Great Series worth the effort

Trying to avoid spoilers, though using the

My buddy says that's why he cannot give too much attention to long running shows that should have some kind of satisfying conclusion. I think that short sighted. Off hand, I can think of a number of shows that did satisfy:

The Great:
Star Trek Next Generation: "All Good Things"
Sopranos: "Made in America"
Breaking Bad: "Felina"
Mad Men: "Person to Person"

Your favorite series with very satisfying conclusions?

I shout this to the rooftops anytime a topic like this comes up but no one ever listens to me :,(

The Shield

It is not a short series (episodes are a hour long each and there were 7 seasons) but this show is absolutely brilliant. Not only is the show excellent, I feel like it has one of the best endings that has ever been made for TV. It is a show I adore and you should too damn it!

Edit: I should probably include what it is. Basically a group of cops are dirty. Like....SUPER dirty. They do some incredibly shitty things throughout the series. I don't even know if you can call them antiheroes as doing good is secondary to their dirty deeds (and usually they only "do good" like plant evidence on a guy who probably should be in jail if it benefits them). The show is not for the faint of heart but it is excellent.

I'm still not sure whether I consider Twin Peaks "satisfying" by the end of its third season/revival.

tippy2k2:
I shout this to the rooftops anytime a topic like this comes up but no one ever listens to me :,(

The Shield

It is not a short series (episodes are a hour long each and there were 7 seasons) but this show is absolutely brilliant. Not only is the show excellent, I feel like it has one of the best endings that has ever been made for TV. It is a show I adore and you should too damn it!

I will have to give this a shot! Thanks for the tip

Colditz was alright.

Most British shows qualify as this, actually. So many fewer episodes, but consequently all the fat thrown out too, so what's left is pretty tight.

I guess I have to be the one to bring up the M*A*S*H finale "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen." The most watched television episode ever. CBS charged more for a commercial during this episode than NBC did for a superbowl spot that year. Ending a show after over 200 episodes has probably never been done so well.

Gorfias:

Your favorite series with very satisfying conclusions?

This is going to be stretching the definition of "favourite series," but if I think of series that fully concluded in a very satisfactory manner, I can nominate:

-Avatar: The Last Airbender
-Farscape
-Firefly
-Lost

The Night Manager, if an arms dealing Hugh Laurie playing a philanthropist, an out of his depth Tom Hiddleston (Loki), an Olivia Colman doing what she does best and a Tom Hollander begging to be confused with Hiddleston by the uninitiated contains appeal. It is short and effective. It's not the size, it's how you use it.

Hawki:

Gorfias:

Your favorite series with very satisfying conclusions?

This is going to be stretching the definition of "favourite series," but if I think of series that fully concluded in a very satisfactory manner, I can nominate:

-Avatar: The Last Airbender
-Farscape
-Firefly
-Lost

I've only seen one of those shows... and even I see what you've done there. Don't forget the reboot of Battlestar Galactica.

Johnny Novgorod:
I'm still not sure whether I consider Twin Peaks "satisfying" by the end of its third season/revival.

I don't think David Lynch is the sort of writer / director where the satisfaction lies in strength of conventional narrative structure. Or even any narrative structure at all.

But he's got a great oeuvre sice Eraserhead; Mulholland Drive is one of the best movies made this century, even if it will leave a lot of the audience thinking "WTF?" as it drifts further and further into swirling confusion and unreality.

* * *

I generally like plenty of British TV series; often the better ones are a little different in style to US ones, as single-season productions with 3-6 episodes of up to an hour. The aforementioned "The Night Manager" (#8) is a typical example.

I think the attraction of these can be that the creator just goes and makes it. As they're produced in entirety before airing, they can be a purer than ongoing series, which end up with re-writes and modifications to meet audience likes and cancellation threats. Things like Battlestar Galactica (reboot) and Babylon 5 were seriously messed when they were threatened with the axe, in both cases leading to a rushed penultimate season with half-arsed semi-conclusion, before ending with a garbled final season to squeeze past the botch job that they were left to overcome.

Kyrian007:
I've only seen one of those shows... and even I see what you've done there. Don't forget the reboot of Battlestar Galactica.

Um, sorry, I don't know what you're talking about. I just chose some shows that I thought ended really solidly.

I actually didn't mind the ending of BSG, but I can appreciate why people don't like it, so it didn't make the list.

Gorfias:

Sopranos: "Made in America"

From what I remember a lot of people woukd disagree.

If we're talking about shows that had great endings, I'd suggest:

-Avatar: the Last Airbender
-Gravity Falls
-Regular Show
-Codename: Kids Next Door
-Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated

...yes, these are all cartoons, what of it?

(If Tv movies counts I'd also add:
-Hey Arnold
-Ed, Edd n' Eddy)

Agema:

Johnny Novgorod:
I'm still not sure whether I consider Twin Peaks "satisfying" by the end of its third season/revival.

I don't think David Lynch is the sort of writer / director where the satisfaction lies in strength of conventional narrative structure. Or even any narrative structure at all.

But he's got a great oeuvre sice Eraserhead; Mulholland Drive is one of the best movies made this century, even if it will leave a lot of the audience thinking "WTF?" as it drifts further and further into swirling confusion and unreality.

Mulholland Dr. is, no exaggeration, my favorite movie. It used to tie with Aguirre the Wrath of God and maybe it still does (haven't seen it in a while), but Mulholland is the one I watch at least once every year.

I loved the new Twin Peaks. So I had some qualms with it, like not spending enough time with the original characters or even the title location and keeping Cooper in a fridge for 95% of the time (not that it wasn't funny and sometimes even sad), but I liked it as a new bizarro iteration, and how the show felt almost like it was changing channels in real time between characters/plots. My "problem" with the new Twin Peaks was that for a moment it fooled me into thinking the show would wrap things nicely and end on some kind of victory lap (especially after the "I am the FBI" scene). I'm mad at the finale the same way I used to be mad at the season 2 finale, which I guess was Lynch's point. But still.

Here Comes Tomorrow:

Gorfias:

Sopranos: "Made in America"

From what I remember a lot of people woukd disagree.

I'd think because, talking to some of them, they did not get it. I'll never forget, I DVR'd it for the missus. I'm getting ready in the morning and she starts screaming for me, that apparently I'd messed up. The screen just turned black. Many seconds later, credits roll. People thought it just ended with no great changes happening. They were wrong.

tippy2k2:
I shout this to the rooftops anytime a topic like this comes up but no one ever listens to me :,(

The Shield

It is not a short series (episodes are a hour long each and there were 7 seasons) but this show is absolutely brilliant. Not only is the show excellent, I feel like it has one of the best endings that has ever been made for TV. It is a show I adore and you should too damn it!

Edit: I should probably include what it is. Basically a group of cops are dirty. Like....SUPER dirty. They do some incredibly shitty things throughout the series. I don't even know if you can call them antiheroes as doing good is secondary to their dirty deeds (and usually they only "do good" like plant evidence on a guy who probably should be in jail if it benefits them). The show is not for the faint of heart but it is excellent.

Seconded. The Shield, especially the finale, was perfect. Oh Gordocki... kills me every time. It's better than Felins.
Seconded for Last Air Bender too. Since we're doing cartoons, Full Metal Alchemist, either version.
DS9 and the culmination of Gul Dukat and Dominion storylines.
Babylon 5 had a perfect send off, even with the creator turning the lights off as the station is shut down.
As long as you don't count the spin off season, Scrubs had a great finale
Also, as always, the Wire.
I liked Person of Interest finale too.

trunkage:

tippy2k2:
I shout this to the rooftops anytime a topic like this comes up but no one ever listens to me :,(

The Shield

It is not a short series (episodes are a hour long each and there were 7 seasons) but this show is absolutely brilliant. Not only is the show excellent, I feel like it has one of the best endings that has ever been made for TV. It is a show I adore and you should too damn it!

Edit: I should probably include what it is. Basically a group of cops are dirty. Like....SUPER dirty. They do some incredibly shitty things throughout the series. I don't even know if you can call them antiheroes as doing good is secondary to their dirty deeds (and usually they only "do good" like plant evidence on a guy who probably should be in jail if it benefits them). The show is not for the faint of heart but it is excellent.

Seconded. The Shield, especially the finale, was perfect. Oh Gordocki... kills me every time. It's better than Felins.
Seconded for Last Air Bender too. Since we're doing cartoons, Full Metal Alchemist, either version.
DS9 and the culmination of Gul Dukat and Dominion storylines.
Babylon 5 had a perfect send off, even with the creator turning the lights off as the station is shut down.
As long as you don't count the spin off season, Scrubs had a great finale
Also, as always, the Wire.
I liked Person of Interest finale too.

Great post. Yes, without the spinoff, Scrubs was fricken incredible. Peter Gabial "Book of Love". Crap. I need a tissue.
Shield costs money to watch now but y'all got me wanting to see it now. Thanks for the tip.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTVpoT82toY

trunkage:

tippy2k2:
I shout this to the rooftops anytime a topic like this comes up but no one ever listens to me :,(

The Shield

It is not a short series (episodes are a hour long each and there were 7 seasons) but this show is absolutely brilliant. Not only is the show excellent, I feel like it has one of the best endings that has ever been made for TV. It is a show I adore and you should too damn it!

Edit: I should probably include what it is. Basically a group of cops are dirty. Like....SUPER dirty. They do some incredibly shitty things throughout the series. I don't even know if you can call them antiheroes as doing good is secondary to their dirty deeds (and usually they only "do good" like plant evidence on a guy who probably should be in jail if it benefits them). The show is not for the faint of heart but it is excellent.

Seconded. The Shield, especially the finale, was perfect. Oh Gordocki... kills me every time. It's better than Felins.
Seconded for Last Air Bender too. Since we're doing cartoons, Full Metal Alchemist, either version.
DS9 and the culmination of Gul Dukat and Dominion storylines.
Babylon 5 had a perfect send off, even with the creator turning the lights off as the station is shut down.
As long as you don't count the spin off season, Scrubs had a great finale
Also, as always, the Wire.
I liked Person of Interest finale too.

Babylon 5's "Sleeping in Light" is the yardstick by which I measure all series finales. Its fucking perfect.

Six Feet Under.
Blackadder.
The Young Ones.

Sadly, kind of at Agema: Was the last episode of Fleabag Season 2 the end of the series?

It was spectacular.

I want Season 3.

Johnny Novgorod:
I'm still not sure whether I consider Twin Peaks "satisfying" by the end of its third season/revival.

Twin Peaks stopped being satisfying a little ways into season 2.

Casual Shinji:

Johnny Novgorod:
I'm still not sure whether I consider Twin Peaks "satisfying" by the end of its third season/revival.

Twin Peaks stopped being satisfying a little ways into season 2.

There's a definite slump as soon as the whodunit ends. Then it starts picking up towards the end with all the lodge business.

Gorfias:

Star Trek Next Generation: "All Good Things"

Perfect and gives us one of the best ships in quasi-canon.

Your favorite series with very satisfying conclusions?

First, congrats on the OVER NINE THOUSAAAAANNND post count. Second, there are a lot of good series with big payoffs here (including two particular sci-fi series, Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine), so I'll just congratulate everyone here for good taste, and add my own.

Cardcaptor Sakura. Without giving much away, you have a 70 episode series and two movies going from start of a Magical Girl to the second film being the actual finale of the series, and you will HNNNNNG for every minute of the roughly 32ish hour total runtime of the series and movies, and I know that runtime because I rewatched the whole series and the first movie before managing to catch the second movie in theaters as a part of Crunchyroll Movie Night. Which also leads me to suggesting that if you do watch the series, that you don't watch it from any source that uses NISA's in-house subtitles, because they totally kill certain dialogue related details that relate to character development, which is the series in a nutshell. I'd go further but I don't want to spoil anything, and I shill the show enough already. It just has great character development and adorable romance stuff that isn't empty corn syrup, but real sugar.

HBO's Rome
Justice League: Unlimited
Spartacus
Black Sails
Speaking of Game of Thrones, the Sharpe series with Sean Bean
Blackadder was... heart wrenching

Oh, Hell on Wheels

Hawki:

Kyrian007:
I've only seen one of those shows... and even I see what you've done there. Don't forget the reboot of Battlestar Galactica.

Um, sorry, I don't know what you're talking about. I just chose some shows that I thought ended really solidly.

I actually didn't mind the ending of BSG, but I can appreciate why people don't like it, so it didn't make the list.

Firefly. A show with a solid ending...? I guess, in the sense of a sudden brick wall at the end of a tunnel.

Unless you somehow got the rest of the series through a multidimensional rift in spacetime, in which case, do you mind uploading it so the rest of us can see it too?

Gorfias:

My buddy says that's why he cannot give too much attention to long running shows that should have some kind of satisfying conclusion. I think that short sighted. Off hand, I can think of a number of shows that did satisfy:

The Great:
Star Trek Next Generation: "All Good Things"

I don't know if I can consider a show having a satisfying conclusion if the last two seasons devolved into about 60% garbage episodes.

Dexter. One of the best comedy shows on the air during its time. Loved the homage to Monty Python at the end.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Cowboy Bebop

Fresh Prince

Family Matters

Hey Arnold

Samurai Jack

Digimon Adventure, Tamers, & Frontier

Dare Devil

CrazyGirl17:
If we're talking about shows that had great endings, I'd suggest:

-Avatar: the Last Airbender
-Gravity Falls
-Regular Show
-Codename: Kids Next Door
-Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated

...yes, these are all cartoons, what of it?

(If Tv movies counts I'd also add:
-Hey Arnold
-Ed, Edd n' Eddy)

I don't think anyone has a problem on this forum.

Leg End:
First, congrats on the OVER NINE THOUSAAAAANNND post count.

Thanks! I hadn't noticed!

CoCage:

Samurai Jack

Ooooo, I did not know it had a close to the story! Maybe its on Hulu. The Shield is, so that's the next thing I watch.

Drathnoxis:

Gorfias:

Star Trek Next Generation: "All Good Things"

I don't know if I can consider a show having a satisfying conclusion if the last two seasons devolved into about 60% garbage episodes.

An interesting thing to write. I forgot it had but 7 seasons and the first and last were hot messes except for that final episode.

Drathnoxis:

Hawki:

Kyrian007:
I've only seen one of those shows... and even I see what you've done there. Don't forget the reboot of Battlestar Galactica.

Um, sorry, I don't know what you're talking about. I just chose some shows that I thought ended really solidly.

I actually didn't mind the ending of BSG, but I can appreciate why people don't like it, so it didn't make the list.

Firefly. A show with a solid ending...? I guess, in the sense of a sudden brick wall at the end of a tunnel.

Unless you somehow got the rest of the series through a multidimensional rift in spacetime, in which case, do you mind uploading it so the rest of us can see it too?

Gorfias:

My buddy says that's why he cannot give too much attention to long running shows that should have some kind of satisfying conclusion. I think that short sighted. Off hand, I can think of a number of shows that did satisfy:

The Great:
Star Trek Next Generation: "All Good Things"

I don't know if I can consider a show having a satisfying conclusion if the last two seasons devolved into about 60% garbage episodes.

Firefly had a movie, remember? It eventually did get a real ending, and a pretty good one.

Also, I see that criticism of TNG a lot and I don't really get it. It was definitely stronger in seasons 3 and 4, but season 6 was fine and 7 has plenty of decent episodes. Really everything after season 1 is totally watchable, excepting the occasional stinker.

TheVampwizimp:

Firefly had a movie, remember? It eventually did get a real ending, and a pretty good one.

Also, I see that criticism of TNG a lot and I don't really get it. It was definitely stronger in seasons 3 and 4, but season 6 was fine and 7 has plenty of decent episodes. Really everything after season 1 is totally watchable, excepting the occasional stinker.

Honestly, I didn't like Serenity. I didn't feel like it had satisfying answers to the questions raised in the series.

Gorfias:
An interesting thing to write. I forgot it had but 7 seasons and the first and last were hot messes except for that final episode.

Most series are little more than zombie cash-ins after series 5; plenty are gone earlier.

My rule of television SF: unless the show is intrinsically about time or dimensional travel[1], the minute episodes appear about them you know it's in decline.

TNG was before the concept of strong ongoing plotlines really established - it's essentially a load of standalone episodes with the occasional reference to an old one. You could watch them in random order and lose not that much. You can see shows like TNG sinking. The basic Star Trek plot is to pitch on on a planet or asteroid belt or nebula, meet some aliens and outthink / outfight them repeated 20+ times a year. The minute they start fucking around with excessive character pieces, dream/unconsciousness imagination (including the Holodeck, which serves the same function for Star trek) and aforementioned stupid time travel or dimension-hopping plots, you know they're running out of ideas.

You can forgive the first season being as rough as hell - they're in that awkward place of finding their feet, trying to live up to one hell of a legacy whilst also needing to find independent validation.

[1] e.g. Dr. Who, Fringe, etc.

Agema:

Gorfias:
An interesting thing to write. I forgot it had but 7 seasons and the first and last were hot messes except for that final episode.

Most series are little more than zombie cash-ins after series 5; plenty are gone earlier.

My rule of television SF: unless the show is intrinsically about time or dimensional travel[1], the minute episodes appear about them you know it's in decline.

TNG was before the concept of strong ongoing plotlines really established - it's essentially a load of standalone episodes with the occasional reference to an old one. You could watch them in random order and lose not that much. You can see shows like TNG sinking. The basic Star Trek plot is to pitch on on a planet or asteroid belt or nebula, meet some aliens and outthink / outfight them repeated 20+ times a year. The minute they start fucking around with excessive character pieces, dream/unconsciousness imagination (including the Holodeck, which serves the same function for Star trek) and aforementioned stupid time travel or dimension-hopping plots, you know they're running out of ideas.

You can forgive the first season being as rough as hell - they're in that awkward place of finding their feet, trying to live up to one hell of a legacy whilst also needing to find independent validation.

Fringe was great too. I'll have to do some thinking about your Sci Fi TV rules... likely a lot of truth to them (After Season 5, typically out of gas cash ins: time travel a warning flag)

[1] e.g. Dr. Who, Fringe, etc.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here