TORONTO - A look at some of the most memorable finales — both beloved and reviled — in TV history:
"Lost" (May, 23, 2010) — Widely regarded as one of the most unsatisfying endings in TV history, spawning countless websites and online articles purporting to explain all those mind-bending twists and turns and whether they had any meaning in the end. Were they dead the whole time? Why did all those pregnant women die? Whatever happened to Walt and Michael? Somewhere in an alternate universe this is all clear.
"Newhart" (May 21, 1990) — Apparently Bob Newhart's real-life wife came up with the sitcom's brilliant ending, in which a storyline about a Japanese investor keen on buying the whole town — including Dick Loudon's inn — is merely a set-up for the final surprise scene. Newhart wakes in a strange but oddly familiar bedroom that turns out to be the set for his old "Bob Newhart Show." Lying next to him is his former TV wife, played by Suzanne Pleshette, and he realizes it was all a dream.
"Seinfeld" (May 14, 1998) — A parade of past favourites returns for this 75-minute special, including Babu, the Soup Nazi and the Bubble Boy but there's little story to elevate this ending beyond a lazy trip down memory lane. Each are called on to testify to the self-absorbed antics of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer when the quartet is arrested because they stood around making fat jokes instead of stopping a carjacker. All the more disappointing because of the brilliance that came before it.
"The Sopranos" (June 10, 2007) — This much-adored show left viewers scratching their heads when it suddenly cut to black and left the fate of depressed mob boss Tony Soprano frustratingly vague. Are he and his family still sitting in that Jersey diner? Or did they get whacked? The uncertainty is the whole point, according to creator David Chase.
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