…I always felt cheated by both of those, as well. Here’s mine:
As inventive as it was, I was always disappointed by the very last “Newhart.” I thought that it was clever that he woke up at the end, in bed with Suzanne Pleshett (sp), his wife from his first sit-com, but it seemed to me like that was too contrived an ending. And I hated the last episode of “Seinfeld.”
I hated the last episode of Alf. Alf’s alien friends are coming to pick him up in order to colonize a new planet and the CIA come and get Alf. I believe the last episode might have been a “To Be Continued…” and it wasn’t continued until years later with that TV movie with Alf escaping from the CIA, in order to close up any loose questions the fans may have. It was an OK movie, but I would have liked to see the Tanner’s POV.
Perfect Strangers had the same type of ending. It was a To Be Continued… where their kids are being born and that was the last episode. By then I was disapointed in the show. I couldn’t believe that Larry and Balki went and got married, but marriage (or a baby) is usually where a show turns crummy. Except for Get Smart. But then they had to add the twins. ::shudder::
Huh? I remember the last episode of Quantum Leap as ending with just text on the screen that talked about what happened with Al and concluded with something like, “Sam never made it home.” Which really, really, REALLY sucked; that’s my all-time crappy series ending champ.
I always thought that QL’s last episode was interesting. St. Elsewhere’s did disappoint me. I believe it’s on Bravo today (4/13) or Monday (4/15).
St. Elsewhere’s last episode also ran into a problem because Ed Flanders was supposed to give a long speech on the importance of the hospital to the community, etc. etc. However, he was just too obstinate to do those lines and the producers were running into a time crunch, so they just ended up having Flander’s Dr. Westphall character looking out over a crowd of people with music playing in the background.
St. Elsewhere’s last year was pretty much a drag anyway. Ronny Cox just didn’t cut it.
However, I identified with the characters so strongly that I still think that when I see Norman Lloyd on TV that he should be dead. But actually he seems in pretty good shape for a guy in his 80s.
Was that show kinkier than I remember?
And as far as when a show turns crummy, look at jumptheshark.com. It refers to the Happy Days episode when Fonzi jumped a sharktank on his motorcycle, and the show sucked ever after. It discusses when your favorite sitcom started to suck.
Yeah, yeah, diss the last episode of Quantum Leap all ya want, you’re never gonna find a more powerful, intense moment in any previous episode (well, you might, but I’m being hyperbolic) than when Sam leaps back to the moment (which was fom another episode, I believe) and tells Al’s wife that he’s alive. Simple and effective, thought I. IIRC the scene just plays with Sam saying something like “Al’s alive… he’s coming home,” whereupon the actress dissolves into smiles/tears of joy. Good moment.
On the other hand, I thought it was a crime that Al shows up for only something like three minutes in the entire show.
Oh, the OP: Although, I can’t say that I had followed the show religiously (even once opened a thread to ask what happened in the last season), I didn’t care for the Sisko in the lake of fire finale of Star Trek: DS9. And I always thought Alf and Max Wright went off to smoke crack in the final show.
I didn’t think the last episode of Quantum Leap was that bad, but the conclusion was a disappointment. In particular, I would have liked to know what prevented Sam from ever returning home…did it have anything to do with saving Al’s marriage? Or not “really wanting to” return? Too confusing. I don’t quite understand how his subconscious “controlled the leaps” or whatever…all in all, this could have gone a lot more smoothly than it did.
The ending for Newhart was a total cop-out, and worse, I didn’t even get it until much later (you know, some of the viewers, myself included, didn’t see the his first series).
And although I’m probably the only person in the country who still remembers Herman’s Head, I found the last episode to be a bit of a disappointment. Herman has a bunch of flashbacks and decides not to give up on life…yawn. (Actually, I’m kinda disappointed it got cancelled at all; liked it much more than about 95% of their primetime fare back then.)
RealityChuck is on the money with his nomination of Twin Peaks.
A dedicated fan of the show, I never missed an episode, and watched it religously until the final episode - a cliff-hanger because they were expecting to come back the next year. The fact that THAT was the final episode ruined the whole show for me, and I refused to watch the reruns until a year or two ago, I was so disappointed.
I mean, there were explosions, major characters possibly dead, the good guy had allowed evil in, this was a heavy-duty cliffhanger! If only it hadn’t been axed.
I couldn’t agree more. I’m sad and disappointed that so many people who seem to have liked Quantum Leap disliked the last episode. It was the perfect last episode. Allow me to explicate:
Over the course of the show, Sam undid pretty much everything that ever bad happened to him or his loved ones. He saved his brother, his father, too, if I recall. He was given a chance to be reunited with his wife. He fathered a child who wound up (possibly unaware of being his child) a key member of Project Quantum Leap, and he even got Ziggy’s gender straightened out. The only mission he ever failed a friend on was the chance he had to save Al’s first marriage.
Knowing Sam, you can imagine how this must have weighed on his swiss-cheesed mind. Once God-Al (sorry, best name I could come up with) told Sam that he was in control of his own destiny, what was the first thing Sam did? He fixed the one thing he’d failed to do for his best friend who’d stuck with him through it all.
I f*cking cried like a baby.
The postscript “Sam never went home” was intended, as others have noted, to indicate that Sam chose to continue doing the work of God-Al in setting right what once went wrong.
Jesus, I’m getting verklempt just thinking about it.
The final episode of ALF was a “to be continued…”. From what I understand, the show was on the network’s chopping block, and the producers thought they pulled a fast one with the cliffhanger ending. They can’t cancel a show and leave the loose ends hanging like that, right?
LOL! Yeah, I’m sure it did suck, but I was twelve or thirteen when the show went off the air and I was young when I watched it. It’s one of those childhood shows of mine that have no artistic value at all but you like because it reminds you of your childhood.
The worst TV ending I have ever seen just HAS to be for Silk Stalkings. I loved this show, the old episode with Chris and Rita. Once those two got married I was SO happy! Then, something absolutly AWFUL happened and both characters er… left…
But did they end the series there? NO!
They went on for THREE MORE YEARS, with two new detectives who… I’m going to restrain myself.
Anyway, the last few lines of the show were between these two. There was this big IA investigation on the male character and he was going to get arrested or something, and the female finds him in the captain’s office and says “So what happens now?”
Last line of the show? “I don’t know.”
The last episode of Northern Exposure was pretty stinky.
Not that it was bad in itself but the series deserved better. The REAL ending was when Joel wound up back in NY but they had the rest of the season to go.
I did not mind the end of Twin Peaks. If it HADN’T been a cliffhanger, it wouldn’t have been TP. The FBI man staring at Bob in the mirror, laughing maniacally and yelling “How’s Annie?” over and over seemed perfectly in tune with the rest of the show.
I thought the last show of “Magnum P.I.”, when Magnum rejoined the Navy and Higgins turned out to be Robin Masters, was pretty bad because it was so inconsistent with what had been established in earlier seasons. In previous years Robin Masters had been portrayed by the back of Orson Welles’ head, but then Orson had the termerity to die while the show was still in production.
In what should have been the final show Magnum died and the final shot showed him walking through the clouds toward heaven. Then the show got renewed, and the first show of the next (and final) season had Magnum recovering from a near death experience. Bah!