All good things must come to an end but exactly how they end is an epic story in itself.
Television finals can evoke all kinds of emotions. Should the loose ends be tied into a neat fairy-tale bow? Or should those closing credits leave us with questions to ponder?
After we’ve invested hours into a show and its characters, what makes the perfect conclusion?
Following Saturday’s divisive climax of BBC spy drama Killing Eve after four series, here are our top 10 TV endings that we think hit.
And because we all love hate, the five most disappointing things that make us scream on our screens…
Could the Friends finale be any more special? Shown on Channel 4 in 2004, it offers a big, rock sugar bow – and we’ve come to appreciate it.
Ross (David Schwimmer) confesses his love to Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and they kiss when she returns from the airport, Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) adopt the twins and move in ‘the lair, and the six of them had a coffee together at Central Perk.
Sure, it’s all nauseatingly perfect but without it there would have been protests and the need for a consultation hotline.
Walter White’s journey from chemistry teacher to drug lord is encapsulated in a stellar, eye-catching series finale in 2013, which catered to a great AMC/Netflix drama.
In the face of overwhelming pressure, fans were stunned when Walter (Bryan Cranston) transformed into Scarface, taking down enemies with an M60 machine gun mounted in the trunk of his car. He also pulls Jesse (Aaron Paul) to the ground to keep him safe.
In the final scene, when the police arrive, an injured Walt spends his dying moments on the floor of the meth lab. Epic.
3) Good place
What do you think? Tell your opinion in our comments section below…
This Netflix comedy about life, death, and being good was brilliant from the start of 2016 to a pretty perfect ending in 2020.
The final episode is very emotional as the friends all say their final goodbyes before moving on to the afterlife.
Chidi (William Jackson Harper) leaves Eleanor (Kristen Bell) a beautiful metaphor for how humans are waves returning to the ocean.
Then they walked through the door at the edge of existence, didn’t they. Michael (Ted Danson) has become human and has the last words: “Take it.” If you know, you know…
Blackadder Goes Forth is the final series of the BBC sitcom. Its final hurdle in 1989 features Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson), Baldrick (Tony Robinson), George (Hugh Laurie) and Darling (Tim McInnerny) preparing to plunge into enemy fire and inevitably die.
“We’ll smoke hot dogs in Berlin with teatime!” mocked George, before admitting: “I am afraid, sir. I do not want to die “. Sadly, there was no time for Baldrick’s cunning plan.
As they plunge into the fog, the action switches to slow motion and the scene fades out. A master class in storytelling.
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Half will applaud Sopranos’ place on this list, the other half will say the finale was one of the worst in history.
It’s divisive but we’re still talking about an excellent HBO series, which ran from 1999 to 2007, right?
Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) meets his family in a diner. He puts Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ on a jukebox, they eat onions.
But a mysterious man lurks, a stranger enters. It was probably the most tense scene ever. Meadow couldn’t park but eventually got in. Tony looked up, the screen went black. That’s it. He’s dead, isn’t he? Right? Absolutely not “open to interpretation”. Genius.
6) Only fools and horses
Del Boy (David Jason) and Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) have spent their entire lives trying and failing to get rich quick, so when they finally do, it’s the perfect turning point.
The less-than-impressive 2001 revival aside, Time On Our Hands was the final installment of a 1996 Christmas trilogy, watched by around 24.3 million people on BBC One.
The payoff came when they found an old watch in the Trotters’ garage and eventually received £6.2m for it at Sothebys.
Moments later, as the life-changing results sink in, Del and Rodders celebrate wildly in their tricycle.
7) Poirot / Morse
How to choose between two of the greatest TV detectives? Both Poirot and Morse breathed their last in their final episodes, leaving behind a broken country.
In Curtain, the 2013 finale of ITV’s Poirot, the great Hercule, played by David Suchet for 24 years, solves his last case, shoots a killer and writes his story. He then overcame his heart problems after stopping taking the medication.
Back in 2000 and also on ITV, Inspector Morse (John Thaw) suddenly clutches his chest and has a heart attack shortly after solving his last case. He then died in the hospital.
The end of an era. Twice.
8) Crazy men
The BBC/Sky Atlantic story about the obnoxious world of an American advertising agency in the 1960s debuted in 2015 with one of the smartest final scenes in television history.
We’ve seen Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the man who does the catchy commercial, stooping lower and lower over the years. Eventually, he headed to a meditation retreat. It was quiet and peaceful by the ocean, they started chanting. A new Don?
Just as you start to wonder, Don – eyes closed – smirks. This gave him an idea for a profitable Coca-Cola ad. Be skeptical, people.
After two series that saw Tim (Martin Freeman) and Dawn (Lucy Davis) never get along, this popular BBC show’s 2003 Christmas special is everything the nation is about. This wants – and needs.
It’s the annual Yuletide party, Dawn is still with her sarcastic boyfriend Lee.
In the taxi home, she opened the Santa’s Secret gift from Tim, a set of oil paintings with the words “Never give up”.
Overwhelmed with emotion, she abandons Lee, returns to the party, and kisses Tim. They held hands and left. No, you’re crying!
10) West Wing
Rated among the best shows of all time, this Channel 4 political drama ended with a nostalgic loose ending.
The climax in 2006 was when Santos (Jimmy Smits) was sworn in as President after an intense campaign and Leo (John Spencer) died of a heart attack on election night.
As the Bartlet administration ends, Jed (Martin Sheen) opens a gift from Mallory, the framed “Bartlet for America” cocktail napkin that started them all on their way to the White House.
And we all still wish he was President…
…and the five worst
Most recently, BBC’s Quest Line The final season (likely) gave us the answer to the “H” mystery. But when he was revealed to be the clumsy DSU, Buckell, our hopes of a next-level turn were clearly “dissipated”.
Channel 4’s Lost won the award for the most misunderstood finale ever, with several characters already in limbo in the afterlife. Or something.
C4’s Desperate Housewives fell flat, with a happy ending all round. No one has even been divorced or murdered.
Sky Atlantic’s Undoing undone in the final moments when the psychopathic killer is revealed to be…shocked, appalled…the prime suspect, Jonathan. Fuming.
And Game of Thrones (again on Sky Atlantic) surprises us with an overly exaggerated ending of devastation and a nasty dragon. We will never get over it.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/breaking-bad-friends-top-tv-26786898 From Breaking Bad to Friends, the top TV endings after the climax of Killing Eve