15 Brilliant Series That Ended on Unsatisfying Notes

15 Brilliant Series That Ended on Unsatisfying Notes

Ah, finales. The final episode of a beloved TV show is the ultimate test of a showrunner's skill. It's the last chance to tie up loose plot threads, answer lingering questions, and give fans the closure they deserve after years of investment. Unfortunately, many of our favorite shows have failed this test. Whether it's due to rushed endings, controversial plot twists, or simply running out of ideas, these finales have left fans disappointed and frustrated. 

In this list, we'll be looking at 15 of the most polarizing TV finales of all time. From GLOW to The X-Files, these shows all had the potential to end on a high note, but instead left us with more questions than answers. Some finales were so bad they were listed as the worst ever, while others were so strange they pushed the boundaries of network TV.

So join us as we take a look at these 15 polarizing finales. From zombie love stories to gelfling battles, we'll explore why these shows failed to deliver on their promise, and what could have been done to give fans the closure they deserved.

Back to the beginning, but not quite the same.

CRACKED SUPERNATURAL Supernatural's 15-season run ended with a monster-of-the-week episode about the Winchester brothers, but fans weren't happy with the finale's low stakes and return to season 1 style.


Dan's dream was irrelevant and silly, said John Goodman.

CRACKED ROSEANNE The finale of Roseanne got bad reviews from fans because it said the whole show was a dream and Dan had died. John Goodman, who played Dan, didn't like it either, calling it irrelevant and silly.

Cheat Sheet 

Deadwood: waiting for an ending for years.

CRACKED DEADWOOD HBO canceled Deadwood in 2006, leaving fans, cast and crew frustrated without a proper ending. For over 10 years, fans got teased with the possibility of a movie to finish the show and wrap up all the loose threads.


Twin Peaks: Where dreams and nightmares collide.

CRACKED TWIN PEAKS Twin Peaks' finale was a daring, risky episode that pushed the boundaries of network TV. It's still remembered as one of the strangest hours of network TV ever, with a surreal nightmare and a cruel twist.


Dexter's finale: a polarizing end to a character's journey.

CRACKED DEXTER Dexter's finales were controversial, with the first one being especially polarizing. It ignored the show's character growth and didn't answer if Dexter should be punished.


God, Starbuck, really?

CRACKED BATTLESTAR GALACTICA The 2009 finale of Battlestar Galactica sparked debate with its religious themes, and the suggestion that God was behind it all, which many fans saw as a cop-out that was, well, a literal deus ex machina. Plus, Starbuck being an angel didn't help.


Promises broken, stories rushed.

CRACKED HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER Fans hated the ending of How I Met Your Mother because it didn't deliver on the promise of Ted finding true love, and the characters' stories were wrapped up too quickly.

Slash Film 

X-Files: Out of ideas and out of luck.

CRACKED THE X-FILES The X-Files finale was panned by fans and critics, who thought it was dull and cliched. Mulder shoots the Smoking Man, and Scully says William's not her child. The New York Times said it had run out of ideas.

Cheat Sheet 

Lost in the afterlife, and lost in the reviews.

CRACKED LOST Many fans were let down by the Lost finale; it didn't answer many questions and focused on the characters' journey to the afterlife. Some answers were given, but there were still a lot of loose plot threads, leading to bad reviews.


Tony's deal: no closure for viewers.

CRACKED THE SOPRANOS In The Sopranos finale, Tony makes a deal with the Lupertazzi family and has Phil killed. So far, so good... but the show ends abruptly, giving no closure about his and his family's fate. The UK Independent listed it as one of the worst TV finales ever.


Love isn't always a happily ever after.

CRACKED THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA Sabrina's final season ended tragically, with Nick killing himself to be with her in the afterlife. It was presented as a romantic ending, but it's actually destructive and hopeless, leading to new questions and kind of ruining the series.


Here's hoping the gelflings get their happy ending.

CRACKED DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance ended with questions unanswered, so The Jim Henson Company kind of hoped for a season 2 to see the gelflings' battle with the Skeksis, and whether they could use the shard to heal the Dark Crystal.

Den of Geek / NPR 

Zombie love story ends with a bang... literally.

CRACKED SANTA CLARITA DIET Santa Clarita Diet followed Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant's characters, Sheila and Joel Hammond, as Sheila became a zombie. But it was canceled after 3 seasons, leaving fans with a wild cliffhanger as Sheila tried to turn Joel into a zombie.


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