Five Best TV Series Finales

Last night, we bid farewell to Californication, one of my favorite shows. I’m writing this before Hank Moody and the gang officially go off into the sunset of their series finale, so I have no real information to add as to how good (or not) it was. But, like most people who write about these things, these occasions always find time to discuss the merits of other series finales, and so therefore I shall as well. I’m a bit behind the 8-ball this week, so let’s get right to it, huh?

5. Lost
Yeah – this will piss some of you off. Lost’s season finale was divisive, mainly on the point that the show didn’t wrap all of its questions up into a pretty little bow for its viewers to pick over them at their leisure. In the end, like most things, Lost answered some questions, and left others open for the viewer’s interpretation. It was a worthily conclusion to the show; a riddle wrapped in an enigma, with its high points coming from the emotions of its characters. Most notably Jack himself expiring with the noble Vincent by his side, if nothing else to make sure that Jack didn’t have to die alone.(BTW: For those of you who want ANSWERS! – go rent the final disc of the Lost DVD series. Watch the epilogue – about 10 minutes of almost pure answers which never aired. Didn’t know that existed, did you? Did you think they’d make it easy for you?)

4. Cheers
Six years later, Diane finally makes good on her promise to return to Sam. With unresolved feelings for both her and of loneliness, he gets on a plane to return with her to Los Angeles. But, like he always did, Sam very quickly returned to Cheers, realizing his one true love: his bar, and the friends who make it what it is.

3. Mary Tyler Moore
One of the few series whose quality went wire-to-wire, Mary Tyler Moore featured an ending in which every quality news worker at WJM is fired – except Ted Baxter, the bumbling, airhead news anchor. Such ironies are all too often present in life, and the program managed to make light of that, as well as have us laugh at everyone standing around and crying. In the end, Mary appropriately turns off the lights.

2. Newhart
Years before Bob Newhart played the New England innkeeper Dick Loudon, he played Bob Hartley on the Bob Newhart show. Bob was a psychiatrist in the city of Chicago. As it turned out – so was Dick Loudon. For the entire Newhart series was a dream in the head of the sleeping Hartley, who famously woke up next to his former television wife Suzanne Pleshette.

1. Six Feet Under
The best; just the best. The final six minutes of the series were some of the most emotional on television, set to the perfect choice of Sia’s Breathe Me while Claire drove across the country to her new life. For a series which focused on death for the purpose of celebrating life, the final scenes were a crowning achievement. Rather than write about it, I present it to you here, full and uncut, to remember on your own.