, but I was hoping for more. 
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2009, 11:24:44 AM »

Quote from: Moliere on March 25, 2009, 06:01:16 AM


Cheers - The final words Sam uttered to a late-arriving patron -- "we're closed".   crybaby


The late patron was Jay Leno.


Space: Above and Beyond had one of the worst endings ever.

Night Court.   I've never seen the finale since I was deployed at sea at the time.  I was told that Bull Shannon was called home to the mother ship.   I should probably try to find it online someday.
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Chaz
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2009, 12:28:48 PM »

The best ending ever was the finale of Six Feet Under.  I've seen it at least five or six times, and I tear up every single time.

The finale of Heroes was just plain silly.  I mean, having a Bollywood dance number followed by Claire waking up and finding out the whole thing was just a dream?  Stupid.  Oh, btw, that hasn't happened yet, but I went into a trance and drew a picture of it in cheez wizz on my toast this morning, so it's bound to happen sooner or later.
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2009, 12:35:15 PM »

Quote from: Chaz on March 25, 2009, 12:28:48 PM

The best ending ever was the finale of Six Feet Under.  I've seen it at least five or six times, and I tear up every single time.

That was one in my top few.  Others

Newheart and the dream sequence

Babylon 5, right up there with Six Feet Under.

Jericho is up there.


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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2009, 12:36:14 PM »

I'm actually in the minority in that I quite liked Buffy's finale (but then again I think Season 7 as a whole was great).  I do wish it had been two hours though.  

Great finales include The Shield, Angel, Babylon 5, and The Wire.  And if it turns out that we don't get any more Friday Night Lights then that's okay because its finale was fantastic.  

I also think Veronica Mars finale is quite underrated.  
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2009, 12:49:27 PM »

Okay, the second Newhart absolutely. What's that he says to Suzanne Pleshette about sweaters? Seinfeld was so so and I just realized I missed night court too.
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2009, 01:12:51 PM »

Quote from: TK-421 on March 25, 2009, 11:24:44 AM

Space: Above and Beyond had one of the worst endings ever.

Seeing as how that wasn't supposed to be the last episode, I can understand why you'd think this.
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2009, 01:15:30 PM »

Quote from: pr0ner on March 25, 2009, 01:12:51 PM

Quote from: TK-421 on March 25, 2009, 11:24:44 AM

Space: Above and Beyond had one of the worst endings ever.

Seeing as how that wasn't supposed to be the last episode, I can understand why you'd think this.

No, it wasn't supposed to be the last episode but when they found out they weren't getting picked up for another season they basically slapped together a shitty ending and said, "Everybody dies."
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2009, 01:19:22 PM »

Quote from: TK-421 on March 25, 2009, 01:15:30 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on March 25, 2009, 01:12:51 PM

Quote from: TK-421 on March 25, 2009, 11:24:44 AM

Space: Above and Beyond had one of the worst endings ever.

Seeing as how that wasn't supposed to be the last episode, I can understand why you'd think this.

No, it wasn't supposed to be the last episode but when they found out they weren't getting picked up for another season they basically slapped together a shitty ending and said, "Everybody dies."

I do recall a few of the main characters dying, but not all of them.  I agree, it wasn't a good ending, though.
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2009, 01:37:01 PM »

I remember really liking the ST: Deep Space Nine finale.  Odo's last scene was great.   

There are a few newish animated series that ended pretty well. Avatar and Justice League come to mind. 

Rome's end was also good, but nearly episode of Rome was excellent.   The finale didn't particularly stand out, but it did wrap things up nicely.
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2009, 02:27:50 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 25, 2009, 12:36:14 PM

I'm actually in the minority in that I quite liked Buffy's finale (but then again I think Season 7 as a whole was great).  I do wish it had been two hours though.  

yeah, they tried to slap too much into one episode.

my pick for worst ending is the last episode of Deadwood.  fuck historical accuracy, I wanted Hearst's head on a silver platter delivered to me by Al.

I'd put Angel on my list of best endings even though they continued the series in comic book form for a 'season 6'.
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2009, 06:33:28 PM »

Prison Break could have ended on season 1 and been great.  But it was ruined by follow up seasons with terrible endings.  I don't even know how this season ended cause I gave up watching it.
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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2009, 07:38:32 PM »

Quote from: WalkingFumble on March 25, 2009, 06:33:28 PM

Prison Break could have ended on season 1 and been great.  But it was ruined by follow up seasons with terrible endings.  I don't even know how this season ended cause I gave up watching it.

The current (and final) season of Prison Break isn't over yet.
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« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2009, 09:08:54 PM »

Quote from: WalkingFumble on March 25, 2009, 06:33:28 PM

Prison Break could have ended on season 1 and been great.  But it was ruined by follow up seasons with terrible endings.  I don't even know how this season ended cause I gave up watching it.

Yeah I loved the first season of Prison Break, implausible as it all was.  I think they could have even ended it after season two.  Have them finally get away to Panama and live happily ever after.
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« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2009, 09:16:20 PM »

I don't understand why people liked the ending of Angel. It left everyone's future (apart from Wesley) in question. I should probably read the comics. Buffy's ending, while a little quick to resolve, at least tied up most loose ends and didn't make you wonder what would become of the main characters.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Perhaps this is explained in the comics, but Buffy's ending made it seem like all was now wonderful in the world while according to Angel, it was basically the end times.
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« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2009, 11:28:17 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on March 25, 2009, 06:01:16 AM

Newhart - wakes up next to former TV wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette from "The Bob Newhart Show") and realizes his life as an innkeeper in Vermont was all a dream/nightmare.

M*A*S*H - hokey, but still a classic

Cheers - The final words Sam uttered to a late-arriving patron -- "we're closed".   crybaby

Quantum Leap - annoying since there was no resolution and he never got to return home.

This is almost the same list I was thinking of. I watched all these shows and would agree that Newhart was the perfect ending. MASH was overdone it's last several years and the last episode was no different, Cheers had a good final ending and Quantum Leap was disappointing because you wanted a happy ending and really didn't get one...
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« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2009, 11:31:08 PM »

Okay,

I watched Night Court and don't remember the ending.

And How Did ST:Enterprise end?
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« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2009, 11:36:02 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on March 25, 2009, 09:16:20 PM

I don't understand why people liked the ending of Angel. It left everyone's future (apart from Wesley) in question. I should probably read the comics. Buffy's ending, while a little quick to resolve, at least tied up most loose ends and didn't make you wonder what would become of the main characters.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Perhaps this is explained in the comics, but Buffy's ending made it seem like all was now wonderful in the world while according to Angel, it was basically the end times.


both currently have their next season going on in comic book format, with input from Whedon who does the occasional issue or two.  I wouldn't say everything in Buffy's world is wonderful, and the powers at Wolfram & Hart pull out the big guns to get vengeance on Angel for what he did at the end of season 5.
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« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2009, 11:37:18 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on March 25, 2009, 09:16:20 PM

I don't understand why people liked the ending of Angel. It left everyone's future (apart from Wesley) in question. I should probably read the comics. Buffy's ending, while a little quick to resolve, at least tied up most loose ends and didn't make you wonder what would become of the main characters.

The ending of Angel was definitely NOT the intended ending for the series.  I think they were pretty much blindsided and had to completely adjust things to make it something of a finale.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I'm reading "After the Fall" now which I believe has a lot of ideas that were intended for Season 6.  Angel becomes human but still fights the fight, Gunn becomes an evil vampire, Wesley becomes a ghost due to Wolfram and Hart, Illyria shifts back and forth between herself and Fred, Spike is a champion, and Connor and Lightning chick both return as a couple as they all battle it out in Hell on Earth.

My favorite series finale was the ST:TNG finale, which actually ended at the poker table with my all-time favorite finale scene where the Captain starts dealing and Deanna says "you were always welcome" then he starts dealing and something like "sky's the limit"...  always brings a tear to my eye even after umpteen viewings.
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« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2009, 11:39:02 PM »

Quote from: Scuzz on March 25, 2009, 11:31:08 PM


And How Did ST:Enterprise end?

It got cancelled (early too) so I don't think it's fair to judge the finale as a series finale.
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« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2009, 12:32:43 AM »

Quote from: rittchard on March 25, 2009, 11:37:18 PM

The ending of Angel was definitely NOT the intended ending for the series.  I think they were pretty much blindsided and had to completely adjust things to make it something of a finale.

I'm almost positive they had notice in time to be able to write the last several episodes as a series ending arc. 
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« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2009, 12:52:14 AM »

God I hated the Seinfeld ending. I absolutely worship that show, and I can still remember the bitter disappointment from that ending. I actually attended a Seinfeld farewell party to watch it, and when it was over there was just this really awkward silence and nervous laughter from the crowd in the room. Ugh.

I LOVED the Sopranos ending, but I understand why many people didn't like it. I thought it was brilliant, though. Watching the final five minutes or so I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest. I've never experienced an episode of television that built so much tension - I was almost physically sick with dread and anticipation. When the screen went black I just had this big stupid grin on my face. Did Tony get snuffed out, or did the audience? Who cares, it was unpredictable, totally crazy, and took some brass balls the size of Big Pussy to pull off. I still feel a little chill when I hear 'Don't Stop Believin'"

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« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2009, 01:36:32 AM »

Quote from: Scuzz on March 25, 2009, 11:31:08 PM

Okay,

I watched Night Court and don't remember the ending.

And How Did ST:Enterprise end?

Spoiler for Hiden:
The original show creators came back for the final writing duties and apparently decided to drop the story arc that had been developed up to that point and advances the time line 6 years.   The relationship arc between Trip and T'Pol was dropped right after the previous episodes foreshadowed / built up to them having a human/vulcan baby at some point.  Apparently things just didn't work out in the years in between and decided to be just friends.  Trip was evidently deemed to be superfluous to the remaining plot and was promptly killed.   At the end Archer was going give the speech that was so rousing that it caused the formation of the Federation.  The writers weren't up to that kind of quality so they cut away just as Archer reached the podium.  On top of that the entire episode (series?) was wrapped as a historical recreation viewed by Riker to make some critical decision during an episode of STNG.     
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« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2009, 02:37:33 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on March 25, 2009, 11:36:02 PM

Quote from: Teggy on March 25, 2009, 09:16:20 PM

I don't understand why people liked the ending of Angel. It left everyone's future (apart from Wesley) in question. I should probably read the comics. Buffy's ending, while a little quick to resolve, at least tied up most loose ends and didn't make you wonder what would become of the main characters.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Perhaps this is explained in the comics, but Buffy's ending made it seem like all was now wonderful in the world while according to Angel, it was basically the end times.


both currently have their next season going on in comic book format, with input from Whedon who does the occasional issue or two.  I wouldn't say everything in Buffy's world is wonderful, and the powers at Wolfram & Hart pull out the big guns to get vengeance on Angel for what he did at the end of season 5.

Looks like a they've got a good chunk of the issues in TPB now, I should look into that.
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« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2009, 04:59:18 AM »

I loved the finales of Star Trek: TNG and Star Trek: DS9 -- particularly the latter, which was just so emotional for me -- even if Sisko's fate got nerfed a bit.

Six Feet Under had an amazing ending, as has been noted.

Buffy's ending is a struggle. I love that they stuck with the no-touchy, no-feely rule regarding the First Evil, but that also meant no big fight between Buffy and the last big bad. The season itself was uneven -- remarkably good during the first half, it sank under the weight of trying to find material for a spin-off during the second, only to basically right itself in the final five episodes.

Battlestar Galactica's finale was excellent, though the second half dragged a bit.

I love the ending to Angel. I thought it was perfect. I refuse to read the comics, because as far as I'm concerned, they all died moments after the last scene, because that's what happens when you fight the undefeatable evil.

Shows with lame endings: Seinfeld was awful, except for the final conversation; LA Law sputtered out; Cheers was underwhelming; Star Trek: Voyager had a crap ending (so it fit the series); and the Munsters was just unbelievable - Herman would never rape and kill his wife, no matter what Grandpa slipped into his drink.
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« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2009, 05:17:14 AM »

Pretty much in agreement with most of these. 

I did find it funny that Star Trek: Voyager had an ending that was exactly what all the fans had been complaining about, namely a "reset" story.  You know, where something interesting happens but then it gets "reset" and never happened.  That show was awful for pulling that episode after episode so I think they intentionally did it again for the finale.

The problem is that most shows fall apart far before their final episode airs and you usually end up finding the whole thing predictable anyway.  Cheers probably did as good a job as any show I can think of, at least for a show that lasted that long.



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« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2009, 07:13:51 AM »

You know, prior to the ending of Seinfeld, I liked the show.  After watching the finale, I switched to hating it.  As the finale so aptly illustrated, the four of them are just horrible, horrible people.  They have no shame, no reason for being, and no basic human dignity.  I think the writers knew that, and decided that the best they deserved was each other.  After realizing that, I couldn't make myself watch these awful people be awful and find it funny anymore. 
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« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2009, 07:21:57 AM »

I cant belive no-one's mentioned Xfiles yet..

well, it got bad the last two seasons but wow....talk about bad endings...
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« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2009, 12:53:18 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on March 26, 2009, 07:21:57 AM

I cant belive no-one's mentioned Xfiles yet..

well, it got bad the last two seasons but wow....talk about bad endings...

Heh, I don't think many people were even still watching at that point to know how good or bad the finale was. 
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« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2009, 01:46:19 PM »

Quote from: Chaz on March 26, 2009, 07:13:51 AM

You know, prior to the ending of Seinfeld, I liked the show.  After watching the finale, I switched to hating it.  As the finale so aptly illustrated, the four of them are just horrible, horrible people.  They have no shame, no reason for being, and no basic human dignity.  I think the writers knew that, and decided that the best they deserved was each other.  After realizing that, I couldn't make myself watch these awful people be awful and find it funny anymore. 

Personally Seinfeld is my favorite TV show of all time.  I thought the finale was a perfect way to end the show.  Convicting the 4 of them of "Criminal Indifference." was brilliant.  It fit what the show was about.  Having a way to bring back all of the classic characters was an additional bonus.

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« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2009, 01:56:18 PM »

I thought of one this morning - a very short-lived series, but I really liked the way it ended. Surface. I don't think the ending was even meant to be a series finale, but it worked very well tying up the story in a very dark way.
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« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2009, 01:57:44 PM »

Quote from: Sarkus on March 26, 2009, 05:17:14 AM

I did find it funny that Star Trek: Voyager had an ending that was exactly what all the fans had been complaining about, namely a "reset" story.  You know, where something interesting happens but then it gets "reset" and never happened.  That show was awful for pulling that episode after episode so I think they intentionally did it again for the finale.

I think Voyager did a 'reset' show like 5 or 6 times total over the course of its 7 year run. I wouldn't exactly call it 'episode after episode'. And the final episode at least spruced up their return home (they got home normally after 30 some years verses doing it really really quickly).

And besides - it's still a FAR better ending then how that tripe Enterprise ended.
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« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2009, 02:19:24 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on March 26, 2009, 01:56:18 PM

I thought of one this morning - a very short-lived series, but I really liked the way it ended. Surface. I don't think the ending was even meant to be a series finale, but it worked very well tying up the story in a very dark way.

I need to add that to my Netflix queue.  it came out at the same time as Invasion, and there was also something else in the same time slot that I was DVR'ing so it got lost in the shuffle.
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« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2009, 02:23:12 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on March 26, 2009, 01:57:44 PM

I think Voyager did a 'reset' show like 5 or 6 times total over the course of its 7 year run. I wouldn't exactly call it 'episode after episode'. And the final episode at least spruced up their return home (they got home normally after 30 some years verses doing it really really quickly).
Wait, I thought they did get home early. They managed to get into some Borg slipstream or something, and a Borg ship came through towards Earth and exploded with Voyager right behind it or something. I forget how they destroyed the Borg though.
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« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2009, 02:30:12 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on March 26, 2009, 02:23:12 PM

Quote from: Destructor on March 26, 2009, 01:57:44 PM

I think Voyager did a 'reset' show like 5 or 6 times total over the course of its 7 year run. I wouldn't exactly call it 'episode after episode'. And the final episode at least spruced up their return home (they got home normally after 30 some years verses doing it really really quickly).
Wait, I thought they did get home early. They managed to get into some Borg slipstream or something, and a Borg ship came through towards Earth and exploded with Voyager right behind it or something. I forget how they destroyed the Borg though.

they inverted the midichlorian stream of the FTL which caused a protonic reverasal which in turn caused all the Borg molecules got vacuumed into the deflector array and then immediately shot back out in an ionic barrage that entered the remaining flux capacitor, which was the size of a wamp rat.
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« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2009, 02:33:19 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on March 26, 2009, 01:46:19 PM

Quote from: Chaz on March 26, 2009, 07:13:51 AM

You know, prior to the ending of Seinfeld, I liked the show.  After watching the finale, I switched to hating it.  As the finale so aptly illustrated, the four of them are just horrible, horrible people.  They have no shame, no reason for being, and no basic human dignity.  I think the writers knew that, and decided that the best they deserved was each other.  After realizing that, I couldn't make myself watch these awful people be awful and find it funny anymore. 

Personally Seinfeld is my favorite TV show of all time.  I thought the finale was a perfect way to end the show.  Convicting the 4 of them of "Criminal Indifference." was brilliant.  It fit what the show was about.  Having a way to bring back all of the classic characters was an additional bonus.

Wasn't there something about their final conversation in the jail cell a continuation of a conversation they were having in the pilot episode? I never watched the two episodes back to back to confirm this.
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