The best series finales wrap up complex seasons and entire shows in a way that does justice to their complex characters and lengthy storylines. This is especially true when the final episode of a season hinges on a major reveal, ends on a cliffhanger, or underscores the ultimate fate of an iconic protagonist.
Series Finales as Closures
Once upon a time in the television world, there was no such thing as a series finale. Most TV shows were episodic and although viewers came to love many characters, there were futures to be determined or story arcs to be solved. TV history was made in 1967 when "The Fugitive" provided an actual conclusion to its narrative which went on to become the most-watched television episode up to that time. This proved that audiences yearned for closure with their favorite characters.
All good things must come to an end and that applies to our favorite TV shows. It is often underestimated how hard it is to end a long-running series with a satisfying ending, according to Best Life.
After one decade of coffeehouse meetings, moments both hilarious and heartwarming, and on-and-off romances, the series finale left fans with a sense of closure. The characters moved on and went on with their lives, according to EW.
The most interesting aspect of the household name sitcom's finale is how few of the series' loose ends (Ross and Rachel aside) were tied up in the finale compared to being gradually resolved throughout the final season.
2. 'Parks and Recreation'
Deputy park director Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) attempts to make her little town of Pawnee, Indiana, better every day with a little help from friends and co-workers, reported Insider.
In "Parks and Recreation's" finale episode, "One Last Ride," the plot makes a leap forward in time to provide glimpses into the characters' futures. Critics lauded this as a peculiar and warm send-off to the cast.
3. 'The Office'
"The Office" had 201 episodes in its nine-season span on NBC. Numerous changes were made along with highs and lows. It all ended with something beautiful.
"Finale" witnessed the characters' reaction to the ending of the documentary that was being filmed the whole time.
4. 'Mad Men'
The 1960s have segued into the 1970s. The characters from "Mad Men" all experience life-altering events. Its final scene is Don sitting in a lotus position as a smile makes its way across his face. This connotes that he has finally found peace with his past.
Or... he just got another one of his amazing ideas as the scene cuts to the 1971 "Hilltop" Coca-Cola advertisement.
5. Six Feet Under
After five seasons, the sometimes twisted, often darkly funny show went through highs and lows. Creator Alan Ball commenced the series with the death of the Fisher family patriarch (Richard Jenkins) and things became death-obsessed from there.
For the series finale, "Everybody's Waiting," the theme underscores that death is the one common thing that connects us. It then brought the series to its logical conclusion in stunning fashion.
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