End Game: TV's Best and Worst Series Finales

From 'Lost' to 'The Sopranos,' these are last episodes that got it right — and very, very wrong

Load Previous

Worst: 'Roseanne'

Starring a blue-collar family with painfully realistic problems, Roseanne feels more radical now than ever. The show's fever-dream final season, however, jumped a pool full of Great Whites. After an absurd storyline in which the down-and-out Conner family wins the lotto, the finale revealed that much of what had come before had simply been made up. It turns out that Roseanne was a writer who'd scripted a happier outcome for her family, swapping her girls' significant others while keeping her own husband, John Goodman's pitch-perfect Dan, alive past the heart attack that had killed him. A number of shows, from Newhart's callback to an earlier Seventies sitcom to St. Elsewhere's conceit that its entire run was an autistic boy's interior life, have done wonders with the "it was all a dream" concept. But both tossing what made your show work out the window and then telling us after the fact that none of it mattered is damn near unforgivable.

Back to Top