Creating these lists is a tricky affair since “best” is such an objective term, and “all time” is sort of a misnomer; a child of the Internet Age can scarcely appreciate the achievement of 1950s television, given how much the medium has evolved. Comparing I Love Lucy with Seinfeld is about as reasonable as comparing caterpillars to butterflies.
Since great television does not exist in a vacuum, the best way to classify a quintet of the best all-time season finales is by working with five separate categories. Note that some of the explanations will seem vague; this is to spare any spoilers for those who have yet to watch the shows included and would like to do so without knowing the ending to a season or series.
The most-watched broadcast in the history of TV is bound to end up on list of this sort. It did a fantastic job of wrapping up the 11 seasons of character development, main plot lines and subplots. Going into this finale, it was well understood that the show was over, and it drew more than 120 million viewers, the most for any broadcast until the 2010 Super Bowl. This finale holds a place in the hearts of many, a brilliant close to a show that exists at the middle point between classic and modern TV.
Best Comedic Finale
2006, Season 3 of 3
Ron Howard’s hilarious and reflexive masterpiece is said to have ended too early by some, though it is tough to see what else the show could have done while remaining fresh and funny throughout (just look at how bloated and dull The Office grew). The series finale included great use of in-jokes and wrapped up the various stories of each character, and it ended with one of the best open doors ever: Ron Howard’s joke about a possible movie has long been in buzz as a possibility, one that currently seems all but certain.
Several Emmy Awards were earned by this forerunner of action crime dramas, with plenty of crossover ties to other shows and a lead character who would break the fourth wall. Magnum’s life was posh, and while the eighth season was a bit forced after the fantastic finale of Season 7 (watch the show and the meaning of that becomes clear), the wrap up to his slick life was a spectacular send-off.
Best Finale Featuring a Song
2003, Season 2 of 5
Steve Earle’s “I Feel All Right” was a splendid choice for a wrap-up montage of life on the Baltimore docks. Several stories died down as others were left open, and the bittersweet feeling of the show and the song are perfectly paired here. It captured the energy of the show and sunk hooks into the emotional gills of viewers while displaying the unfortunate result of so much corruption, all while Earle grooves on a harmonica.
OK, so this pick might be a bit objective, since the aggravation of this cliffhanger still stings as viewers wait for the next season. But the last five seconds of the most recent Dexter finale are driving fans bonkers. Expect viewership of the Season 7 premiere to break some records, answer many questions and be generally spectacular television. Expect riots if the show is somehow canceled.
Click a Star to Rate This Cool Post: