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May 23 2010

Ten memorable TV show endings. Guess what Yahoo UK puts at #5.

I wouldn't say she was beaming...

But I did like "if you haven't watched the show you probably won't understand a word of that".
I don't know, I think the ending to Angel stuck with me more than the ending of Buffy.
I actually thought it would be Not Fade Away. Buffy's ending was so-so in comparison, but still moving.
I wouldn't say she was beaming...

Yeah Ashley, i'd go even further and say the whole point is that she wasn't beaming (certainly not out of relief), her smile was bittersweet - the battle's won but at what cost, the future's open but now what does it bring ? The series has been about Buffy's road to adulthood, the smile is her arriving.

I'd probably put 'Angel' higher but the end of Buffy was also near perfect for that show. And they're spot on about 'Blackadder Goes Forth', not a dry eye in my house (interesting that, as it turns out, the ending was meant to be much bigger and more epic and that initially no-one was happy with what they'd filmed but because of a scheduling problem - they were kicked out of the studio and didn't have enough time or money to re-shoot it - they were forced to improvise and make do with the few seconds they could salvage. From which came the slow-mo, the freeze frame and the field of poppies. A very happy "accident").
Well (IMHO) 'Ashes to Ashes' now certainly deserves to join this list.

Like the best of Whedon plot twists you didn't see it coming but afterwards you can't imagine it being any other way.

It also meets Joss' criteria that the last episode of a show should solve the problem that brought the main character into the first episode.

The question all through the two shows has been about Gene Hunt, in many ways dominating the story lines of the two main characters. Is he a hero or is he a thug? Unlike many shows, where we would never find out, there is an answer to this and it's not the one we expected.

There's a post finale interview with one of the writers (Spoilers !!!) here. He even reveals that the writers had a bit of fun hinting to the audience that they were going to use the ending of the American version of 'Life on Mars'.


Alternatively there a 'spoiler lite' interview given before the finale here with some interesting thoughts about series finales.

I'll certainly be nominating it for next years Hugo Awards but I'm not sure if anyone who hasn't seen both of the two British series will be able to fully appreciate how well it works with the history of those shows.

Let's see if 'Lost' can do as well.

[ edited by Simon on 2010-05-23 14:15 ]
Hm... reminds me of how long it's been since I last watched Blackadder.
WSS (What Saje said - I think I haven't written this phrase in a while).
Ditto: WSS.

Also, this is such a highly subjective list. I started reading through the comments and then stopped when I saw there were more than 10 pages of them. As a long-time SF fan, the final episode of Babylon 5 did pop into my head.

And I really find it odd that The Colby's makes it onto this list but M*A*S*H does not. The finale for that series was the most watched of all time, and after it aired ... everyone knew they'd got the story, the tone and the goodbye just right.

As I say, a very subjective list.
No Six Feet Under? That was the best finale of any show ever.
Of course as we've seen in Season 8, Buffy's happy relief was short lived. Such is the life of a super heroine.
I agree with them putting Buffy on this list instead of Angel, although I would put both on. We discussed all this quite recently, but I do have a lot of problems with the lead up to the ending. I love the final sequence, but the need to unexpectedly end the show is plain to see.

The Buffy ending was fantastic on the other hand. I watched it again about a year ago, as I was starting to enter the final stage of Master's degree, and it moved me so much. I was watching it at the perfect point in my life and it had a real affect on me, more than any previous time I had seen it. I had always loved it, but that just made that little bit more special (and I agree with Saje on his description on the smile completely. I've heard people saying that she "has become cookies", but that isn't the point. The point is she is just another step closer to being cookies.)

Can't fault them with the Blackadder pick. One of the greatest comedy show endings ever.

@technovamp
Agree completely with you on 'Ashes to Ashes'. Absolutely brilliant ending. I particularly liked the way they brought a certain character from 'Life on Mars', who had always seemingly filled that role. I'm not sure whether the ending actually does make sense looking at what had gone before, but I definitely can't wait to go back and watch it all with it in mind.

Edit: I just read the article you linked to before posting this and realised that they talk about the main piece I thought that didn't fit with the ending. Very interesting stuff. Kind of blown away that they actually did intend the ending from the beginning and were able to keep it so underwraps.
Buffy's finale was fantastic. I don't know how people can like NFA or say it was better than Chosen. It was a non-ending. There was nothing special about it. The show was cancelled too soon and probably wouldn't have ended on such a crappy note.

NFA is the reason we got After the Fall and now have this continuity crisis with Angel/Twilight and Dark Horse/IDW.
RIker; the authorized, almost-canon portion of IDW's run was expalined as a dream sequence, sort of. So whatever the problems, and they are many, continuity isn't really part of it.
I know, DCA. I read ATF, I know what happened, I don't need it explained to me. I'm talking about the issues that came after ATF.

[ edited by Riker on 2010-05-24 17:12 ]
What came after ATF isn't really considered canon (by anyone other than, maybe, IDW's writers).
They've never said it's not canon.
IDW have (for perfectly understandable reasons, both creative and commercial) become past masters at NOT saying which things are or aren't canon (before 'After the Fall' Chris Ryall - who I have a lot of time for - did a truly wonderful job of consistently avoiding the whole canon issue with their various Angel/Spike series).

My understanding has always been that the comics written by, plotted or overseen by Joss are canon and nothing else can be assumed to be unless it's specifically, explicitly stated to be so (so anything post 'After the Fall' is borderline at best). If there's a contradiction between something Joss wrote/oversaw and another writer's work then, frankly, there IS no contradiction - the other writer's work may as well not exist (as far as the "actual" Buffyverse goes - the story may well be great as part of a standalone, separate reality).

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