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Greatest TV Finales


Carbomb
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The Greatest Film Endings thread made me think that, in this era of cinematic TV, we've had some pretty amazing finales to series over the years. Just erring on the side of caution for the sake of good form, it'd probably be best to put mentions in spoilers. Well, I can't seem to get the spoiler tags to work, so I'm just going to post in white, so just highlight to read.

The first one that comes to mind is The Sopranos. When it happened, it was a shock: I don't think that sort of ending had ever been successfully done before, just finishing at a seemingly non-descript point of the family meeting at a café, with a perspective shot on Tony as the finish, leaving us all wondering who it was, and what was going to happen to him and his family. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense: it would have been too obvious and a bit of an anti-climax for Tony to be killed after all the violence and death - it would have just been mundane and predictable. But, conversely, despite being the protagonist of the series and very likeable because we've been with him for seven seasons, the fact remains that Tony Soprano is a villain - he's a criminal, a murderer, a philanderer, and just an overall nasty piece of work, so he can't have a happy ending or no reprisal at all. With this in mind, the ambiguous ending is perfect because getting the viewers to imagine their own endings works much better; the ending is superfluous given everything we've seen up to this point, so just let the audience decide.

Second one is similar, but a lot more definitive: Sons of Anarchy. I loved this series (although I much preferred the first two seasons as it was just fun, with road battles, awesome-looking bikes, and Katey Sagal being both terrifying and sexy at the same time), so it was a great bonus that they had it end the way they did. Jax Teller is like Tony Soprano; he's a killer and a criminal - sure, there's probably a good man buried at the very heart of him, but the corruption has built up around him so much that it doesn't really matter any more. He's just beyond redemption for the things he's done, no matter that he's tried to ensure his young sons are out of and far away from his life. Actually telling his wife to get away, and make sure that his kids grow up hating him and the very idea of him, shows that he's in essence a good guy but hasn't the insight or strength to make the hard decisions to redeem himself. That's why the ending of SOA is so good: it's basically Jax Teller on a suicide mission, but making sure that, if he's going to Hell anyway, he's going to tie up all loose ends first and get a few last kicks in. The final scene, with Jax on his lone bike, speeding down the motorway with a fleet of cop cars after him, looking to die in a horrendous crash like his father did, biker outlaw to the end, is just epic. The track they backed it with, Come Join The Murder by White Buffalo & The Forest Rangers, is absolutely bang-on, suiting it both musically and lyrically. Just an incredible finale overall. I also love that they had Michael Chiklis driving the truck he crashes into, almost implying that that's where Vic Mackey of The Shield (which also has a pretty decent ending) ended up afterwards, not to mention that Mackey himself was a similar character to Jax.

Which finales did you think were particularly great? Like I say, probably best to put in spoilers just in case. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Briefcase said:

Do season finales count or we talking the grand finale as in last ever show?

Hmmm, a tricky one. I'd say grand finales, because season finales aren't really finales as such. Ultimately, we're discussing how stories are finally resolved.

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The most satisfying for me was the end of Six Feet Under.  Really well done.  Not sure how to do spoilers, so won't elabourate, but it was wonderful.

 

Also thought the Sopranos ended well, not sure how people didn't understand it.  The Shield also ended well, a man destroyed.

Edited by Thunderplex
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The end of King of the Hill is absolutely perfect. A programme about, at it's heart, father and son bonding ending with Hank finally having an outlet to show his love for Bobby. He always did love Bobby but his own relationship with his own father prevented him from being as close as he wanted. The final scene where they grill together is genius. 

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