TV shows are precarious things, they are long with overarching storylines, and you need to wait years before you can see some semblance of payoff from the series. But most of the time the payoff promised is more than the promise realized and fans are left with the feeling of what did I just spend years of life watching?
There are many shows which reached the promised lands and delivered even more than they promised, for example; 'Person of Interest' and Breaking Bad. Hoping El Camino: A Breaking Bad Moviereleasing on 11 October 2019 doesn’t derail the whole series; still, many shows finished their run on a good note for the fans and left them with the feeling of satisfaction.
Source: Ain't It Cool News
But the feeling of satisfaction from a beloved series is rarely achieved, and most shows fall way short of what they set out to achieve in the first place. There are many examples of shows where the finale left much to be desired, but there are those series which pissed away years of buildup and enraged fans who stuck by for many years. So, here is the list of TV series which totally enraged their fan base and ruined perfectly good shows.
10. House Of Cards
The place where everything started for Netflix and their original content, House of Cards was the first show produced by the streaming giant. The show was a huge success both commercially because the show drove in huge numbers of fans to the subscription-based streaming service, and also critically, with 56 nominations and seven Emmy wins and eight nominations, and two Golden Globes wins. But by the time the series was hitting peak form in season five Kevin Spacey was hit with allegations of sexual misconducts which resulted in many past conducts coming to light and Netflix fired Spacey from the series with Robin Wright leading the show by herself.
The reason this series enraged fans was how the final season felt like a feminist slap with every episode ham fisting feminist propaganda and forgetting who their audiences were. The whole thing reached peak cringe when Robin Wright's character shows off a room full of female cabinet members. It was just not something people were there to see and the final season only enraged the die-hard fanbase.
9. Black Mirror
Black Mirror was a pessimistic and also all too believable way of viewing the future human was headed with the technologies on hand. The show was nothing short of revolutionary when it all started back in 2011, and then Netflix got their hands on the series; still, the show was nice with what felt like some more fresh stories left to tell from the creator and writer of the series Charlie Brooker. The thing which pushed fans to rage quit was the fifth series when the show came back for a three-episode season.
The first episode was okay, Striking Viper, just wasn’t something we weren’t aware of before, the whole VR thing wasn’t something revolutionary like we came to expect from the series. Smithereens, on the other hand, though not unique, still felt deserving to be among the collection of episodes of the series. But fans were not happy with the final episode featuring Miley Cyrus, the episode just felt like a teen angst movie and didn’t deserve to anywhere near the Black Mirror series. Talk about outrage; you should’ve been on Reddit the moment people finished the final episode of the fifth series.
8. Two And A Half Men
Two and a half men were at the pinnacle of the sitcom game when the series started back in 2003. But with each passing season and the calls from Charlie Sheen to get paid more per episode of the series led to him getting a $1.78 million per episode contract and by the end of season eight Charlie entered drug rehabilitation center voluntarily and he was let go from the series which resulted in a huge backlash from the core series’ fans. The whole reason for watching 'Two and a Half Men' was for the explicit purposed of watching Charlie Sheen and his daily shenanigans. But with Charlie gone there was not much interest from fans about the show with regular fans of the show swearing off the series. Charlie was a beloved character, and his departure or more like firing from the show made enraged millions of the fans.
7. Prison Break
'Prison Break' was a fan-favorite series with 'Michael Scofield' getting himself arrested to get his brother 'Lincoln Burrows' out of prison connecting with fans and allowing the series to run with the first series. Fox was not going to produce the show, but after the success of 'Lost' and '24' they provided the creators of the show with a 13 episode order, and after the series was a hit with fans, the 13 episode run was extended for nine further episodes. The reason for the rage fans felt from the series was after the end of season two, Sarah Wayne Callies couldn’t come to terms with the producers of the show, and she left the series after the end of season two. In season three her head was shown in a box, and we were told she died off-screen between seasons two and three. But in season four, the whole death and head in the box were said to be faked, and 'Sara' was brought back much to the anger of fans.
6. Doctor Who
Doctor Who is something which started back in the 60s as a time-traveling show and it ran for over 26 years with various actors taking the reins of the Tardis. The series ended in 1989 and was later revived in 2005 with the first couple of season of the show making a huge impression and the series considered to be an excellent companion to the original series. The reason fans went into raging fit was after it was announced a female would play the Doctor for the first time in the almost 60 year’s history of the series. Jodie Whittaker was hired to play the 'Doctor' for the eleventh season, and Twitter and other social media platform were lit up with people not wanting women to play the coveted role which was only played by men till now.
Watch: Gone are the days of moments like these in the Doctor Who series
Many fans still wanted to give the series a chance, and after a couple of episodes, it was clear the writers of the season didn’t particularly possess anything new to say with each episode feeling like a monster of the week type of episodes in far contrast of the overarching villains and thought-provoking topics of years past. Fans were not happy about the season, and there were vocal members of the fans who were calling for the show to be canceled, can’t get more enraged then that, well, almost.
5. 13 Reasons Why
Jay Asher’s book was a great read and a delicate study into the psyche of students and teenagers, it is not as nuanced in its delivery, but still, the book was a dramatization of the lives of teenagers, and there was much truth to the way Asher wrote the words in his book. The first season of the series was perfect in its adaptation of the book with many critics praising the way the series showed teen angst and was able to capture the effect of peer pressure and public humility along with bullying on a developing brain. The way 13 Reason Why handled the first season was praised except for the scene where 'Hannah' does it. The scene was later cut from the final episode of season one after two years but still, the first season of the series was something profound and something we never experienced before in terms of a TV show.
Then the series was renewed for a second season, the fan of the book, like us, wanted to see where the series would go next and instead of talking about the teenage psyche, the story resolved to soap opera level of stupidity and most of the fans left after a couple of episodes in the second season. The series returned for a third season where they are making no attempts of hiding the fact they are a cheap imitation of the first season of the series. From the mind-blowing the first season to now looking like a Riverdale clone, this is not something fans signed up for. At least Riverdale knows what it is and doesn’t try to take itself too seriously like the past two seasons of 13 Reasons Why.
4. How I Met Your Mother
The hate for How I Met Your Mother is never-ending, it’s been over four years since the finale of the final season of one of the most beloved shows, and still, people are scorned and outright burned by how the one-hour finale episode turned out. Most fans seemed angered by the fact the show betrayed the endgame it was building up to for most of the last few seasons. The finale was also hated because people felt the rug from under their feet was pulled, and people who were not supposed to be together ended up together.
Then there was the ending of the show where 'Ted' goes to Robin’s house with a blue French horn which made the whole Barney and Robin’s marriage ceremony moot. Then there was the revelation of 'Tracy Mosby' who died off-screen succumbing to an unknown illness. This really didn’t go down with fans of the show, considering the episode was the final one, people couldn’t make their frustration heard which is why still after four years fans are not ready to forgive what was done to the characters of the show and the way the series finale ended. Even with an alternate ending, still, fans are angry at the show for ending the way it did.
3. The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead was the height of commercial and critical success when it comes to television entertainment. A zombie horror drama show where humanities worse instincts take hold of a lawless world was a great world to show the animalistic side of the humans. In these lawless lands, people are more inclined to be more dangerous than the zombies themselves. So, it was a welcome addition when a fan-favorite villain from the comics, 'Negan', was said to be making his way into the show. For much of the sixth season we were told Negan is coming, he is somewhere out there, and he is going to come for the people of the community.
Slowly the season progressed, and Negan wasn’t there, people kept saying his name, and he still wasn’t there, the whole thing was starting to get on our nerves. Then in the final episode, Negan arrived in the last few moments of the show, Negan played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and his trusted bat Lucille was finally there to make their presence felt. Negan was great as the villain; the problem was the ending where the season ends on a cliffhanger with a “manipulative ending. In the finale, Negan kills one of the unseen members of Rick’s crew, we know who it was going to be, but the show ended on a mind-numbing cliffhanger which was not taken lightly by the fans as well as the critics.
Source: IMDb, Screenshot
The anger got so bad the series was given the lowest score for an episode of the series by the fans on IMDb. An average 6/10 score is nothing out of the ordinary for the show now, but it was a huge deal back then when the lowest they dropped was in the low 7s. Fans were not happy, and since then the show lost more than six million viewers, goes to show the impact fans anger translates into the rise and fall of a show.
For four seasons Dexter was the talk of the town, with everyone singing the praises of the series on Showtime. The sociopathic killer, who was taught to channel his anger on killing bad people, to sate his appetite for blood by his father. The series turned a serial killer into a sympathetic heroic character; however, you want to judge the morality of the series. But then the series went ahead with further seasons of the series and by the time it reached season eight, the series on the cusp of being borderline bad.
Still, people sat with hope and expectation for the final episode of the series, thinking the anti-hero character will find some sort of justice during a final couple of episodes but instead he was turned into a lumberjack living in Canada and chopping trees. According to Rotten Tomatoes, “The darkly dreaming Dexter lays to rest once and for all in a bitterly disappointing final season that is so hesitant to punish its anti-hero for his misdeeds, it opts to punish its audience instead.” This is exactly true, no matter what Dexter did in his life, he is still a killer, and a criminal and the peaceful life he got was undeserved and utterly disappointing much to the anger of the die-hard fans.
1. Game Of Thrones
Everyone knew this was coming, the biggest show on the face of the earth, one of the most expensive and expansive world ever created to be displayed on the small screen. Game of Thrones captured the imagination of the world, and everyone waited with baited breaths for the final season of the series for two years. For two years, the final season of Game of Thrones was the talk of the town with even the creators of the show claiming the show’s finale will be near the level of Breaking Bad where people will be judging whether the ending was A or A+.
Well, the final season arrived, and we got the first two episodes, the first one was a setup, so nothing much happened, we were bored but still, hope for better days ahead. Then the second episode happened, and it was a slight improvement on the first episode, still, way off the heights, the show reached in previous years. Nevertheless, we were expectant of the third episode where the conflict which was set up in the first episode of the series was coming to fruition but then for the first time in the history of Game of Thrones we were not afraid for the characters. The biggest threat of their lives was on hand, and we were not afraid one bit for the characters of the show because we know nothing was going to happen to them. The show which prided itself on being unpredictable was utterly predictable in what was supposed to be the biggest spectacle on TV history.
Watch: The mad queen scene where Daenerys burns the whole King's Landing
Fans were already disappointed, and by the time the series was on done with the third episode, there was a petition going around the internet where the petitioner was asking HBO to remake the final season with new writers. The petition gathered much steam when Daenerys Targaryen, the women who were supposed to be on the Iron Throne, the one person who was compassionate about other in this world where everyone was living for themselves, the woman who freed slaves and gave them new lives to live was turned into a madwoman during the second last episode of the show.
The disappointment of Game of Thrones and how it ended will forever live in infamy, and it will also serve as an anecdote for other writers and creators to not let ego and their own self-interest get in the way of the final product of a beloved franchise. We loved Game of Thrones, and all of the series listed here and one bad decision led to the demise of everything we held dear. A single moment of self-reflection and love for the characters would’ve resulted in the above-mentioned series ending up with a different fate, but at this moment all we can do is hope. Hope future great shows (looking at you The Boys) learn from the mistakes of other great shows turned-abysmal of the past and put together a coherent story which delivers on the promise and the fate the first episode of the series it set itself out on.