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Does Hype Ruin TV Finales?

Jason Merritt – Getty Images

The past two Sundays have seen the series finales of two hugely popular shows – “Dexter” on Showtime and “Breaking Bad” on AMC. I’m a fan of both. However, I wasn’t a fan of both final episodes.

Both were hyped for weeks, even months beforehand. With special events, non-stop on-air promos, interviews, and a plethora of retrospective articles. But I wonder if the hype only hurt the feeling of closure (or lack thereof).

Don’t worry, no spoilers if you haven’t watched yet.

In the history of TV there have been satisfying series wrap-ups (I enjoyed the “Friends” finale) and head scratchers (“The Sopranos“, anyone?). I’m sure it’s a creative challenge to the writers to decide if they want to literally write their own ending or if they want to leave it up to the individual viewer to fill in the blanks. While sometimes your imagination can run wild with theories, other times you walk away frustrated.

Sadly, that’s how I felt after “Dexter“. I was left with a feeling of the producers basically copping out. Former producer Clyde Phillips told E! how he would have ended it and, frankly, I like his version a lot better.

As for “Breaking Bad” last night, I thought they did a nice job. They left some things up to the imagination, and they put a pretty little bow and wrapped up other things. I think it was a good mix of satisfying closure and open ended what-ifs.

But again, I feel like the TV networks do themselves a disservice by hyping finales as much as they do. They whip the fan base into such a frenzy that we expect brilliance every time.

What TV series finales left you frustrated? Let us know in the comments (and let us know first if you’re going to let any spoilers out!)

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