Can you ever end a much-loved long-running TV show well?

More often than not we find ourselves flexing our moaning muscles once a show’s credits have rolled for the last time, says Ellie Walker-Arnott

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Can you ever end a much-loved long-running TV show well?
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Some How I Met Your Mother Fans are up in arms.

I won’t ruin the ending for us Brits with #spoilers from across the pond (you can click here if you want to do that yourself)… but plenty of viewers weren’t impressed with how the long-running NYC set sitcom said goodbye.

And it’s not a stand-alone case.

More often than not we find ourselves flexing our moaning muscles once a show’s credits have rolled for the last time.

Sometimes our outrage is justified. There are shows that end up so complicated, so perplexing – yep, Lost, I’m talking about you – that there is no way the showrunners can tie it all up in a way that is satisfying.

Occasionally a drama’s end is just downright baffling - Dexter’s a good example, as is Monday night’s strange Silk finale. Or underwhelming: The Sopranos, sorry, what happened exactly? Or, in the case of How I Met Your Mother, perhaps just not the way fans had imagined it.

The issue is that however a show chooses to sign off, fans are invested. You either love, or feel some very strong emotion towards, these characters.

You might have stuck with them when everyone else gave up, through critical condemnation and your own better judgment. Heck, in some cases you’ve spent actual days of your life in their company. (One of the brave few who made it to the end of Lost? That was three days, 15 hours and 23 minutes of your existence, if you’re interested)

When a series says goodbye, you want to know that its characters are on the right path, or getting what they deserved.

But even when you get what you want - Breaking Bad, Friends, Sex and the City - show's still can't really get it right because ultimately we don’t actually want to say goodbye.

And also we love complaining.