Actually I liked the last couple of seasons before the “it never happened” season. Even the lottery win could have worked, it just was played as too loopy and surreal and then that “shoot the ‘I made it all up’ scene if you have to but don’t actually air it” bizarre crackpotted ego trip finale didn’t help much.
The only major thing I didn’t like in the seasons before the surreal one was the new baby, Jerry Garcia Connor. I know Roseanne was pregnant in real life, but they hid it successfully on plenty of other shows, and the “married couple… running out of things to do plotwise… ooh, later in life baby!” plot has never helped any show- at least he aged in real time.
Shows that should have just quit production when the stars left always went to hell:
Happy Days (not on my favorites anyway, but after Richie and Malph et al departed…)
Archie Bunker’s Place (should have wrapped before Edith died imo
That 70s Show- I’ve only seen one or two eps after Eric and Kelso left, but they were horrible
Laverne and Shirley [minus Shirley]- what the hell was that about? For that matter the whole “everyone we know is moving to LA” plot line blew.
Gimme a Break- Chief dying couldn’t be helped (though personally I wouldn’t have hired a morbidly obese chain smoking 60 year old actor to begin with), but the non-stop changes, adding the ridiculously adorable Lawrence urchin, moving to NYC, ditching the girls to add ANOTHER ridiculously adorable Lawrence urchin [in spite of the fact the first one was an orphan or foster kid or whatever the hell he was] all just kept a show in a persistent vegetative state for far longer than necessary or merciful.
Facts of Life- Edna Garrett moves to Africa after a 3 minute courtship, the oldest girls are 32 and out of college but still living above a [del]catering shop[/del]kitsch store, Cloris Leachman is brought on as a never before mentioned sister because most people when leaving the country in fact have a sibling move into their house and business, and they made the wise decision of ditching George Clooney. Yeah… (Of course Facts is a show that I loved at the time and later watched on TV Land and wondered “what the hell was I thinking?”)