Girls recent finale ended with a classic “meh” of an exit, perhaps a fitting finale for a show filled with post-grad ennui and apathy. But dissatisfaction with its ending left us recalling all the shows whose wrap-ups still leave us fuming to this day. So sit back and get your rage on as you recall how much these sucked.
With “The Final Problem” standing as the potential final Sherlock episode, the fact that it was a complete and utter suckfest that felt like it was written by space aliens doing a spoof left viewers more unsatisfied than the incompetence of Scotland Yard. With its bizarre “Saw” -esque setting, endless unnecessary tangents at the whims of the creators, and it working harder than Gretchen Wiener to make assassin Mary Morstan happen as redeemable character – the majority of the season, but especially the final episode – sucked. No one was in character, the plot was ridiculous, and Russia thought it was so bad they preemptively leaked it and convinced half the fans it was a fake-out spoof. If that’s the end of the Great Detective, he would’ve been better off staying dead post- Reichenbach.
13 Reasons Why
A show’s ending should be just that: An end, complete with resolutions tied in a bow and gift-wrapped, handed delicately to the show’s loyal viewers who just spent days (or, let’s be real, consecutive hours) engrossed in the characters’ lives. The fact that the writers of 13 Reasons Why finale did not intend to make a second season and decided to add in the Mother of All Cliffhangers (scratch that, two Mother of All Cliffhangers) makes me angry to no end. Are you kidding, you’re going to leave one of the main characters in critical condition and another with an arsenal of weapons and a hit list?! You’re supposed to expect us to say, “Eh, life goes on. Who knows if they’re going to go on a murderous rampage or succumb to their injuries? Make your own conclusions!” I don’t think so. On that note, if these little plot twists were supposed to convince Netflix to renew for more seasons, why not just stick to one crazy storyline? Why did you have to throw the kitchen sink of craziness into the equation? Don’t leave us wanting more when your one job was to provide closure to an already intense and depressing show.
After enduring seven seasons– many of them hella underwhelming (ugh that second season)–the eighth and final season felt like a slap in the face. Not only did it involve the most contrived plot of an approaching hurricane, but you killed off one of the best characters WHO TOTALLY DIDN’T DESERVE TO DIE, and tied it all up with Dexter running off to live the rest of his days as a lumberjack??? How could you give your viewers such standout seasons like the first and fourth, and feel that the eighth could do any of that justice? How is Dexter becoming a lumberjack even close to satisfying or logical? Were you just pulling nouns and verbs out of a hat? Were you spinning a wheel, playing mad libs with these final episodes? This was some of the weakest, most underwhelming TV show writing I’ve ever given hours of my life to.
While I appreciate that the show went in a completely unexpected direction and took a big risk by (spoiler) killing off the main character, it still felt like a hastily contrived ending to a show that was really gearing up for something delightful. After watching the finale, I had assumed that the showrunners found out mid-filming that they hadn’t been renewed for a fourth season, and were forced to find a satisfactory resolution to the plots they had been painstakingly building. I was annoyed, but ultimately satisfied with a show that had never failed to delight and disgust me in equal measure, and understanding of the subpar ending. Come to find out, this was actually the planned ending all along, and the showrunners chose to end it themselves. WHY? We had just met Dracula, and he was hot, and into wildlife! Not to mention the hasty introduction of several characters who never got fully fleshed out, like the inexplicably hot woman who wore leather pants and studied “death.” (No, I’m really not making this shit up.) I wanted more werewolves in London, more hottie Dracula, and far, far more gaunt Vanessa Ives with dirty hair staring into the distance with a blank expression. Also, for the record, still enraged that Dorian Grey betrayed Lily and kept her from slaughtering all men and creating an empire of women.
First let’s talk about what I loved about The CW hit. Mostly the fashion and how far removed from my life every single storyline was. I was as interested in it as I would be about a totally unfathomable space opera (someone should write that TBH). Let’s get into it. Dan should not be Gossip Girl, but even if he was he should not have ended up happily ever after. Telling the truth about ruining the lives of all the people he claims to care about should not land him in his dream relationship with his dream girl with his dream job living in the Upper East Side. The idea that everyone whose lives he’d basically made it his mission to ruin became something of themselves doesn’t mean that he should get off scot free. We all know it would’ve taken another ten years for Chuck to be ready for a kid, and Nate never wanted the family responsibility, and how would someone with the skeletons in his closet get elected; it feels like a sell out. Poor Serena, she’s so close to basically becoming Lily and we all know that went well. Overall, I am still mad about the investment into these people and how in the epilogue I felt like I didn’t know them at all.
Gilmore Girls (A Year in the Life)
I’ve made my peace with the original ending. It felt like closure in a lot of ways real life closure feels, something is resolved and you’ll figure out soon you’re okay but you aren’t jumping up and down about it.
A Year in the Life just pummeled that feeling into the ground. Not only was it lazy storytelling and a reboot of the most irritating parts of the main characters’ personalities. It made all those happy feelings for the original just float on away. This sequel was basically a reboot with the same cast (RIP Ed Herrmann) and a 15 year time difference. With all the build up surrounding this story we all hoped that it would bring a little bit of that Stars Hollow music back into our lives. Instead, all we learned was that you can never go home again and some things are best left to our memories and not the reality of the story.
After seven seasons as a cultural phenomenon known for weirding people out on a weekly basis, The X-Files hit a major bump in the road when David Duchovny decided he wanted to leave the series to work on other projects. What followed his exit will be forever remembered by history as one of those moments where it’s unbelievable that nobody in the room thought it was a bad idea. The show continued on for two seasons without Mulder (save for an occasional appearance to see his miracle baby), which made literally no sense considering that he was the only reason the X-Files were open to begin with. In an attempt to fill the void left by the missing relationship between Mulder and Scully, Fox introduced two new characters, Reyes and Doggett, whose relationship seemed no more comfortable than yanking Mulder’s pencils out of the ceiling tiles and shoving them directly into your eye.
Fifteen years after the original series ended, and Duchovny publicly acknowledged that being known for a character is indeed a good thing, the series returned for an underwhelming tenth season – with blessedly few appearances by Reyes and Doggett. Fox just announced last week that an eleventh season will be coming later this year, so here’s hoping the show finds a little of its original magic.