Thursday 14 December 2017

Our Love/Hate relationship with TV finales

By Darragh McManus

There's an unfortunate irony to TV dramas: endings are what we remember most (naturally), but they're one of the hardest things to get right. Just look at Sunday's Love/Hate finale – or don't, if negative reactions are anything to go by.

But let's not be too harsh on Stuart Carolan and his fine cast: disappointing season finales have affected the best of shows ...

* Lost, Season 6

This was not only the closing episode to the season, but the last ever. From about Season 3, viewers had begun to worry, that JJ Abrams' mind-bending drama would collapse under the weight of its own complexity eventually, and the finale just sort of petered out, over a ridiculous running time of 100 minutes. A tonne of plot strands were left untied and its "they're all dead" conclusion was lame.

* Cheers, Season 11

One of the greatest comedies in TV history spluttered to a close with Sam (Ted Danson) in the bar, on his own, gazing around fondly. The producers, one imagines, were striving for some kind of "appreciate the things you have" life-lesson. The effect was more "appreciate the better episodes of Cheers".

* Roseanne, Season 9

Turns out Roseanne is writing a book about her life, and taking liberties with history – so all we've seen for the past nine years may not have been true. Or it may have.

* The Sopranos, Season 6

Okay, so this is debatable. But we remain convinced: the finale to David Chase's epic mobster series was, as one reviewer put it, "a huge f***ing cop-out". The scene is set, with Tony dining en famille ... the tension cranks up, and up ... that Journey song plays ... and then it ends. Yes, just like that. Never did "fade to black" so match the angry depression inside viewers' minds.

* And finally ... Dallas, Season 9

Possibly the worst, but also possibly the greatest, finale in TV history. Bobby Ewing in the shower – his resurrection from the dead meant everything which happened to everyone else was a dream, a notion so preposterous that it basically ruined Dallas from then on.

Yet on the other hand, we still love this scene, for no other reason than it took place in Dallas – and Dallas is beyond reproach.

Irish Independent

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