5 best TV series finales that did the show justice

TV shows exert tons of effort reeling in fans, but they tend to forget how to finished well. Seinfeld, Breaking Bad, and more did it right.

One of the worst things that can happen on television is when your favorite show ends, but the finale is horrendous. It’s happened too many times. Sure, it’s tough writing a final episode, especially for a series the team grew to love over the years, but something’s got to give. The audience invests in the show for a reason, then get the rug pulled from underneath them when the last episode isn’t satisfying. Thankfully, shows like Breaking Bad, Seinfeld, and others gave their fans justice.
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While many hope their current shows never end, that’s likely not the case (except for Grey’s Anatomy or General Hospital). When the finale arrives, everyone can only pray it’ll be as great as the series they came to love was. Fortunately, there are some examples these writers and producers can take notes from moving forward.

Here are the 5 best TV series with immaculate endings.

Image Credit: Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

5. Seinfeld

While it might spark differing opinions, consider this perspective. What more fitting conclusion for a series revolving around a group of flawed friends than to have them face the consequences of their actions? Over nine seasons, Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine (Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus) engaged in a slew of misdeeds, from stealing rye to wrecking small eateries, Collider explains.

In this finale, justice is served. A parade of aggrieved neighbors, almost-friends, and dates testify, highlighting the toll of the Seinfeld crew’s antics. As they confront their own shortcomings, we’re prompted to both laugh at and with them. It’s a blend of humor and reckoning that feels fitting for the show’s conclusion.

Image Credit: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

4. Bojack Horseman

BoJack Horseman’s conclusion isn’t exactly brimming with hope, but it diverges from the seemingly inevitable bleakness. As BoJack’s downward spiral persisted, he appeared trapped in an unending cycle of self-sabotage, a story painfully familiar to those connected to addicts.

The cycle of tolerance, detachment, hope, disappointment, anger, and eventual loss. “Nice While It Lasted” encapsulates this journey. BoJack survives a near-death experience and grasps the consequences of his actions. It’s not absolution, nor does it guarantee forgiveness—Diane’s future reluctance speaks to that. However, it marks a turning point. Whether BoJack chooses to change course or continue in the same pattern remains his decision.

3. The Good Place

“The Good Place” made a wise decision by concluding on a high note after four seasons. The intricate NBC comedy, crafted by Mike Schur, wraps up with a profound sense of contentment—mirroring the emotions of Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jason, and Michael in “Whenever You’re Ready.” The show’s essence was never about finding utopia; rather, it revolved around how being a good person could shape your own ideal world. As their afterlife plan succeeds, the characters realize they’re content enough to move forward. Looking back, this was the only fitting ending: tender without excess sweetness, heartfelt without exaggeration, strangely relatable. Michael’s guitar lessons with Ted Danson’s real-life wife, Mary Steenburgen, add a delightful touch.

2. Breaking Bad

In the finale of Breaking Bad, titled “Felina,” Walter White finds a way to redeem himself in his own eyes, even though he could never be redeemed in the eyes of others. This is a reflection of his underlying selfishness, which he finally acknowledges as the driving force behind his terrible actions. He orchestrates his own exit on his own terms, showcasing his belief that he’s superior to everyone else. He manages to leave money for his family, outwit his enemies, and ensure justice for Jesse.

While “Felina” marks a significant point in Breaking Bad, the true conclusion comes in 2019’s El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which focuses on Jesse’s storyline. However, within the show itself, this is where Walt’s journey ends. He fully transforms from a hero to a villain, confessing to himself and Skyler that his actions were motivated by self-interest, not concern for his family. After five years of turmoil, Walt loses his former goodness completely. It’s a tragic ending for an anti-hero who was consumed by his flaws, but he achieves the control he sought, even as his life spirals toward its end.

1. Six Feet Under

Alan Ball, the creator and showrunner of Six Feet Under, wrote and directed the series finale. Unlike previous episodes that started with deaths, this one opens with a birth—Nate and Brenda’s daughter. The Fisher family’s storylines find resolution, and the finale’s standout aspect is the ending itself. This conclusion is often regarded as one of the best in television history.

The finale showcases a unique approach, displaying how each family member and their loved ones eventually pass away. Accompanied by Sia’s “Breathe Me,” the sequence is emotionally potent, leaving a lasting impact. Despite some visual effects limitations, the show’s fans can’t help but be moved by this portrayal of death as both beautiful and joyous.

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