Thursday, April 26, 2012

Top 5 Best Sitcom Finales

First rule, this is only sitcom finales, so you won't find, for example, Life on Mars here.  Second, you won't see Arrested Development, since that may be back on tv in some form--even though it's finale is worthy of a mention.   And now, the list:

5: M*A*S*H (1972-1977) - The series finale earned a 77% audience share.  Three of every four people watching t.v. watched this.  The series about the Korean War that lasted longer than the war itself gave us a chance to remember the good times and the sad times, and tied up the loose ends for each of the characters.  It was a fitting end for the 4077 gang (assuming we don't count After M*A*S*H).


4: Cheers (1982-1993) - The show that ranked 77th of 77 for its premiere ended 11 seasons and 275 episodes later as one of the most beloved shows of the 80's.  The finale had it all--Diane and Rebecca, Sam leaving Cheers to live in California, and finally, Sam returning to (as Norm called it) his "one true love."  The series ends with Norm leaving the bar for the night, and Sam locking up.  A person comes to the door--you don't see who--and Sam says, "Sorry, we're closed," before heading into the darkness of the unlit back room.  It was a perfect closing moment for the bar where everybody know your name.

3: All in the Family (1968-1979) - Edith almost dies, and we all cry a little for the bigot Archie who, despite his numerous prejudices and his "king of the castle" act, is just as insecure and scared as the rest of us.

2: The Office (U.K. version) (2001-2003) - Through two seasons we get to watch the slow motion crash and burn of David Brent.  When we catch up with him in the finale, he's completely defrocked and has hit rock bottom.  Meanwhile, Dawn and Tim seem destined to be apart--and in fact are.  What unfolds over the course of the episode is simply perfect.  No spoilers here, just rent it.

1: Newhart (1982-1990) - Bob Newhart had a wildly successful sitcom (The Bob Newhart Show) that ended a few years before this show aired.  In the finale of this show, Bob wakes up--next to his wife from the earlier series--and discovers that the entire run of Newhart was a dream of his character in The Bob Newhart Show!  Best.  Twist.  Ever.

This is a list I've been considering for a long time.  I know we all have our favorite sitcoms.  I hope you'll share your favorite finale in the comments.  Maybe we could get a decent debate going!  And as always, like us on Facebook.

12 comments:

  1. Are we counting The Office specials?

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  2. almost perfect except for ricky gervais

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  3. Great picks!! Love SITCOMS- of all decades.  Surprised "Friends" isn't on here.  The entire show was a cultural impact, a fairy tale sitcom.  And the ending "The Last One" where everyone gets their own version of "happily ever after"- classic. 
    there are tons to list- so understandable this is only the "TOP 5".  Great blog today!!

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  4. I liked quantum leaps finale but that wasn't really a sitcom. 

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  5. Good list!  I would have put M*A*S*H higher though, as that finale had both humor and some very powerful emotion.  I still get choked up when I see the rerun.  Good list too because there is a huge difference between best finale and best show.  Seinfeld was the best sitcom ever in my opinion, but the finale was a disappointment.  Friends doesn't make either list for me.  Just annoying.

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  6. Yes, you have to.  I think the special is the finale, actually.  Just amazing.

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  7. This is, hands-down, the best thing Gervais has ever done.

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  8. Thanks Kristi!  I had a hard time with Friends.  I acknowledge its popularity, but I never cared for it.  But I'm curious--as a Friends fan, which of these would you bump to make room for Friends?  It's a tough call.

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  9. Agreed on both points!  ;)

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  10. Yeah, me too (about getting choked up)--MASH was an amazing show in so many ways.  People tend to hate on it now because it moved away from comedy a bit toward the end, but I think the show holds up as one of the best comedy/drama series ever made, and the finale was awesome.  I have it at 5, but could easily see it at 3 or maybe even 2.

    I completely agree about Seinfeld too.  I'm planning a top 5 worst finales for some time in the future, and Seinfeld is receiving serious consideration.

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  11. Mary Tyler Moore had one of the best finales too.  Heartbreaking and funny as I remember.  

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  12. Caught the show in reruns, and enjoyed it (mainly because MTM is so damn likable), but I don't remember the finale (if I ever saw it).  I'll be checking to see if it's available on Netflix though...

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