Spoiler alert…for shows that have been off the air for anywhere between 5 to 34 years.

Seriously.  There’s got to be a statute of limitations on spoilers.

January 27, 2015: Top 10 Most Depressing Series Finales!

10. Six Feet Under

My favorite finale of all time.  It was only appropriate that a show that explored the realities of death should conclude with the multiple flash forward deaths of all of its beloved characters.  Incredibly depressing yet perfectly fitting.

January 27, 2015: Top 10 Most Depressing Series Finales!

9. Little House on the Prairie

Rather than allow their little town to fall into the clutches of a greedy railroad tycoon, the residents of Walnut Grove decide to blow up every building in town.

January 27, 2015: Top 10 Most Depressing Series Finales!

8. Stargate: Universe

The crew of the Destiny enters stasis so that the ship can channel all of its energy to completing a 3-year journey to the next galaxy.  As the various sections of the ship go dark (bookending the show’s opening images), we find our lovable hero Eli, alone on the observation deck.  Then, the ship jumps to FTL, leaving us (the viewers) behind.

[We were actually expecting to come back for a final third season – but, obviously, that didn’t happen.  Still, if you’re curious about how things may have turned out: https://josephmallozzi.com/2011/05/12/may-12-2011-stargate-universe-beyond-season-2-what-might-have-been/]

January 27, 2015: Top 10 Most Depressing Series Finales!

7. Twin Peaks

Agent Cooper, battles his nemesis Windom Earl in the otherworldly realm of The Black Lodge – and loses his soul.  But there’s hope for our affable hero – 25 years later – as Showtime has announced production on a follow-up to the cult series, set to premiere in 2016.

January 27, 2015: Top 10 Most Depressing Series Finales!

6. Blake’s 7

Everybody dies.  Hope you heeded that spoiler warning above.

January 27, 2015: Top 10 Most Depressing Series Finales!

5. The Sopranos

Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” plays through the show’s final scene as the Soprano family convenes in a diner and…we cut to black.  Was Tony killed?  Probably?  Will we ever know for sure?  Probably not.

January 27, 2015: Top 10 Most Depressing Series Finales!

4. Roseanne

In the show’s final season, Roseanne and her family win the lottery and hilarity (?) ensues.  Until the final episode in which we discover that the show was actually a story written by Roseanne Conner based on her life.  The family never won the library and, oh yeah, husband Dan is dead.  Thanks for watching our comedy!

January 27, 2015: Top 10 Most Depressing Series Finales!

3. Quantum Leap

After five seasons of leaping through time to help others, Dr. Sam Beckett is finally given the opportunity to return home.  He decides to do just that, after making one final leap – so save his buddy Al’s marriage. He succeeds and…according to the final card, never returns home.  Boo!

January 27, 2015: Top 10 Most Depressing Series Finales!

2. Alf

Our wise-cracking alien prepares to finally head home to Melmac – only to get captured by the military.  They’re probably still experimenting on him.

January 27, 2015: Top 10 Most Depressing Series Finales!

1. Dinosaurs

Hapless dinosaur dad Earl unwittingly helps usher in an ice age that will wipe out his family, his community, and all of his fellow dinosaurs.

24 thoughts on “January 27, 2015: Top 10 Most Depressing Series Finales!

  1. Well, those *were* depressing. Don’t remind me about SGU! That still hurts.

    Anyway, I remember the Dinosaurs ending as being probably the biggest downer I ever remember on TV. “We’re all gonna die!” Big laughs, right there.

    I remember Twin Peaks’ ending as one that didn’t really seem like an ending. Or made about as much sense as much of the show (unfortunately) did during the second season.

    The Quantum Leap ending just ticked me off.

    In other news, the storm is nearing an end here in the Maritimes, but there’s still some snow left to fall. It’s been the wind and white out conditions that have been the worst, as we only got about 30cm of snow (so far). Most places were closed today in the area, including my office, so there’s been little need to go out. I do wish I had stopped when I was out last night to get some storm chips, though!

  2. Quantum Leaps ending still annoys me. I loved that show growing up and then that ending. Seriously, we loyal fans get this as an ending, that was not an ending it was a cop out.

  3. Dinasaurs was sad. And SGU, though it actually worked as an ending – sort of in the vein of many anime series that leave things open-ended and let you decide what you think would come next.

    I sort of remember the ending of Twin Peaks being unsatisfying, though I had stopped watching it regularly by then – it had just gotten too weird.

    I never saw those other finales, but I agree that they are pretty depressing.

  4. The good thing about Stargate franchise is that the fan base still exists, just like with Twin Peaks and after 25 years they are bringing it back to life, at least for a little while.

    That’s why I haven’t lost all hope to see Stargate (as I came to know it through the three series) at least once more during my lifetime. For me that journey is still ongoing. It’s like I entered the Destiny 15 years ago, traveled deeper in to the universe during the years and four years ago I was put in stasis.

    Still, it’s good to see that the original movie is getting rebooted and a whole trilogy is said to be coming. Well, who knows, maybe these movies will get things into motion and make Stargate appear again as a series. Of course they then would have to choose between continuing the universe created by the previous series or the other universe created by the upcoming movies.

    Anyway, I hope everything good for you Joe!

  5. Totally agree with your top 3. My personal depressingest (?) was SGA because I was so broken up about the series ending in the first place. McKeller and Sheppard ending up all alone…

  6. I never watched most of those shows, but the ones I did watch, Little House, Twin Peaks, Roseanne, I had given up on them in their final seasons. The shows changed too much or in Twin Peaks case it had lost some of it’s charm and magic. And I’ve NEVER been a fan of killing off beloved regular characters. I didn’t think Stargate Universe was depressing because that ending was so well done. SGA was very depressing because that was THE END. 😥

    I am exhausted after two days of picking up the slack for my New Jersey co-workers. They get a snow day off (Company on Monday shut down for Tuesday based on weather predictions that turned out was not that bad) and I’m here working my butt off. It was 74 and clear blue skies in Texas today. I’m sooooo tired.

  7. I didn’t know you watched Dinosaurs. We loved that.

    I think Farscape needed to be added to this list. At the time the last episode aired, no one knew there would ever be a miniseries to wrap up the storyline. It was the result of very passionate fans who created an “I Am Farscape” campaign.

    How are Jelly and Lulu? You MUST tell us. We’re very concerned.

    @GForce Be careful out there!

  8. I feel that it’s like giving one huge middle finger to audiences whenever the writers/creators/producers of a show end said show by destroying everything (or killing everyone) that fans had grown to love. It’s just…mean. Mean in a puppy-kicking, lollypop-stealing kinda way.


  9. While reading “what could have been,” I got depressed all over again for the ending of Stargate! all of them! boo hoo But I was reminded of your brilliance and it gave me hope for Dark Matter. Plus, I have all the boxed sets, hee. I’m glad you are still doing your thing, I really love your mind!
    Please don’t kill everyone off…EVER! I only like it when the bad guys die, lol.

  10. Oh god I remember the Blakes 7 ending!!! later to find out that Avon did survive…oh and the rest did as well they were just stunned apart from Blake of course… yeah… still awaiting for them to get their heads together and get the sequel up and running!

    Quantum Leap I must admit I did cry at that one… heartbreaking!

    Little House – yep cried at that one as well!

    Mash – my god that was so well done!

    And yes I am a big wimp!

    Kriss 🙂

  11. I’ve probably only seen half of the shows you list and can’t remember the endings to most of them. Either I never made it to the final episode or it didn’t leave that much of an impression on me.

    Quantum Leap, on the other hand, made me cry! Poor Sam! I mentally add a ‘. . . yet’ to the end to make myself feel better (even though the poor grammar bothers me too!). I picture him still bouncing around in time helping people. Although he was pretty burned out by the end. I suspect he more likely ended up committing suicide. Damn, now I’m going to have to do a Quantum Leap re-watch after I finish my Babylon 5 re-watch.

    I don’t count SGU‘s ending as a proper ending. It wasn’t written as such unlike the rest of the shows in your list.

    And I really need to watch Blake’s 7. I guess I can’t really count myself as a sci-fi nerd until I’ve seen it.

  12. The Quantum Leap ending is one of the worst. I was always hoping he would make it home. Alf was another bad one. He should have been sent home. Dinosaurs just made me laugh. Sorry but didn’t get into SGU! But that ending sounds tough to swallow for a fan. One I think you missed was Angel. That ending was crap!

  13. Being stationed overseas means I missed most of these shows. Now that I am settled and have a DVR, I hang in longer, but honestly, I lose interest and wander off. Only Stargate and Highlander ever held my interest, and even then I had to get Highlander on DVD to finish it.

  14. Why look back? We have a new show to look forward to! I’m excited about “Dark Matter”. It has to be better than the shows on Syfy now!

    Any news on your girls (Jelly & Lulu)?

  15. I’ve read elsewhere that the ALF ending was actually just supposed to be an end-of-season cliffhanger, to be resolved the next season. But, then it got cancelled in between. That makes that one a bit more understandable.

  16. i hear you about quantum leap.
    the problem was when they were doing that episode they didn’t know if they were going to get another season, get canceled, or somehow lead-in to a movie or tv movie to wrap things up. those end cards were tacked-on later. but i think they should have given sam a better ending by bringing him home in a couple of sentences at the end.

    i was WTF?! at the end of roseanne. i was like: what do you mean it was all a dream er, story?!

    alf did get a follow-up tv move several years after the series ended, but by then no one remembered what had happened at the end or the series. or gave a damn.

    i agree with Katie Leary, the end of angle was crap, so was the ending of xena & star trek: enterprise. i didn’t like the ending of star trek: voyager either.

  17. I’m going to say Stargate Universe because it was so depressing how such a great show died way way wayyyyyy before its time. I would have loved to have seen it reach 100 episodes.

  18. @The Quantum Leap ending just ticked me off.

    I thought the same because I wanted him to return home, however I could understand his decision, this was his journey and he wanted to continue it.

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