Sometimes even the very best TV shows can fail to stick the landing. Here are some of the suckiest show finales ever…
Lost’s finale still stings 7 years after it aired. The show’s creators took some of the coolest inventions in TV history — the smoke monster! The Dharma Initiative! Flash forwards! — and shoved them all out the window in favor of one of the most cliched endings you could think of: They were dead the whole time. It makes you wish the writers had gotten to that last line in the script, looked at each other, and shouted, “We have to go back! …and rewrite this thing.”
How I Met Your Mother
TV sitcoms aren’t generally expected to deliver a satisfying finale, but the How I Met Your Mother creative team boxed themselves into a corner when they picked the name of the show. So just how did Ted meet their mother? Turns out it doesn’t matter because telling the story was really just an excuse for Ted to realize he was in love with his friend Robin the whole time. But “How I Met Your Aunt Robin” probably wouldn’t have made it out of focus grouping.
Battlestar Galactica wouldn’t be anywhere near this list if the show’s creators had just decided to end the show three minutes earlier. The colonists finally find quote-unquote Earth, and Adama says some heartbreakingly sweet things at Roslin’s fresh grave. Any viewer with an ounce of empathy at this point is pawing at the tissue box. Then the show flashes forward 150,000 years to present-day earth. Turns out the show took place in the distant past, and human/Cylon hybrid Hera is the “mitochondrial Eve” of modern humans. Way to ruin an emotional gut-punch, Battlestar.
Dexter may have run out of steam later in its run, but its ending always felt cut and dry: Dexter was, at his core, a very bad man — and very bad men should get their comeuppance. That’s what it looks like is going to happen in the finale, as Dexter steers his boat into an oncoming Florida hurricane. But wait! Dexter somehow survives the storm and…ends up a lumberjack in the Pacific Northwest? The show’s producers swear Showtime wouldn’t let them kill off Dexter, but that doesn’t excuse their bizarre beard-and-flannel alternative.