I, personally, am rather tired of TV shows that end badly. I don’t mean tragically or on a sad note, I mean ones that are not the correct place to end the story, for some reason or another.
I get it, I do. Sometimes shows just get canceled and then you’re stuck with what you got. It stinks for the people working on the show who had plans for a more complete story (or just needed more time to figure out what that story would be), it stinks for fans who want to see where their favorite characters will end up. Even with the shows that were more “story of the week” format, having an unforeseen end point means that overarching plot threads and characters arcs will never be resolved in a satisfying way.
You can’t blame the writers for that situation. It still stinks, though, and I wish producers and all those decision makers would understand that they’d make more money if people were happy where something ended up. Why rewatch a show where the story didn’t go anywhere and it never will?
Anyhow, the point is that shows with good endings are 100% better and can pull together an average story to make it great. What makes a great ending is subjective, of course, and your opinion can have a lot to do with which plotlines and characters you really connected with. But bad endings are usually easier to spot. We have shows with forced cliffhanger endings, meh endings because the network kept renewing the show past when the writers knew what they were doing, badly written endings that leave too much in the air, and so on and so forth. Some shows become tolerable if you only watch them up to a certain point and then ignore all that came after.
Having a good ending makes people more likely to rewatch the show in the future. Fond memories of better episodes aren’t spoiled by a lousy finale, and shows that end well are just plain more memorable. Really great finales can even make a previously average show pull together.
It means that viewers will recommend the show to new people, which is ever more important in the age of streaming. We’re becoming used to binging a show all at once, so some people will deliberately wait until a show is done to even start it. And if that ending sucks and their friends tell them as much, they won’t do that. Having a good ending means that all those people who waited can be drawn back in and voila, a whole new wave of fans are born.
Just, please, TV executives who make all the decisions about my favorite shows, let shows have proper endings.
(Okay, so this post was subjected to various forms of scramble brain, including but not limited to: taking too long to write it, being too tired, losing some of my notes, losing interest in the general topic for a while, and not having blogged in forever thanks to a lot of life stuff happening. Sorry! I just needed to post something. It’s been too long.)