From the quick-cut "Sopranos" ending to the big bang that "Little House on the Prairie" went out on, here are seven other finales that fizzled.
"The Sopranos" (June 10, 2007) The jaggedly abrupt ending to HBO's mobster hit first had viewers wondering if their cable service had been interrupted. Then it made them wonder what David Chase was thinking. Seriously, ending a revered series with a quick cut to black? That would be like ending this entry in the middle of a sent
"St. Elsewhere" (May 25, 1988) So the whole thing was dreamed up by an autistic kid as he stared into a snowglobe? Were the writers staring down the chamber of a bong when they came up with that?
"The X-Files" (May 19, 2002) The truth might be out there -- but it certainly wasn't in the beloved paranormal series' swan song, which raised more questions than it delivered answers.
"M.A.S.H" (Feb. 28, 1983) Yes, it ranks as one of the most watched television episodes ever. But series star Alan Alda -- who co-wrote and directed the episode -- took the opportunity to over-emote all over the place. ("It was a baby!") And at two and a half hours, the episode was nearly as long -- or at least it felt that way -- as the war it was set in.
"Lost" (May 23, 2010) The increasingly wayward series came to a nebulous conclusion that did little to answer the numerous questions that the show had laid out in preceding episodes. Fans searched for meaning on what it was all about -- but maybe they should have considered that "Lost" was a metaphor for the state that the series' writers eventually found themselves in.
"Little House on the Prairie" (March 21, 1983) Nine seasons of folksy family entertainment end when the good citizens of Walnut Grove decide to blow their town up rather than give it up to a railroad tycoon. Did Jerry Bruckheimer direct this thing?
"Twin Peaks" (June 10, 1991) Yes, we know better than to expect logic and linear plotlines from David Lynch. But this series capper twisted viewers' brains into pretzel-like contortions -- and probably led to more than a few sleepless nights among fans.