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The 10 Most Disappointing Series Finales Of All Time

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  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 21:15 PM
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Even great series can fail to stick their landings. Which TV shows had the most disappointing finales?

p>It can be a sad time when a television series reaches its conclusion. As the old saying goes though, all good things must come to an end. Some shows are able to find a fitting way to tie up all of their loose ends which can often help to soften the blow of their departure. Unfortunately, there are others that fail spectacularly in this regard.

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Over the years, some of the biggest shows of their eras have suffered this fate, either because their endings have been rushed or because they simply haven't made any sense. Some, on the other hand, have failed to provide the answers to questions that had long been teased. Ultimately, the end result is equally disappointing for their fans.

10 Lost

Lost was a show that was renowned for bombarding its viewers with thought-provoking questions. Sadly though, it wasn't quite so proficient when it came to providing them with answers. As a result, what once came across as intriguing quickly devolved into downright absurd. The show's ending was more of the same.

On several occasions throughout the show's run, its creators rejected the idea that the island was a form of purgatory. It's just as well that they did, as many fans felt that this would have made for a terrible ending. Unfortunately though, while the island was apparently real, all of the events that happened concurrently elsewhere did take place in purgatory.

9 The X-Files

Unlike Lost, The X-Files at least tried to wrap up all of its loose ends before the curtain came down. Sadly though, it did so in the most boring way imaginable. Mulder's trial dragged on for an unbearably long time as answers were slowly drip-fed to viewers. Even then, there were still plenty of things that were glossed over.

After escaping his death sentence, Mulder and Scully then headed to the four corners only to bump into the Smoking Man again who was then seemingly killed by a fleet of military helicopters. Rather than look for a way to wrap things up from there, the show's creators instead opted to leave things open, perhaps with another movie or a future continuation of the series in mind. Both did eventually arrive and both were pretty terrible.

8 The Sopranos

Depending on who you ask, the final episode of The Sopranos is either a masterpiece or it's one of the most disappointing send-offs in the history of television. The former group will point to the excellent use of cuts to simulate perspective which paints a picture of Tony's sudden assassination without the need for a single frame of violence. The other group, however, would strongly disagree with that assessment.

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Whichever camp one positions themselves in though, it's difficult not to find the sudden crash to black a little jarring. The aforementioned cuts really require close examination to fully comprehend. In that sense, the argument that it was a poor choice of ending does perhaps hold some merit. Either way, it was a bold decision on David Chase's part.

7 Being Human

As with shows like The Office and Dirk Gently, Being Human began life as a British series. It centered around a werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost as they attempted to overcome their conditions and lead normal lives. For as great as it was at times though, there were quite a few problems towards the end of its run.

The biggest of these was that two of the show's main characters departed at the end of the third season and the third left the following year. The result was a final season with three new characters that fans really didn't care much for and a terrible finale where they travel to hell to do battle with the devil. For a show that had hit such dizzying heights just a few years prior, it was a disappointing fall from grace.

6 Two And A Half Men

While Charlie Sheen was busy winning, the team behind Two and a Half Men made the decision to bring in Ashton Kutcher to try and fill the void. A few years later, the actor who played Jake announced that the show was at odds with his religious beliefs and followed Sheen out of the door. This left only one man and an Ashton Kutcher.

While Kutcher's performance in the show was perfectly fine, the whole premise for him being there was incredibly inane and contributed to the show's slow and painful demise. By the time the series finale rolled around, what little that remained of the fanbase was treated to a steaming hot pile of meta nonsense that served as a big slap in the face for their loyal support throughout the show's difficult final years.

5 Scrubs

Scrubs was a very special type of television show. Not only was it consistently hilarious, but it was also able to provide moments of palpable sorrow. Better still, these tonal shifts often happened within the blink of an eye with seamless transitions that never once felt jarring. It's something that few other shows have ever pulled off and, sadly, something that Scrubs lost in its final season.

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The series had already been wrapped up quite nicely at the end of season eight, but, for whatever reason, a ninth season was greenlit. All of the core cast returned, but many of them did so in a limited capacity, appearing in only a few episodes or scenes. The result was painful to watch. Rather than another bang, the season ended with a barely audible whimper, leaving the show's legacy in tatters.

4 Dexter

In its prime, Dexter was one of the best shows on television. It had a fantastic premise, a wonderful cast, and a great production team who were able to tie everything together into a truly captivating package. Sadly, however, the bindings used were not quite strong enough to keep it all from falling apart in its final season.

It could be argued that the show had been slowly running out of steam for a few seasons by that point, but the absurdity of the show's finale left a sour taste in the mouths of the majority of its fanbase. As the walls began to close in, Debra was suddenly killed off, Dexter dumped her body in the ocean, and then randomly reappeared later as a lumberjack. Dexter: New Blood has since redeemed the series somewhat, but the original ending really was a far cry from the show's fantastic season four finale.

3 Quantum Leap

Given its age, not many people will be too familiar with Quantum Leap. This is a shame, as it was a fantastic show. It followed the adventures of Dr. Sam Becket, who was able to leap through time and temporarily take the place of other people, altering history whenever he did so. It had a little bit of everything, but the driving force behind the show's narrative was Becket's quest to leap back into his original body.

After five seasons, Becket was finally presented with a one-time-only opportunity to return to the present but instead decided to continue leaping through history to make one final change. The series ended with an on-screen message telling viewers that he never made it home. An alternate ending that does a much better job of wrapping things up did surface in 2019. For fans of the series though, it arrived 26 years too late.

2 How I Met Your Mother

While some finales can be incredibly divisive, others are just plain bad. How I Met Your Mother's conclusion is one of the latter. Throughout eight wonderful seasons, the show's creators teased viewers with countless potential mothers before finally introducing them to Cristin Milioti's character. Unfortunately, it turned out that she'd been dead the whole time and Ted ended up with Robin instead.

The twist may have sounded good on paper, but, as one of Ted's children pointed out, the story that was promised was not one about how Ted met Robin. To make matters worse, it came at the expense of Barney and Robin's relationship which had previously served as a fitting conclusion to both characters' arcs.

1 Game Of Thrones

The final season of Game of Thrones was perhaps the most hotly anticipated television season of all time. Although things had been going downhill for a few years at that point, the show still showed flashes of brilliance here and there and was finely poised with a few huge battles on the horizon. When they finally arrived though, they really failed to deliver.

The threat of the White Walkers which had been looming since the series' very first scene culminated in a lackluster battle that was over almost as soon as it began. Next, Daenerys "kind of forgot about the iron fleet" and then decided to murder thousands of innocent people, because why not? It was a real mess, so much so, in fact, that the show's fans started a petition to have the whole final season remade.

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