Okay, I fully realize how hard it is to really come up with a good story and especially a good series, and find a good way to end it. I am not going to go on about the series that the endings were a little weak, but acceptable, like The Wire. That show had a clever allusion in it’s ending that even though we don’t know what will happen to all the main characters, the idea was that everything just goes on, and you have to accept that. That’s clever. I’m also not going to get on series that have bittersweet endings, like Cowboy Bebop, because I like those. I really have no problem with an ending that leaves a little bit of a sadder tone. This post is about the ending that just showed no respect for what story they were telling, and the fans who enjoyed it. That said, I hope you enjoy. I had enjoyed these series, until the end…
10. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Now, I want to clarify that I get why the ending of this show was so bad. The creators of the series ran out of money, so they cobbled together what they had and tried to create a pseudo-psychological ending that would somehow bring it all to a close. And it failed, badly. Not only was it the most boring ending that I have gotten to see, but it also was totally worthless. Honestly, in this instance, they should have just cut their losses and ended the show where it was, because again, I would have understood. This was just boring, and a waste of time. Now there was a movie made later with what they had wanted the series to be, but I would have preferred the series not end, and for the film to then end it for me. Still, it is low on the list because I get why it happened, I just don’t care for what they did with it.
9. Fullmetal Alchemist
Now, this series ending isn’t bad because of no closure, or even no character development. It actually almost got everything right. Edward came to peace with who he was, and who he had become. Alphonse was ready to give up his life in order to finally do the right thing. Winry was ready to love Edward. Colonel Mustang got his revenge and finally stood up for what he believes in. The Elrics’ father had filled in the rest of the story about the Homogulus and how they were created. Everything was coming together just perfectly. I was even actually very impressed when Al sacrificed his life to get Edward back and give him his body back. I really would have been totally accepting of that ending. It’s bittersweet, but that was kind of the point of the entire series – that the boys had lost something, but gained something as well. Instead, they did something that just bugs me with the ending – leave it on a dismal note, deliberately setting up a film sequel. I hate that so much. You know, why did Edward end up in our world, anyway? If they had had him sacrificing his limbs and Al’s memory, but staying in that world, I would have been okay. Instead, it was just shoe-horning an ending to make room for a film. Fail…
8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This series was an example of something that REALLY gets under my skin – no closure. There was no closure whatsoever. Not only that, it didn’t feel like it was over. Maybe that was Joss Whedon’s idea, showing that the fight never truly ends, but this was the series finale. We wanted to feel like it was done. You never find out what happens to any of the characters (save Spike, but that was in the other and much less good show, Angel), you don’t get any new perspective. It just is like – whelp, that’s over with. What?! No, we cared about some of these characters (emphasis on SOME), where do they go after this? In the end of House M.D., they showed brief clips of what happened to them, and that was fine. Why couldn’t this show do the same? A lot of people will claim the follow-up comics did that, or that we could fill in our own plot, but that is just justifying after the fact, and totally worthless.
7. Mass Effect
Angry Joe did a great video about all the problems that were wrong with this ending, which I’ll link to here, but I thought I would add my two-cents. Like Angry Joe, I hate endings where a new character is introduced at the last second, and I hate endings that also disregared everything that the fans loved about the series. People invested a lot of time into this series, and what we got for our money was just a complete cop-out in every sense of the word. Fans of the series were burned by this ending. Of course, there are some who think that it was okay, but honestly, when the developers told us that there were going to be all sorts of other endings, admit it, you felt like we deserved more for what they gave us. Three endings, almost all the same. Complete bulllshit.
6. The Sopranos
The end of this series has kind of become a running gag that will forever be a shame upon HBO. Remember what I said about no closure, this series embodies that in the worst way possible. It literally ends with a cut to black, right in mid-sentence. You find out nothing about the characters, nothing about the family, and nothing about the people who were involved. Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn’t give us much at the end, but it at least gave us an ending. What the hell did this series do? Just decided – okay, I’m done! That’s another thing that REALLY gets under my skin – when you can tell that an author or creator was tired of the series and wanted it to be over, which was clearly the case with this ending. What a joke.
Talk about a series that went from A+ to F- in a second. This series had a lot of potential, but quickly lost it. The second season was a bore. The third had a brief pick-up in effort and respect, but then the fourth ended with something else that totally annoys me – having a HUGE development right at the end and knowing that it will never be addressed. Claire reveals her super-healing ability, effectively making public the existence of super-heroes. That is something that could have had an entire show based around it, but instead, it just ends, with the makers of the show knowing that it will never be talked about again. Ending like that just piss me off, and thankfully are a very rare thing. Still, a pity that this series snuffed out so fast. It had a lot of potential.
4. Star Wars
Now, let me make one thing clear – I am not talking about the films in numerical order. Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi is a piece of cinematic mastery. I am talking about them in production order. This is actually about all three prequel movies. These movies sucked, absolutely sucked. Episode I: The Phantom Menace was pure garbage which completely forgot the previous and far-better trilogy. The following two films were not only boring, but lacked all of the integrity of the other films. The acting was beyond awful, the plot was boring, but the worst part is that it COMPLETELY forgot all of the canon established in the original films. Obi-Wan wasn’t being trained by Yoda in the prequels. He didn’t meet Anakin as a grown-up pilot in the prequels. Huge posts have been made burning the reputation of these pieces of garbage to the ground, but they have most certainly earned a place on this list because the final ending was the more overdone and over-dramatic piece of cinema that I have ever seen. Avoid at all costs!
3. Star Trek Voyager
Of all the series’s on this list that offered NO closure whatsoever, this one is the absolute worst. We grew up with these characters. We watched them struggle and fight and many die so that they could get home. And what happens next? Nothing. It just stops. You never find out what happened to anybody. Why not?! Why couldn’t we see Captain Janeway get promoted to Admiral, as you find out she was in the final Next Generation movie? We wanted to see that, along with Lieutenant Kim getting to command his own ship, or see whatever becomes of Chakotay. How about Seven of Nine? Does she end up under the Federation’s microscope? Does she become a Starfleet officer herself? Doe she get an outfit that isn’t so ridiculous? (honestly, she looked better in uniform! Did you see the episode where they had her in a normal Federation uniform?!) There were a million and one questions we wanted to know about what happens to these characters, and not one of them is answered. It was like the people who made the show forgot why we watched it – to see them get home. And part of seeing them get home is seeing where the go from there. Instead, it just shows the ship getting back to Earth, then done. Bullshit!
2. His Dark Materials
It’s ironic that The Amber Spyglass is one of my favorite books, yet I hate the ending so much. It made me cry when I read it the first time. Everything in this series was going right. Will and Lyra were finally able to admit their love for each other. They were going to be together. Miss Coulter and Lord Asriel were dead, and the organization behind them was destroyed. That was so perfect, and what did we get? We get the two characters getting torn apart, with no chance of being able to see one-another again, and honestly, that’s all one needs to know! That is all the bullshit right there. No, book, you don’t tear apart the main characters and then shoe-in a reason for it. It is heart-breaking for a kid’s book, and totally out of place, given how well everything was coming together at the end.
But as much as I have problems with all of those endings, as much as I can get annoyed, they are as nothing compared to my #1 pick. Every time I see this it pisses me off.
Remember all the reasons I had for why endings piss me off? This is an amalgamation of ALL of them. For a children’s series, this was an amazing one. The themes were incredibly mature, yet easy for a young audience to grasp. The characters we all knew and we could understand their struggle. Right up until the very last book, the conflict was amazing and the character depth was at a fever pitch. Then the last book came, and spit in the face of everything that the series had done.
The first problem is that it was OBVIOUS that K.A. Applegate was tired of the series. This book was so rushed that you could see she was just trying to get it out and be done with it. When you make a series, you have an obligation to the people who have been loyal fans, to not just slack off and give them bullshit in the last act. And that is exactly what this was.
The second problem is that this was written deliberately to avoid having to talk about one of the key conflicts which we all wanted to see how it would resolve – Rachel. Rachel was arguably the most dynamic character, going from an adrenaline junkie to almost a sociopath, with a need to kill Yeerks and a definite enjoyment from it, to the detriment of almost all of her inter-personal relationships. Even her own mother is scared by what she was becoming. Everybody was eager to see how that situation would resolve itself by the end. But what did we get? They just killed her off. And to make it worse, they then decided to rub our noses in it with The Ellimist Chronicles. Fuck you!
The third problem is that for the surviving characters, there was no real closure. You get bits and pieces of a closure, but never anything concrete. It just kind of happens, and you have to accept it. Sure, it did address some of the big issues, like Jake’s inner turmoil, and Tobias losing his humanity completely and just becoming a bird, but you NEVER see what happens to Ax. Sure, you hear it being told to them, but we wanted to see it! Cassie and Marco are glossed over. The entire end feels like something that was just rushed out of the gate.
But the final problem, and the worst, is that it has a HUGE development that is never addressed right at the end. Ax is in danger, and the group flies off to face some kind of unknown super-monster. Okay. But that’s it. They are just flying off to go and fight. What?! What the fuck is that?! We wanted to see an end, god-dammit! I hate this book. I hate it so fucking much, yet it is what I have to stomach. I choose to think that the series had no ending, it’s that bad. I’ll take the Evangelion route and just accept a complete lack of an ending over this crap. Worthless piece of shit…
If you are going to make something, you have an obligation to see it through. I guess that these creators didn’t get the memo, especially K.A. Applegate.
Until next time a quote,
“And were an epitaph to be my story I’d have a short one ready for my own. I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.” -Robert Frost