When a beloved television show ends, it's not unlike the death of a close friend (the kind who tries to sell you bullshit you don't need every ten minutes or so). It's hard to say goodbye after spending years laughing along with the lovable Friends, or solving mysteries with Columbo, or letting the Cheers gang enable your crippling drinking problem.
Unfortunately, TV show finales have a grand tradition of sucking. If you thought the worst example was when The Sopranos simply cut to black or when Lost implied that the whole show was the dream of a character in a novel in a library that was inside a snow globe owned by Hitler, then you must have missed ...
7The X-Files Brought Mulder Back ... Then Instantly Threw Him In Jail
The X-Files is one of the best shows of all time. It reliably churned out spooky paranormal mysteries on a weekly basis, while simultaneously educating Americans about how every state in the U.S. looks exactly like Vancouver. By the last season, David Duchovny had left the show and been replaced by an aging T-1000, but the final episode promised a return to greatness. Duchovny would be back! Everything would be explained! Mulder and Scully would have sweaty, on-camera sex!
And sure enough, the finale starts out excitingly: Mulder breaks into a government facility and electrocutes an alien disguised as a human soldier. Unfortunately for fans of Mulder and story momentum in general, he's immediately caught and put on trial for murder.
"Hey, you know what series finale everyone loved? Seinfeld."
In order to prove his innocence, Mulder and Skinner call witnesses who each flashback to different plots of old episodes, laying out the convoluted mess of the show's mythology and trying to make it sound like it's not meandering nonsense. It's the TV writer's equivalent of poring through your drunken texts trying to figure out what the hell you did the night before.
Also, for some reason, Mulder's trial happens in a shitty basement which is presumably used to store the FBI's Christmas decorations. It's pretty ridiculous that the big series finale of a show predicated on traveling the country is mostly confined to a dank basement.
And not even the kind with shackles and whips.
Mulder's eventually found guilty, because aliens, and has to escape. He reveals to Scully that the alien invasion is coming in December 2012 -- which we now know is bullshit, because the worst thing we got in the winter of 2012 was the first Hobbit movie. The show ends with Mulder and Scully shacked up in a cheap motel room, on the run from the feds, laying together while inexplicably not having sweaty, on-camera sex.
We take it back. They weren't ripping off Seinfeld's finale; they clearly modeled this after ALF's.
Of course, the story picked up years later with the second X-Files movie, which essentially ignored most of this. The FBI drops their goddamned murder charge so that Mulder can help them with a case -- and he does, despite the fact that the finale implied that the FBI higher-ups were aliens themselves. But through the magic of lazy writing and the charm of Xzibit, all of this crazy shit is shrugged off and forgotten.
Anyway, let's all get our hopes up for the new season from the same people who crapped this out!
6Quantum Leap Doomed The Hero With A Hastily Thrown Together Title Card
Quantum Leap was a beloved time travel show in which Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) would "leap" into strangers' bodies throughout history. His mission was to put right what once went wrong, while also finding the time to sleep with a lot of women ... which come to think of it, is creepy as hell. Sure, it's great that you saved that kid from drowning, Dr. Beckett, but how is what you're doing not rape, exactly?
His impact on the world population is staggering.
In the last episode, Sam somehow leaps into his own body in some kind of odd purgatory-like dimension that looks like a bar -- which, as far as purgatory dimensions go, ain't half-bad. Also, a guy who is implied to be God is there, working as a bartender. If the fact that even God had to have a part-time job in the early '90s doesn't disprove Reaganomics, what will?
"I just love offering my body to people."
But despite all the existential themes and hanging out with God, the episode wasn't written as a series finale. When the word came down that the show wouldn't be coming back, the producers employed what's known in the business as the "Poochie died on his way back to his home planet" tactic: They slapped a title card on the end explaining that Sam never fucking made it home. "Thanks for watching, assholes" was implied, but not stated.
"God's a jerk, in other words."
This is crappy for a couple of reasons. Firstly, every opening of every episode had the narrator stating that Sam hoped the next leap would be the leap home, so this is kind of a blunt way of shitting all over his whole objective. Secondly, they were presumably so rushed that they didn't even have two seconds to spell-check and realize that they spelled their own main character's name wrong. But seriously, thanks for watching, assholes.