The best ways to close out an era
With "How I Met Your Mother" wrapping up it's incredible nine-year run last week, I thought the timing was perfect to take a look back at some of my favorite series finales from recent memory to see just how the (unexpected) ending to HIMYM stacks up.
"Seinfeld": Upon its initial airing, "Seinfeld's" finale received about as much praise as it did criticism. However, I believe it to be nothing less than an absolute masterpiece. What better way to end a self-proclaimed show about nothing than by having all of the main characters literally get arrested for doing nothing? That's exactly what they did. For violating a "good Samaritan" law by failing to help or alert police after witnessing a man getting mugged (preferring to film the event and make humorous commentary) the famous foursome if Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine were sentenced to a prison sentence after testimony from pretty much every memorable character from the show appeared for one final cameo appearance. In a word, brilliant.
"30 Rock": How does one finish off a series full of characters that could be described as live action versions of "Simpsons" characters? Simple-by letting them continue to be their ridiculous selves while at the same time adding just a tad bit of heart. Seeing the crew of TGS break up was a bittersweet moment, but it couldn't have been done more perfectly. Seeing Jack Donaghy depart for a world cruise to turn around after 20 seconds, Pete attempting to fake his death only to be found by his wife wearing a fake mustache and Liz and Tracy have a heart to heart moment...in a strip club: all priceless moments.
"Arrested Development": The original series finale of "Arrested Development" was more than worthy of the legendary comedy series. In its final moments, a series of final plot twists added a few more hearty laughs to the series' repertoire. We learn that Michael's twin sister Lindsay is actually adopted, meaning that George-Michael Bluth and Maeby Funke aren't actually related. Additionally, we see Maeby attempting to sell the television rights to her family's life story to Ron Howard (the show's actual executive producer) who says he sees the project as more of a movie, a teaser which has stuck with fans years after the episode's initial airing.
"Futurama": Due to being cancelled and revived no less than three times, "Futurama" has had multiple series finales. None are quite as potent as the original season four finale "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings." In yet another attempt to win Leela's heart, Fry trades his hands for the Robot Devil's, as the latter's allow him to expertly play the advanced musical instrument the holophonor. Fry finally finds himself the epitome of fame and Leela's affections. However eventually he must choose to relinquish his hands to save Leela from entering Robot Hell. What follows remains the most touching moment in the entire series.
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