How can a show be so good through its journey, but end in a fashion that brings about disappointment?
At this point, it is a given that your favourite TV show’s ending will never be up to a fan’s standards. Sure, some will come as close to the perfect finish as possible, while others will bungle the job beyond recognition. This is ridiculous and completely unacceptable. How can a show be so good through its journey, but end in a fashion that brings about disappointment?
Recall all the TV shows you love and wish to rewatch but just skip the ending because it doesn’t suit you? Some famous ones like GOT got a lot of flak for the way they finished of their subplots and character arcs.
With this in mind, let us try to consider the writers and producers thought process to every episode. As a show evolves, the character arcs for the show are written on a season-by-season and perhaps even an episode-by-episode basis.
So, the ultimate conundrum — should they pander to fans and give the happily-ever-after endings that are craved after and have been extensively theorized or should they add in the twists they originally envisaged and entwine ridiculous yet striking plot-lines to tie up the story arcs?
Most of the finales, fall in between these two options. This makes the ending far more unbearable than it might have been of either of the two approaches were adopted in its entirety. A majority of the TV shows usually succumb to fan pressure and adopt the fan-appeasement narrative with just enough twists to keep it unique and possible seem original. While they get the neatly tied-up, unrealistic, ending to the character arcs, they become clichés and loose their relevance quite possibly become the pain points of the entire TV show. In my opinion, the best TV ending for this kind of approach is with “FRIENDS” and the worst being “How I Met Your Mother”.
The second option however, is bound to be a unique narrative to display. Not only does it subvert and exceed fan expectations, its originality and lack of fan-appeasement will leave a bitter taste for some while others will enjoy the fresh blast of wind. Yet, these will be the most memorable episodes, most debated and definitely the best watched to get in on the action. The series finale of “CHUCK” was unexpectedly crushing but incredibly well done. Yet failures of this genre exist with shows like “Game Of Thrones” where some of the arc conclusions were digestible while others just seemed forced, out-of-place and rushed.
It is very rare that a show manages to club both for a perfect balance and deliver a resounding finale to end the fabulous series that has cultivated its dedicated fan base. And shows like “Person Of Interest”, “Breaking Bad” and “White Collar” brought about an amazing closure with such approaches.
So, what would you rather choose? A finale that is completely to your expectation and tastes? A finale that subverts your expectations and brings you something completely different? Or a mix of both that renders you emotionally stunned while bringing its own mix of twists and satisfying story arc conclusion? Personally, I prefer the second and third variety. But that’s just me.