20 TV Show Finales That Are Totally Flawless

When it came to ending on a high, these shows didn't disappoint...

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In 2019, Game of Thrones came to an almost unanimously despised conclusion, with a finale that seemed to have little regard for continuity, character development, or audience expectations. It felt like an empty shell of the show it had once been, and has since gone down in such infamy that the series will forever be tainted by it.

Much like How I Met Your Mother, Dexter and Lost before it, Game of Thrones proved how important it is to end a popular, long-running show with a strong final act, because that finale might just ruin the rest of the show's image, regardless of how good it might have once been.

Unfortunately, terrible, disappointing finales are a fairly common occurrence on TV, but every now and again a series comes along and does an almost impossible thing by ending on a massively praised high, tying up loose ends, sending major characters on their way, and allowing fans to share in a collective sigh of relief.

With that in mind, from understated espionage thrillers, sports dramas, animated tragicomedies and groundbreaking dramas, here are 20 of those rare TV show finales that are totally, 100% flawless.


20. Always - Friday Night Lights

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Universal Television

Over its five-season run, Friday Night Lights was many things, from sports drama to family drama, an assessment of high school pressure, drug use, religion, politics and sexuality, and a sincere, complex portrait of marriage against the odds.

Throughout the show, the core of the story had been about Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and his wife Tami (Connie Britton), a couple undeniably made for each other and constantly acting with the other's best interests at heart, and the finale Always makes sure to hammer this home.

Whilst the various students and football stars of East Dillon High patch up their fraught relationships and prepare for one last big game, Eric agrees to move out of Dillon for the good of Tami's career, a decision years in the making which ends the series of a seriously bittersweet high note.

Much like the rest of Friday Night Lights (save for the disastrous second season), Always is a poetic and hopeful depiction of family, selflessness and chasing dreams, and it's simply a beautiful send-off.

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I get to write about what I love, so that's pretty cool. Every great film should seem new every time you see it. Be excellent to each other.