Let's do this! It's time for a discussion. I hope. Or more likely just me spewing my thoughts out into the interwebs, as I often do. So a question I have asked before on this blog is this: When it comes to series is it the final destination what matters most, or the journey to get there? So, what I really mean is, does the end of a series matter more than anything that precedes it. Does the ending make or break the series? If a series has been nothing but phenomenal up until the final book, do you then disregard the rest of the series because you weren't satisfied with how it ended? This questions comes back to me constantly because sometimes, the end of a series truly ruins something I once loved.
If you are quite new to my blog, you probably haven't heard me moan endlessly about Dexter before. It's okay though, you about to get it all over again in this post. So, don't worry, you haven't missed out. Essentially, Dexter used to be one of my favourite series OF ALL TIME! That show was the absolute shit, it was a great love of my life and I'd praise it endlessly. But then that last series happened. And it was all ruined. So Dexter was probably what showed me that the way something ends, whether it be a book, TV show or movie series, can actually make and break it. It can change my opinion about that thing as a whole. It can ruin or redeem everything that came before it. A disappointing ending can leave me so disheartened, so that I just feel bad that I ever bothered to get that far. But sometimes you have those final books, seasons or movies that redeem a series. It can blow you away, and make you glad you didn't give up on it. Then we have those mediocre endings, that aren't bad, but aren't good. The ones you don't really know how to feel about.
Are endings THE MOST important thing? I mean, I don't really want to read a series where the only decent book is the final one. But then I equally don't want to read a series where there only decent book is the first one. But the ending is still crucial to me, it has to be satisfying to me, otherwise I feel I have wasted my time following that series. In my opinion, a series ender should be out of this world amazing. If it can't be that then it needs to at least be good or okay. If it is anything below that, then it usually ruins the series for me.
So let me get to my examples, I will try to keep them short (I have hundreds!):
Ones with series-ruining endings:
|Me watching the final episode of Dexter|
How I Met Your Mother - This was a series that started so well but, like a lot of series, got worse the longer it went on. The last few series weren't quite as funny, but my love of the series and the characters kept me watching. The last series though, I don't even know how that got made. It was awful. The worst series ending since Dexter. It's not that soul-crushingly awful, but it was still really bad. I finished the season and wish I'd never watched the last season. Now, if you have never watched it, stop reading now. Now. Seriously, stop. Spoilers be coming! I never wanted Ted with Robin. NEVER! I was so fed up of their stupid will they, won't they storyline. I hate those, I get sick of them. Go The Office route, put them together or let it go. Don't drag it on for 9 fucking seasons. So, yeah, I was happy with Robin and Barney. It worked and made way more sense. They even spent a whole series on their fucking wedding. Only to have her then end up with Ted?!?! Seriously?!?!?! SERIOUSLY?!?! Not fucking cool.
|Me during that last episode of HIMYM|
The show that got it right:
Breaking Bad - This was a show that managed to be almost perfect from the very beginning, right up until the very end. It honestly has one of greatest series endings I have ever seen, and I mean the entirety of the season and not just the final episode. The reason Breaking Bad managed to do this so perfectly is because they learnt a lesson that other series didn't: Don't drag on a series just for the purpose of making money. Breaking Bad could have gone on and on, people would've watched it. They ended it when they needed to, in order to tell the best story.
The ending that ruined the series:
X-Men The Last Stand - This movie was just awful and so not the way that series should have ended. I am so grateful that they decided to reboot the series with the prequels, and especially loved that the second movie in the reboot basically undid all of The Last Stand. Thank fuck for that, is all I can say.
My thoughts after X-Men The Last Stand
Pirates of the Caribbean - I really feel like Pirates should have just ended at The Curse of the Black Pearl. The second movie wasn't bad, but it wasn't brilliant either. Then there was the third one which was just completely disappointing and lacked all of the humour I had come to love this series for. And I thought that would be it but, no, they had to go and drag it out even more. I watched the fourth one, but it was so awful and contained the most pointless mermaid subplot ever. I gave up on it after that and don't plan to watch any more.
Me, every single time they release a new Pirates film:
The Return of the King: This is an amazing movie, it truly is... Until it gets to the end. It's problem is one that has been joked about a million times. And that is the fact that it has a million endings. One thing you should probably do when ending a film is actually end it. Don't end it and then end it again and again and again. Just pick one ending and stick to it. What Return of the King had on its side is the fact every movie in that series was brilliant, practically flawless in fact. One small hickup of an ending just isn't enough to ruin that. Personally, I will always believe that film should have ended with the crowning of the King and everyone bowing to the hobbits. That's it. The End!
How to end a book series:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - This book was a lesson in how to successfully end a series. Everyone had ridiculously high expectations for the final book, and I was not left disappointed. J.K. Rowling broke my heart a million times over in this book, but the book left me completely satisfied. She hits you straight in the feels, makes you sob like a baby an even hate her a little bit. And yet I loved her even more for it. I know others hated the epilogue, but I enjoyed seeing our characters years later and knowing that they were all okay.
Morning Star - Pierce Brown really blew me away with the final book in the Red Rising trilogy. It was a completely satisfying ending and there wasn't one thing that I didn't like about that book. He gave me action and heartbreaking moments, shocking twists I never saw coming.
Me by the end of Morning Star:
Except it'd be a book, not a castle!
Champion - Some people absolutely loved this ending, but it was just okay for me. I think that was because the ending to this series was a bit too soap-opera like in how utterly ridiculous it got. The majority of the book was solid and I enjoyed the series overall, I just wish it hadn't got so utterly ridiculous at the end.
My thoughts exactly!
Allegiant and Dexter are definitely the two finales that proved to me the important of a good ending. Both of those managed to ruin the whole series for me. Why would I want to watch or reread either of them, knowing I'd just be horribly disappointed by the end? The ending of a book/movie/tv show isn't all that matters, but it is still important. For me, a book doesn't have to be out of this world incredible, but it has to be satisfying. Tie up loose ends, give us closure. I don't want an ending to ever leave me feeling disappointing and wondering why I bothered to get that far in the first place.
Do you have an examples of endings in books/television/movies that made or broke a series for you? Or does a bad ending not matter too much for you, as long as the rest is good?