Top Ten Worst TV Show Endings/Series Finales Ever – #10 – The Sopranos

1378294009-800pxIt’s not over until the fat lady sings but more often than not, TV writers have a tendency to make the fat lady shrug her shoulders, go, “Meh” and walk unceremoniously off stage.

We the viewers invest a lot of time in our favorite television shows. Is it too much to ask for the people in charge of these shows to return the favor?

From BQB HQ in Fabulous East Randomtown, here are the Top Ten Worst TV Series Finales Ever:

(NOTE: SPOILERS are revealed, so if you want to be disappointed on your own without me telling you how you’ll be disappointed, read no further.)

10.  The Sopranos – Every series sets forth a number of big questions and the unspoken deal between writer and viewer is that if viewers spend enough time with a show, the questions will be answered.

The question dangling over Tony Soprano’s head? What was going to happen to the New Jersey mob boss?

Was he going to end up in jail? Killed by one of his enemies? Betrayed by one of his friends (or hell, even his family)?

Or would he just come out on top, one step ahead of everyone who wanted to see him behind bars or six feet under?

The answer we got? “Meh.”

The show ends with Tony and family about to order dinner at a restaurant. In an homage to The Godfather, a man in a Member’s Only jacket ominously enters the bathroom. Fans of gangster flicks immediately recall how Michael Corleone once came out of a restaurant bathroom with a gun blazing.

Daughter Meadow arrives on the scene late and has difficulty parallel parking her car outside, suggesting that she may very well luck out into narrowly escaping a blood bath.

Like so many viewers, I too started slapping my cable box when the screen went black.

The last season tied up a seasonal arc. There was a whole beef between Tony and the New York mob and Tony came out on top. Fine, but that didn’t really answer what his overall fate would be.

As the viewers of the groundbreaking show, we really deserved to know how Tony’s life story ends.

And we just got a make up your own ending.  You were free to think that Tony, Carmella and AJ were massacred.  Or, if you prefer, Meadow joined them, they had a nice dinner, and then Tony continued to be a mobster anyway.

The sad part? Tony had so much anxiety about the uncertainty of his life. He often lamented how he’d been drafted into the “family business” by default.  He sought stability and suffered from panic attacks that made him pass out when he didn’t get it.

Take away all the evil mobsters, murders, drugs, debauchery and death and the average viewer with a family, a mortgage, a tough job, struggling to make ends meet and wondering what tough breaks life was going to hurl at him next likely found Tony’s anxious plight to be relatable.

Ironically, all we got was anxiety over our unanswered questions in the end.

Worse, producer David Chase, years later in an interview, noted that the ending meant Tony lived.

Sigh.  We don’t even get the do-it-yourself ending anymore.

Major props to this show though because it really was one of the first to draw big audiences to cable TV, proving that there was a desire among the public for darker storylines and well…the kind of gratuitous sex and violence that only pay television can provide.

We wouldn’t be oggling fantasy maiden boobs today on Game of Thrones had The Sopranos not paved the way with the ladies of the Bada Bing.




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13 thoughts on “Top Ten Worst TV Show Endings/Series Finales Ever – #10 – The Sopranos

  1. Never watched it and now I can’t, it’s ruined because you had to go and tell me how it ended. Whaaaa

    • Well, it did end in 2007 so I don’t have amnesty under the 15 year old spoiler rule. However, under the “announce spoilers before beginning” rule, I’m all good.

      Even with knowledge of the terrible ending, watch it anyway. Hard to admit because it is a show about mobsters doing terrible things, but I looked forward to it when it was on. The best thing on TV at a time of few choices.

      Now we have so many choices.

    • What did you think about Chapter 89? I impressed myself with that one…

  2. Agree. The ending of The Sopranos was disappointing.

    • Many shows do this. They wrap up the latest seasonal arc they’re on then in the last five minutes are like oh well we better end the show.

      We got an answer as to the NY Mob problem but no idea what happens to Tony going forward.

      Probably the best ending they were able to do in the time they had left but the fans would have been up for one last season explaining what happens to Tony at the end of it all.

      • It would have been cool if the fade to black then opened into a new scene and the Soprano family was all on the Oceana flight that crashed on the island from Lost. Then they could have been in a second crappy series finale.

      • I never watched that show but it sounds like people were very disappointed in it.

        My uninformed two cents would be that if a show centers around a plane crash on an island, why the survivors survived, are they alive or dead, what’s their purpose, etc then all that should have been answered by the end.

      • You would think, but, no.

  3. lgould171784 says:

    It was as if the writers ran out of creative juice (as demonstrated by the blackout) and told their viewers, “We’re done. You write the ending.”

    • I recall at the time a lot of the actors wanted to do other things and then as often happens, they all did do other projects but none as memorable as the Sopranos.

      Hate to speak ill of the dead, but Gandolfini was more or less a version of Tony in every other movie after that so he might as well have given us one last hurrah.

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