Many of our favorite TV shows are celebrating their final curtain call this month–some are season finales, some endings are just for a series. And this got us thinking of TV endings that left us scratching our heads or screaming at our TV screens, and quite possibly left us in our own little world of loathing. It’s hard enough to deal with the fact that your favorite TV series is coming to a close, but it’s even more frustrating to see an ending that didn’t live up to its hype. Here’s our list, with some help from our Facebook followers, of some of the most controversial and disappointing finales.
After six seasons, The Sopranos provided fans with action and gritty mob drama. The end, however, was nothing but a big huge question mark. In a nutshell, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” played in the background as Tony and his family sat in a restaurant. One of the last scenes is of Tony looking up upon hearing a door open before the screen cut to black and the credits rolled. Series creator David Chase explained that the abrupt ending was up to the viewers’ interpretation, but it left the fate of the characters unknown and left plenty of fans disappointed.
Carnivale, which ran from September 2003 to March 2005, was a surprisingly good series that was way ahead of its time. The show was set during the Great Depression and had two separate plotlines that collided in the end — the focus of which was the showdown between Ben and Brother Justin. An unconscious and wounded Ben ended up in Management’s trailer behind his curtain while Brother Justin died, but was brought back to life by Sofie. While this provided a good cliffhanger, it didn’t quality as a satisfying series finale since it left the door open for another season.
Moonlight fans were upset when the series ended, not because of the direction of the vampire series, but because of its unexpected ending when CBS pulled the plug on the show. Though Mick and Beth seemingly moved forward with their romantic relationship, fans will never know if a happy ending is truly in the cards for the human-vampire love story. Or will they: Reruns of the show will be paired on Thursday nights this summer with Vampire Diaries. Could that signal hope for a new season? We’ll have to wait and see.
Angel, another series that left viewers high and dry, ended its five-season run with Angel and his friends entering into a suicidal battle against the Senior Partners. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to the hype it had built up because that’s also the last that we see of Angel and his crew–and we never know if they survived or not.
Veronica Mars‘ two-hour series finale was nothing more than two episodes that were forced to answer all the unresolved issues left by the three seasons. And yet, it didn’t wrap up anything. Not even the most important question of all: Will Veronica end up with Logan? Sadly, we will never know because all we were left with was that one last ambiguous look she shared with him at the end of the series.
Though some people think The Shield satisfyingly concluded its seven-year run with Vic being reassigned to a desk job and seemingly learning nothing as he picked up his gun and head out of the ICE building, some fans wanted a more concrete ending.
Seeing Lorelai and Luke tie the knot was all Gilmore Girls fans ever really wanted, but sadly, a wedding never took place. Instead, viewers were treated with a scene in which Rory and Lorelei are having breakfast in Luke’s diner — which was nothing extraordinary considering it was the series finale.
Similar to other shows on this list, Dark Angel was one of those shows that didn’t get the chance to go out on its own terms. The show got canceled after only two seasons, leaving viewers with Sandeman’s ambiguous plan for Max, along with numerous unresolved plotlines.
Boston Legal proved that it really was an idiosyncratic drama when Denny tied the knot with Alan in the final episode of the series. Though this was all part of a financial guise designed to bequeath Denny’s fortune to Allan as Denny prepared himself for the worst, many felt like the show really jumped the shark in that final episode.
Described as one of the most annoying retcons in TV history, Roseanne‘s finale revealed that everything that happened since season 8 was made up as pages of her writings, which was ultimately her way of dealing with Dan’s death. But Dan’s death wasn’t the only shocking reality revealed in the final narration. We also learned that the Conner family didn’t win the lottery, Jackie was gay instead of straight, Darlene married Mark instead of David and Becky married David instead of Mark.
The West Wing
On the surface, the final episode of The West Wing ended on a graceful note: President Santos was inaugurated while President Bartlet left office, but not before pardoning Toby. Unfortunately, it wasn’t anywhere near as great as some of the earlier episodes of the show and, quite frankly, many fans just expected more.
Married… with Children
The finale episode of Married… with Children wasn’t exactly the kind of ending fans had hoped for: Kelly’s wedding didn’t push through, but that didn’t seem to bother her since she still had a huge diamond ring on her finger and a bunch of ex-boyfriends waiting to console her. It was already a complete failure plot-wise, but seeing the screen freeze then fade to black with white script flashing, saying “Thank you, Married…with Children for 11 great seasons and a million laughs,” made it even worse.
Got more suggestions for TV’s most disappointing finale? Share them in the comments below.
(Image courtesy of HBO)