From Cheers to Frasier, Seinfeld to Lost, the combination of great television and superb writing for the majority of a series sends viewers into that stratosphere where they follow these characters episode to episode, season to season until the show calls it quits.
That's why, from a fan's standpoint, that last episode is so crucial. It ties to together the show, sends those lovable characters off into the sunset properly and gives quite the level of satisfaction to a fanbase that has followed along for quite some time.
At least that is what the expectation is, but that doesn't always follow suit. Sometimes, quite often actually, those durable, dependable and phenomenal shows don't always deliver as planned when they finally say goodbye.
Sure, Cheers, for instance, did wonders to leave fans loving the ending and wanting more; you could also say the same thing for Frasier, the spinoff from Cheers, that saw Frasier Crane continue on past the Boston bar scene and move to Seattle.
But for every Cheers and Frasier, M.A.S.H. or Mary Tyler Moore Show, you have a show that does nothing short of disappoint the masses.
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Two shows come to mind first and foremost: Seinfeld and Sopranos.
Let's start with the latter, Tony, Paulie, Silvio and the entire crew from Jersey. The Sopranos burst on to the scene in 1999 and never looked back. The first two seasons may have been the best in television history, but as the show progressed it never reached retched status until that final episode.
Fans who longed to find out what happened to Tony Soprano instead got a black screen. Creator David Chase went on to say that it is "all right there," but that didn't suffice almost every fan who felt robbed and cheated ironically by the man who created a show about the mob. Those rabid fans took Chase to task for copping out and questioned his creativity, suggesting that he didn't know how to end the show and gave us what we thought were technical difficulties.
Seinfeld, much like the Sopranos, was one of the more lauded and loved shows on television but when it comes to closing shop for good, Jerry and his pals paled in comparison to the show it once was before that finale.
You have to wonder if writers panicked and stood eye to eye with these shows and couldn't possibly come up with an idea good enough to bid these shows adieu. Sometimes good storytelling escapes even the most adept and talented writers, simply because the show has such a legacy that you get lost in the moment and can't figure out a way to end it that you would deem worthy of such a long lineage of greatness.
And what ends up coming out is mediocrity and fans that feel as though they're not getting closure that they want.
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