Now that most of the hype about that disgusting series finale of How I Met Your Mother is dying down, I thought I would take a look at some other finales that did a much better job wrapping up the show.
Aired: February 28, 1983
M*A*S*H is one of the few shows that appears on most “best series finales lists”, and definitely deserves a mention on mine. I never got into M*A*SH until I was a lot older, and I remember it being on TV after school when I was about ten, and I remember hating it. But when I watched it again as an adult, and learned how great it was, and how great the writers were at mixing the perfect amount of drama and comedy to make you cry because you’re happy and sad, I watched the last episode with a big amount of sadness because there wouldn’t be any more episodes. The finale brought the Korean War to a close, and with it the emotional costs of war. Tragic, poignant and funny, the final goodbye was everything it should have been.
Six Feet Under
Aired: August 21, 2005
Of course everyone had to die. The finale managed to kill off all the main characters in an emotional, powerful way that somehow left you feeling positive about the whole thing. When Clare died, the show ends, and you know it’s the end. No sequels, no spin offs. It’s all gone. And it’s okay.
Aired: October 06, 2007
The Sopranos is a sore point for many a devoted viewer. I was left shocked, confused and a little empty when that black screen appeared and didn’t go away. So many questions.. "Made in America" was a glorious piece of extended suspense, and is one of the few finales that will have people talking about it for years and years, whether they were happy with it or not.
Aired: May 06, 2004
Friends was probably the biggest show of my generation. It the last couple of seasons it kind of lost its appeal as other shows came out and appealed to my sense of humour. But when they finally announced the last ever season, it was like the world suddenly jumped back on the Friends bandwagon. These days people complain about how terrible it was because of its lack of diversity, and maybe they are right, but I don’t care. The finale did everything it was supposed to. There was the lead up to the twist that had me yelling at the screen, the perfect resolve to that twist, Chandler and Monica got what they wanted, and the final scene of the six friends walking down to Central Perk was the best way to end it all.
Aired: May 20, 1993
It must be hard to write an ending to a long-running, beloved comedy that will satisfy everyone (apparently the How I Met Your Mother guys found it too hard and gave up). The Cheers ending managed to wrap up current storylines as well as resolve older storylines, with the regular cast sitting around the bar talking about life. The final words are the only ones "Cheers" could have ended with: "We're closed."