Why A Good Ending Is Crucial To A Good Television Show

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Two things can happen to your favorite show when it ends. It goes out like Breaking Bad, and makes everyone remember it forever and ever. Or it goes out like Dexter, and no single soul will ever speak of it again. The reason a good ending is so crucial to a good television show is because it is the final bite of the meal. The last taste that will linger in the mouth long after all is gone and the table is clean. Why would any show want to leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth? Do you remember how food you don’t like tastes ten years later? Nope. You forget it even existed, and that is my point.

Now don’t get me wrong. I do understand how hard it must be to wrap up a great show with a great ending. No matter what ending your shows has, it will piss off some people. Think about the ending to the Sopranos, for example. I understood what they were going for, but most did not. They left it open so we, the audience, could write our own ending for Tony. Did he get shot by the weird guy at the restaurant, or did he survive? Well, they left that up to us. Thing is, when you look at a show like Breaking Bad, can you understand how an ending like that would have failed. Some sentences just deserve to end with an exclamation point. That is the best analogy I can use.

Two-Face said it best. You either die and become the hero, or you live long enough to become the bad guy. I think they need to apply that to how shows end, too. Hence why I’m both nervous and excited for the True Detective finale this weekend. As good as it’s been, a lame ending could ruin it.

[Photo via Helen Sloan/HBO]

My name is Remy, and I also work toiling in the basement of our wonderful sister sites as well as my own site RemyCarreiro.com, where I have worked diligently at building a small but faithful cult of followers who will help me take over the world. I call this: One. Step. Closer.....
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  • FuchuBH

    Not exactly sure you got the Sopranos ending either.

  • jacksonm

    Wow, he soooo didn’t get the Sopranos ending. There was no shot, there was nothing left to the imagination. It amazes me all these years later that people still don’t get it.

  • HawkeMan

    Considering how most truly great shows don’t even get the chance to have closure, I think a great ending is necessary. But it seems like the creators never really have an ending in mind in the first place which I think is crucial to having a successful show. Did the creators of Lost know ahead of time how the show would end? No. How about the Sopranos? No. Before the show even begins there should already be a planned beginning, middle, and end. Stop winging it guys.