Fade to Black

In case you were living under a rock, a little series called Breaking Bad ended this past weekend. While I've talked about my inability to get into this show, I did watch the last few episodes (gotta be able to make conversation with people and honestly was curious). While the finale seems to be well-received, the general consensus seems to be that it wasn't the best episode of the season, let alone the series.

This got me thinking about the hype and expectations we have for finales of shows. So much emotion already surrounds the episode, as well as the need to tie up all the loose ends, all within the span of a typical episode.

Lately, by the time a show ends, it's gone so far downhill that the final episode is almost a welcome reprieve. So I turned to my Facebook "favorite TV shows" to see how those finales stack up in my humble opinion:

Friday Night Lights: I'm on the record as loving this show so much ("You'll never regret a moment you spent in Dillon, Texas" is my catchphrase in getting people to watch this show). How was the finale? It was as good as it could be. I was hoping for a great reunion with some of the characters who'd left the show (unlike some other high-school based shows, it actually let students graduate and go to college), but it did a good job of ensuring the core characters' storylines were tied up and in a satisfying way.

The OC: The best example of a show that's off the rails to begin with going completely bananas in the last season. I think there was an earthquake, a late-in-life pregnancy (or two, maybe?), and unlikely pairings between main characters. There was also a "flash forward", ugh.

Gilmore Girls: The last season was not it's best, but the finale was subtlely fitting. Nothing earth-shattering happened--Rory (my life-event match, in that we were the same age and thus graduated high school and college at the same time) got a job on the-Senator Obama's campaign, and the town sent her off, while Luke and Lorelei got back together. Beautiful, but unremarkable.

The West Wing: The last season introduced a lot of new characters (winking at you, Jimmy Smits) and also saw sadness (John Spencer dying in real life, thus his character dying). The finale was half-required plot development (inauguration waits on no man) half finishing characters' stories. A bit rushed, but satisying.

Sex and the City: This takes the cake as the best. finale. ever. I'm going to count both parts of "An American Girl in Paris" as the finale. Growth for the characters (Samantha finally lets Smith in to her heart, Miranda learns that marrying someone means marrying their family--good and bad), Charlotte and Harry find out they're starting a family (these episodes have so many great scenes between them), and Carrie finally gets Mr. Big errr John (ok, don't like that part that much). So many good quotes from this episode:

--"You three know her better than anyone, you're the loves of her life. And a guy's just lucky to come in fourth."
--"Go get our girl."
--"Today I had a thought. What if I... what if I had never met you?"
--"But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous."