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Beloved TV series that were totally ruined by a lousy finale

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We’ve all been there—committed to a TV show, invested in its characters and plot, only to have our expectations shattered by a finale that doesn’t live up to the hype. Yet, some shows take this disappointment to another level, with endings so underwhelming they seem to negate the series’ previous greatness. These series finales have provoked heated discussions, prompted fan petitions, and have, in some cases, fundamentally tarnished the legacy of once-beloved TV shows.

We waded through an ocean of reviews from authoritative entertainment outlets and considered the general consensus on Rotten Tomatoes to bring you a list of such TV series.

Here are eight TV SHows finales  that had us scratching our heads and left us hating the show as a whole. And yes, spoilers ahead!

1. ‘Game of Thrones’ (2011-2019)

“Game of Thrones” needs no introduction, being the fantastical epic drama that stormed the globe with its rich character arcs and shocking plot twists. From Daenerys’ dragons to the Night King’s White Walkers, the brainchild of George R.R Martin and adapted to the screen by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. This was a series adored for its intricate storytelling.

However, the final season saw a colossal meltdown of beloved characters and complex narratives into a rushed, disappointing end. Daenerys’ sudden spiral into fascism felt like it came out of the blue, leaving us scratching our heads and wondering if her dragons had blown a fuse. And what about our beloved characters? Jon Snow got the boot, and Arya decided to ditch her family like an adventurer on a gap year. But the crown jewel of disappointment? Bran the Broken, who seemingly won the Iron Throne for doing… well, not much at all. The sloppy ending to one of the most beloved and most popular shows in TV history put fans and critics into an angry frenzy. The sloppy ending of one of the most beloved and popular shows in TV history sent fans and critics into a furious frenzy. HBO may try to conjure up spinoffs to salvage their tarnished legacy, but nothing can wash away the memory of that infamous line: “Who has a better story than Bran the Broken?” It’s become the punchline to every joke about lackluster TV finales, forever etched in the annals of disappointment. Sorry, boys, but winter definitely came for “Game of Thrones.”

2. ‘Dexter’ (2006-2013)

In a twist that left fans reeling, the series finale of “Dexter” introduced us to a shocking sight: our favorite Miami killer-turned-lumberjack. The reception to this ending was so abysmal that it instantly became a meme and a symbol for shows that completely fumbled the landing.

Throughout its decline over the course of four seasons, “Dexter” had disappointed loyal fans, but nothing could have prepared them for the catastrophic finale. Dexter’s actions went largely unpunished, as his friends and colleagues remained oblivious to his dark deeds throughout the series. And the fate of the brilliant Debra was an even greater tragedy, as she was reduced to a vegetative state and unceremoniously discarded at sea, a cruel and absurd conclusion for such a pivotal character.

However, there was a glimmer of hope in the darkness. Last year, Showtime blessed us with “New Blood,” a 10-episode limited series continuation that, while not flawless, allowed lead actor Michael C. Hall to bid farewell to Dexter with a touch more grace and dignity. At least this time, he could finally retire his knives and hopefully find redemption in the eyes of the disappointed fans.

3. ‘Lost’ (2004-2010)

Created by Jeffrey Lieber, J. J. Abrams, and Damon Lindelof, “Lost” presented a mind-boggling tale of survivors stranded on a mysterious island. The series was lauded for its innovative storytelling, dynamic characters, and mind-boggling mysteries. However, the finale attempted to tie up loose ends with metaphysical explanations and spiritual symbolism that didn’t sit well with many fans. A magical light source, a cork to stop evil—these were far from the satisfying, rational answers viewers were craving.

4. ‘How I Met Your Mother’ (2005-2014)

Kids, this is a story of how nine years of character development went down the drain in an instant. For nine seasons, “How I Met Your Mother” entertained viewers with a unique blend of humor, romance, and suspense. Fans were enthralled by Ted’s prolonged quest to find true love. However, the final turn of events, with the Mother’s untimely death and Ted’s return to Robin, left a sour taste in many mouths.  Barney and Robin, who we’ve been rooting for throughout an entire season leading up to their wedding, end up divorced. Ted concludes the series just as he started it—declaring his love for Robin, a regression that is far from legendary. The ending, undoing seasons’ worth of character development, felt like a betrayal to fans who had invested in these characters’ journeys.

5. ‘House of Cards’ (2013-2018)

House of Cards was an immensely popular political drama that showcased Frank Underwood’s ruthless ascent to the U.S. presidency. Kevin Spacey’s masterful performance and the show’s intense political machinations were major draws. But following Spacey’s removal due to off-set allegations, the show’s final season spiraled into a narrative abyss. The lack of a satisfying conclusion for Frank Underwood and the hastily conceived rise of Claire Underwood felt unsatisfactory and forced.

6. ‘True Blood’ (2008-2014)

“True Blood” was an intoxicating cocktail of romance, horror, and humor, making the lives of telepathic waitresses and vampires look surprisingly appealing. The series was famous for its racy scenes and the central love triangle. Yet, the series finale felt like a rushed attempt to give every character a happy ending, straying away from its own darker, edgier tone. The sudden and seemingly meaningless death of major character Bill Compton also drew significant criticism.

7. ‘Roseanne’ (1988-1997, 2018)

Created by Matt Williams, “Roseanne,” a sitcom about a blue-collar American family, was cherished for its realistic, humorous, and often poignant portrayal of working-class life. But the original series’ final season presented a jarring departure from the show’s roots, turning the Conners into lottery winners. The final twist—Roseanne revealing the events of the season were a fictionalized book she was writing—left many fans feeling cheated and confused.

8. ‘Scrubs’ (2001-2010)

For eight seasons, “Scrubs” offered a unique blend of comedy and drama in a hospital setting. The series was beloved for its quirky characters, heartfelt moments, and surreal humor. But the unexpected ninth season, which shifted focus to a new cast of medical students, was a tough pill to swallow. Loyal viewers felt the series had strayed too far from its original charm and humor, diminishing the legacy of Scrubs.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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