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SF/F Movie, TV & Video Game Chat > Rating SF&F TV Show Finales

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 24, 2015 09:00AM) (new)

A lot of long-running series, especially those with underlying storylines, try to wrap things up in the last episode.

Some ambitious chap went through the IMDB ratings for 100's of TV series and compared the rating of the series's final episode to the average rating of the show as a way of seeing whether the show's fans thought the ending was satisfying or unsatisfying.

I went through and pulled out the SF&F genre shows:

SF/F Series whose finales had overall positive ratings (in order from most positive to least positive)

Charmed, Revolution, Smallville, Angel, Flashforward, Stargate: Universe, Buffy, Chuck, Fringe, Star Trek: Voyager, Lois & Clarke, Battlestar Galactica (1979), Jerico, Deep Space Nine, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG-1, Merlin, Avatar The Last Airbender.

Neutral: Battlestar Galactica (2009), Heroes, Alias

SF/F Shows whose finales had overall negative ratings compared to the series as a whole (in order from least bad to most terrible):

X Files, Lost, Firefly, Futurama, Star Trek: Enterprise.

(You can see the whole list in A visual journey through the most loved and hated TV series finales .)


This year I think several more series will be added to the list, including Haven, Falling Skies, and Continuum. (At least those shows got advance notification they were in their final season.)


message 2: by Kivrin (new)

Kivrin | 454 comments I see that a lot of the shows with positive rankings are series that had time to wrap up their stories. I completely agree with Charmed and Buffy and Merlin. Angel had a good finale but it was a little too sad for me.

Jericho should have had more episodes so I can't agree with that one.

X Files just got lost at the end. And Firefly didn't really have a finale. It was cancelled too soon.

And I'm one of the few who really enjoyed the Lost finale.


message 3: by Garyjn (new)

Garyjn | 85 comments Surprised to see that Star Trek TNG was a slight negative. That finale was one of my favorites. Especially that final scene where Picard sits down to play cards: perfect.
Of course the overall rating was pretty high, but I definitely felt the finale was above average.


message 4: by Hillary (new)

Hillary Major | 436 comments I'm surprised the 21st C Battlestar Galactica finale came up neutral -- I'm among those who would rate it positively (at least, for me there was more I liked about it than didn't like), but when I read online commentary, it seems to get nothing but hate.


message 5: by Kivrin (new)

Kivrin | 454 comments Hillary wrote: "I'm surprised the 21st C Battlestar Galactica finale came up neutral -- I'm among those who would rate it positively (at least, for me there was more I liked about it than didn't like), but when I ..."

And I hated it most of it! I loved the new BSG, but I thought the finale was less than satisfying. Kara was an angel??? WTH???


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Kivrin wrote: "And I hated it most of it! I loved the new BSG, but I thought the finale was less than satisfying...."

I've long held the opinion that any network genre TV show with a continuing plotline that runs more than three seasons is going to have a terrible ending. The exigencies require that every TV series try to run forever, at least until the ratings slip, and also that there be plenty of end of season and pre-sweeps cliffhangers to drag audiences back. The result is that by the end, nobody in the writer room can coherently explain the storyline, so the ending has to reach for some bizarre deus ex machina. BSG & Lost our two big examples of that, in my opinion.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I noticed a couple of SF&F shows that weren't on the compiled list, so I looked them up on iMDB myself:

Babylon 5 (positive), Dollhouse (positive), Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (positive), Warehouse 13 (positive), Dark Angel (positive), Roswell (positive), Space: Avove & Beyond (positive), The 4400 (positive), V (2009) (positive), Andromeda (positive), Earth: Final Conflict (neutral), Sliders (negative), Terra Nova (negative), V (1984) (negative), Farscape (negative), Lost in Space (negative).

Some of those finales I don't even remember what happened. :)


message 8: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 909 comments G33z3r wrote: "Babylon 5 (positive)"

As I recall, it was intended from the start to be a 5-season story (wishful thinking?). But they did have to make changes because of casting and other issues.


message 9: by Kivrin (new)

Kivrin | 454 comments G33z3r wrote: "I noticed a couple of SF&F shows that weren't on the compiled list, so I looked them up on iMDB myself:

Babylon 5 (positive), Dollhouse (positive), Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (positive..."


Terra Nova had an excellent last episode, but it was never meant to be a finale! Oh, if only it had been renewed. My family was itching to watch more.


message 10: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 251 comments G33z3r wrote: "SF/F Shows whose finales had overall negative ratings compared to the series as a whole (in order from least bad to most terrible):

X Files, Lost, Firefly, Futurama, Star Trek: Enterprise"


Haha, I can understand that Enterprise's finale is among the least liked, it was basically a slap in the fans' faces while saying "TNG was better".
Futurama I don't get, (each of) its series finale was very good.
Firefly doesn't really count as it wasn't planned; the last episode was really good and pretty much the only thing bad about it is that it was the last episode.

G33z3r wrote: "Farscape (negative)"

Is that the last episode of the 4th season, or the miniseries that was made after? If it's the latter I don't understand, it was a great end to the story.


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 27, 2015 06:43AM) (new)

Bryan wrote: G33z3r wrote: "Farscape (negative)"

Is that the last episode of the 4th season, or the miniseries that was made after? If it's the latter I don't understand, it was a great end to the story. ..."


That's based on S4E22, last episode of the last season. The Peacekeeper War comes out neutral, i.e. Liked as well as the series as a whole.


message 12: by Royce (new)

Royce Sears (royce_sears) | 6 comments In my opinion, Charmed was a decent show but somewhere toward the middle of the show they just started beating the dead horse for content. I didn't make it to the finale.

Loved Revolution, and as I am a Netflix consumer I am still waiting to see the finale of it.

Angel was a good show, but I always felt drained and tired after watching it--Angel was such a dark and brooding character that it was tiresome to watch.

Anything by Joss Whedon (Buffy, Dollhouse, Firefly) I really enjoyed--and to be fair--Firefly was cancelled and didn't get a proper chance to make a go of it.(Grumbles)-- There is a Firefly reference in my novelette "The Key to Humanity" to give an idea of my Firefly loyalty.

I loved the entire Star Trek Voyager series and thought it was wrapped up fairly well.--I would go with a neutral on that one.

As for the others, I loved Fringe--the finale was good in my opinion though I didn't really want to see it end. Heroes was a fantastic show that irritated me with the finale. The entire Lost production was interesting and enjoyable but I have to agree with the terrible ending.

Lets not discuss the finale of Enterprise--I may start swearing.

Add-ons: Terra Nova--fantastic show that never got a chance to really stretch its legs and the same thing goes for The Tomorrow People.


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