E! Online and pretty much everyone else is talking about this week's series finale of "Six Feet Under." It made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think about all of the show's that have gone to that big production studio in the sky.
What makes a perfect ending? For some, it's bringing back the faces you've grown to love and hate and for others, it's a mind-blowing, jaw-dropping climax. Most just like things wrapped up in a nice, neat package. In honor of this great show's passing, here's my list of the six best TV endings of all time.
That's right -- it just aired and I am giving credit where credit is due. Each week, the writing was completely original and the performances were nothing less than stellar. Sure, the Fishers and company seemed to never really be happy, which is what makes this epilogue all that more exciting.
WARNING: Here comes a semi-spoiler...
Yes, the show was depressing. In fact, it often brought tears to my eyes -- a lot of them. And even though the show ended with a semi-cheesy, but sort of cool look at how each of the main characters bites it, it was a great way to put a satisfying spin on that moment that we all fear the most.
Everyone hates the "gotcha -- it was just a dream" way to explain everything that happened. It might just be a justifiable reason to start a riot, and with good reason. After all, you just wasted how many weeks (including summer reruns) of your life?
But I'm going to have to give it to "Newhart." After Dick gets beaned by a golf ball, he wakes up next to former TV wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette from "The Bob Newhart Show") and realizes his life as an innkeeper in Vermont was all a dream/nightmare. It was a great way to give the finger to "Dallas," who recently tried to pull that fast one unsuccessfully, and was twice as funny while doing it. Oh -- and we also got to hear the brothers Daryl speak for the first and last time.
There's a reason why it was one of the most-viewed episodes of any TV show -- it was fairly realistic. The show lasted for 11 seasons, and even though I think the good days were behind the second Frank Burns (Larry Linville) got his walking papers, it was an institution.
Sure, the ending was a bit hokey. Even the title "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" was just a condensed way of saying "get out the tissues unless you are a heartless bastard." Let's face it though: if you were away at war and the whole thing was declared over, like you wouldn't cry like a baby?
Unfortunately, this episode also spoiled just about every other corny way to end a show, which seems to be the only way people know how to end them. It's also the reason you won't find "Cheers" on this list.
After growing up through Kevin Arnold's (Fred Savage) eyes for six seasons, it was hard to say goodbye. It was equally as hard to see that the relationship you had been rooting for all this time -- between awkwardly cute Kevin and sweet girl-next-door Winnie Cooper -- just wasn't going to happen.
The show ends with that Daniel Stern voice-over that helped make the show what is was, informing us that the Dad died not too much later, Mom goes on to become a big-wig in business, brother Wayne went into the family business, sister Karen has a baby, and Kevin keeps up with Winnie even after all of her years studying in France. In fact, he was there to meet her upon her return, with his wife and new son.
Great show, great ending. Larry was never the type of guy to get sentimental, and he wasn't about to start now.
Larry is preparing to bid farewell, because he's being replaced by a much younger, cooler Jon Stewart. Hey now! The hitch is that he wants to go out like Carson, with a star-studded sendoff. Highlights include another extremely funny appearance by David Duchovny. And, of course, how one minute Jim Carrey sings a sappy musical message to Larry, only to ream him out during the commercial break. The whole thing is a parade of cameos, but because the writing is so great, it doesn't take away from this classic comedy's swansong.
Low ratings and new ownership puts the entire cast at the back of the unemployment line. Oh -- with the exception of anchorgod Ted Baxter (Ted Knight). That alone ranks it high on this writer's list.
As the group amasses for the big touching group hug, a need for Kleenex creates one of the funniest moments in TV finale history. The words "all for one" never had such greater meaning, as the group sings "It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary" on their way out. Made me laugh, cry, and more importantly -- made me remember why this show is such a classic.