Vlog #17: Thoughts on Series Finales

1 Aug

Time for another vlog!

I finished watching Chuck recently, and the finale REALLY irritated me. So this week, I decided to make a video talking about series finales – what works, what doesn’t, and some of my favorites and least favorites. Below the video, there’s a more complete list of thoughts about some specific finales I didn’t get to talk about.

Breaking Bad is of course high on my list of successful finales. I know there were some complaints around the internet about it wrapping things up almost too neatly, and I can certainly understand that perspective, but it was just SO WELL DONE (and so satisfying) that I don’t care. The main characters all got some really terrific moments – Skyler in her final moments with Walt, Jesse in that cathartic drive away from the compound. Walt met the only ending that seemed appropriate given everything he’d done. And it happened in a very typically Breaking Bad style – with a lot of flare, a couple of surprises, and quite a bit of bloodshed. A nearly perfect ending to one of the best shows of all time.

CONTROVERSY ALERT! I liked the Lost finale! The series was never about the numbers or the smoke monster or polar bears to me. At a certain point, it became pretty clear the show had gotten totally lost inside its own mythology and would likely never find its way out. But the show, at its core, was always about these very flawed, very real people who were stuck on the island. In that regard, the finale delivered beautifully. The reunions were done so well, and there was an immense sense of closure for so many of those people and relationships that had been built for all the years of the show. I know I’m in the minority, but it worked for me.

Fringe is another show I think really did a terrific job with its ending. It was in a bit of a unique situation, having time-jumped into the future for its final season – kind of resetting the plot in the process. But I thought the finale was really wonderful. It brought a lot of the father/son themes between Walter and Peter full circle as Walter sacrificed himself to save the world from the Observers. Peter receiving a white tulip in the mail in the last moments is also the exact kind of little touch of ambiguity that I love in a finale.


What are some of your favorite finales?

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  • Candida

    One of my favorite sitcom finales has to be Frasier. I’m sure I’ve watched it 5 or 6 times by now but I still tear up a bit. Happy endings, imagining what the future will bring, and the characters being entirely in character the whole time.

    In terms of ideas for future posts – I’d love to know what your favorite old TV shows are. Feed my nostalgic needs!

    • I’ve never watched Frasier, but that sounds great. A lot like how I would describe the Scrubs finale (imagining S9 never happened, of course), which is another one of my favorites.

      Thank you so much for the suggestion! 😀

  • Joanna

    Favorite sitcom finale hands down was Everybody Loves Raymond. They made it like a normal episode with the theme of the entire show showing through. Epic.

    • I never watched Raymond regularly, but I’ve seen it a ton in reruns, and have caught the finale once or twice, and you’re right, they did a terrific job with it. I love shows that just do normal episodes for finales.