Top 10 TV Show Finales of All Time

Many TV shows come out of the box swinging and make huge splashes in their first season but continue along a dark and dismal path to being forgotten. But every now and again there comes a show where the rising action continues to grow, and the climax/denoument are saved for one explosive series finale (most often a two-parter). These are the shows that make an impact, leave you wanting more, glue you to your seat, and provide a satisfying conclusion to a show you have come to know and love. Watching an entire season is often an invenstment, one that hpefully pays off in an explosive finale. Here is my top 10 list of those episodes, fell free to share your own! And no the Sopranos DOES NOT deserve to be on this list, such a huge cliffhanger makes this seem phoned-in and almost an insult to the audience.

#10- Friends

Overly corny and a full of friend drama, Friends captured and defined the 90's and early 2000's more than any show ever could. With a memorable cast and the unforgettable opening credits, Friends led it's viewers down a joke-filled, touching series in the heart of their same-building apartments or the coffee shop. The finale finally brought a happy ending to Ross and Rachel, who had been teetering on the edge of friendship for too long. Even Joey gets a girl in the end, brigning this 10 year friendship to a satifying close.

#9- Frasier

Kelsey Grammar and David Hyde Pierce brought the Frasier brothers to life in their own post-Cheers spin-off. The chemistry between the two made the show feel real and authentic until the very end. The psyche or the show comes to a great final conclusion in a veterinarian's office run by Jason Biggs. Nile's is finally tying the knot, and Frasier is moving to be with his new love in Chicago.

#8- The Cosby Show

Almost a true-life sitcom, The Cosby Show was the story of the Huxtables, aka Bill Cosby with a supporting cast. Throughout it's run Cosby prvided worldly and fatherly advice in his own unique way. Ending with Huxtable (Cosby) and his wife literally dancing off screen, this series ended on a touching note.

#7- Seinfeld

Simply put Seinfeld is the funniest and most creative sticom to ever exist. In addition to the core gang, Seinfeld had a wide-array of wild characters and guest appearances. The finale tells the story of the gang on trial after watching a person being accosted and failing to help. To paint a picture for the judge all those memorable characters make an appearance to help describe the four of them. Newman, George Steinbrenner, the soup nazi, and many more make this unforgettable.

#6- The Shield

The rollercoaster that was Vic Mackey's carer in law enforcement ends in a turmoil of action and drama. In the 2000's FX created some of the greatest show's on television, and anytime you find yourself rooting for someone with such questionable morals it never ends well. Putting Mackey in the one place he dreaded to be, behind a desk, makes this a bittersweet end to an excellent show.

#5- Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Obviously not everyone's cup-of-tea, Buffy tell the story of Buffy, and her gang, in their quest to rid the world of vampires. Angel now out of the picture and the entire town sucken into the Earth, Buffy and Spike finally have that touching moment and she tells him she loves him right as he saves her life, at the cost of his own. As Buffy rides off n the bus the entire town crumbles into the ground.

#4- M*A*S*H

The hillarious and brilliant story of a group of soldier/doctors ends with the cease-fire of the Korean War. After 11 seasons the crew is disbanded and everyone packs it up and gets shipped home. As Haweye takes off in the helicopter, without all his final farewells, home he glances down and sees B.J. standing there next to rcks spelling out "goodbye." One of the highest rated finales of all time, this closes the show in a grace most cannot acheive.

#3- Twin Peaks

Two words can describe David Lynch's (Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire) Twin Peaks, brilliant and bizare. As with all of Lynch's work this show is filled with wild imagery, warped symbolism, and an overwhelming amount of strange. The finale is no exception, concluding with one of the most expertly shot bank explosions I have ever seen, and Agent Cooper being possesed by murder Bob, made this finale one where the cliffhangers actually add to, and enhance the series as a whole.

#2- Lost

Love it or hate it, the Lost finale is nothing but a beautiful and touching end to the story of the survivors of Oceanic flight 815. A up-and-down 6 year run finally came to an end with Jack accepting his role in everything and entering the church, while also slowly dying in the forest with Vincent. Ending with the exact same scene as the series started brings the story full circle, and shows the talent that J.J. Abrams has when it comes to storytelling. Always the main character of sorts, Jack's final transformation and sacrifice brings a complete and touching end to one of the best shows ever made.

#1- Star Trek: The Next Generation

As with most finales on this list "All Good Things..." was a two-part episode with a mini-cliffhanger in the middle. Star Trek: TNG was and always will be the finale by which I judge all shows. Bringing back Q to do banter one last time with Jean Luc Picard (Sir Patric Stewart), and help him once again save the world, and all of humanity. The constant time-shifts experienced by Picard allow the viewer to travel through the past and history of the crew. Ending with one of the mst cryptic monologues by Q, the future of the Enterprise crew is limited only by your imagination. And Picard finally sitting down with his crew to play a friendly game of poker made this finale full of heart and a shining example as to why Star Trek is so embedded in our culture.
These are all great shows. I can honestly say that I really never was able to get into the whole StartTrek thing. But it is a okay show other wise. Friends is one of the best shows ever besides The Cosbys of course.. Getting back to the show friends, I enjoyed that fact this showed the true meaning of how friends should be. Each and everyone of them may have had their differences, but when it came down to it. The bottom line is that they always had one another back. The twisted side to it though is that the sharing of boy and girlfriends. Joey was very handsome, even though he played the bird brain role. He had some awesome moment. Feebie is funny because she was like the hippie type. Ross was a mixture of too feminine in a sense and he had a good head on his shoulder to a certain point. Rachel she's so pretty, of course she was the fox , Chantler the nerd and Monica was just dizzy. That's how I viewed all those characters and until this day I still watch friends, and it always make me laugh. There is not a dual moment with friends. The Cosby's Show of course is classic. It shows the true meaning a hardworking mother and father whom did the best to raise their children and put a roof over their heads. I believe that is how a family should be, close when it's necessary, but just like any family there will be issues. But nothing should ever tear a family completely apart. Family are there for ever , but friends come and go. A lot of people seems to get that mixed up.

I never watched Twin Peaks , have seen MASH a couple time and as for Buffy I use to watch her a lot , but then grew away from it. Frasier is a cool show, it had it funny moments. Now Seinfield, I will sit down and watch it anytime of the day. All the actors on that show really put their skills together quite well. George and Kramer were the greatest actors on the show. They made the comedy part of the show live.
Great blog! I'm with you on most of these. The finale of Twin Peaks was superb, and much better than most of the episodes towards the end of the show. It's one of the best examples of Lynch's direction in either TV or film. Interestingly, the cliffhanger ending - though it fits perfectly with the ambiguous, strange tone of the show - was a mistake as Lynch and Frost thought they were getting another season. It's certainly more haunting the way it ended up. Seinfeld had cemented its place in sitcom history well before its finale, but I still find the final episode a bit of a let down. It's got a great conceit - as you'd expect from Larry David - but the execution still leaves me cold, especially the choice to put a clip show in there when there was a double-episode retrospective only weeks before. Though the mixed response to the Seinfeld finale gives Curb Your Enthusiasm some great material when it does its fictional Seinfeld reunion.