Old 04-02-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default TVs 10 Worst Series Finales

Today on Fox News, "celebrating" the series finale of ER, they take a look back and list the 10 worst series finales of all time (in no particular order)

Quantum Leap did make the list:

Quantum Leap.
Aired: May 4, 1993 ("Mirror Image: August 8, 1953"). It was supposed to be a cliffhanger season finale, this odd canonic contribution where "leaper" Sam Beckett, instead of jumping into a stranger's life, falls into his own. There's another mission that has to do with his holographic traveling companion Al � anyway, the show never got renewed, so producers had to make do with what they had, and ended the entire series with a dark screen and the words, "Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home." Well, that's one way to tie things up in a nice bow.

http://www.foxnews.com/photoessay/0,...2,00.html#8_55
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:42 PM   #2
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I saw that too. People may love it or hate it, but at least the fans aren't the only ones to have strong feelings about that ending. I mean, Fox had a lot of series to choose from, and QL was one they picked.

They shouldn't have included "Gilligan's Island" though. A TV movie made years later doesn't count.
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:47 PM   #3
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I been wondering over the last few days. If Don and Deborah, etc had known more in advance about the cancellation what would they have done?

Mirror Image is a fantastic episode. But it was never intended to be the last episode. Maybe the episode order could have been adjusted in so it was a few before that.

Or just a enough time to add a ending that achieved what they were really trying to do. "Sam Becket(t) never returned Home." Was very negatively received by most fans. But only because it was misunderstood.

It was badly worded. Not surprising considering they were likely in a state of shock and anger at the news of cancellation. It clear from both and Don and Deborah that they wish they had said "Sam Beckett has YET to return home" That the intent was that he was still out there putting right what once went wrong. With Al still the observer.

It occurred to me during the convention a nice way to end the show but to keep things open for the future. A montage similar to the one at the beginning of each episode. But brief footage of leaps we would never see. With a narration saying that Sam is still out there.

Any fan editors want to take a try at this? Take footage of Scott from projects after Quatum Leap. Scenes of him in heroic or funny moments.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:14 PM   #4
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Am I the only person who liked the ending?
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:45 PM   #5
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Am I the only person who liked the ending?
Nope, I love it. This was Sam's destiny, the thing he was put on this earth to do. Everything he learned or experienced was geared to allow him to be a successful leaper. Given the choice, Sam chose to fulfill his destiny of writing wrongs, instead of going back to live a very ordinary life.
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:12 PM   #6
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I love it too!

But its hard to draw solid conclusions on its meaning. It can not be stressed enough that this was on Don Bellisario's planned ending. He was probably intending to further explore these themes in future episodes. It was setup for something that never happened.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:24 PM   #7
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When I first came on this site 10 months ago, I was watching them in order, and was only on the 3rd season. But I must say, I liked the last episode, which left things open enough for future fan fiction, but closed enough that it could end if it had to. I was happy as to what happened with Al, though. I wouldn't call it a bad series finale, I've seen worse.

By the way, I agree about that Gilligan's Island comment. I own that movie they were referring to.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:35 AM   #8
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I liked the last episode. I agree that "Has YET to return home" would've been better though.

No matter how it's spliced the doors were blown wide open for fan fiction, fan art, and the like. Perhaps this so called "bad" ending was really a blessing in disguise.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:18 PM   #9
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I have to agree with the statement that it WAS a pretty shocking ending - only the most observant viewers would have realised the true meaning behind that last sentence.

Personally I MUCH prefer the alternate ending with the photo of Al leaping to a photo of him with his family... It gives the viewers a chance to make their own choices about what happened to Sam.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:35 PM   #10
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I agree with the last comment, I really thought the alternate ending was cool and left a lot possibilities. It kind of gave you a small peek into what could have happened if the series had continued. I just discovered this site and I am a huge fan. I like all the episodes including the last one. I do believe the ending was premature and left a lot of questions unanswered, but they didn't have a choice. Too many good tv shows are canceled too early, and I guess there's nothing we can do about it.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:39 PM   #11
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Mirror Image is one of my favorite episodes. When I first saw it, I was angry that he never returned home, but over the years I have realized how brilliant it was to keep him out there
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:00 PM   #12
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Mirror Image is one of my favorite episodes too, because, while it does answer some questions, it opens up many more. With evidence from other episodes, I do have my own theory about what happened, what the bar is, and what Quantum Leap was all about. This isn't the thread for that though.

It was probably one of the most well-written episodes, since there wasn't as much time given to plot structure, or figuring out why he was there, they were able to focus more on character development, and give the guest stars greater depth (not that that wasn't done in previous episodes), but there were scenes with dialogue that didn't advance the plot so much, but give more depth. (Sam's talk with Seymour Zigonovich anyone?)
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:32 PM   #13
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Agreed Josh.

Its really about Sam reflecting on who he is and what he does. He is no longer just a scientist working on a government project. Or an unwilling observer being flung around through time. He is a hero. He is Don Quixote. But unlikely the literary character who aspired to great deeds he could not achieve, Sam Beckett actually achieves them.

Its probably better to view the episode in terms of metaphors and symbolism. Rather then trying to explain the hows and whys of everything. Maybe that should be applied to the series as a whole too.
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Don Bellisario on why he used the name Tom so much in Quantum Leap

(Yes my name is Tom. So when he told me that I had a big grin on my face! )
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:28 PM   #14
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The Don Quixote metaphor is certainly apt, however, we never did learn who Sam's windmills were.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:42 PM   #15
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I loved the ending, too.

About the list itself, I must say that I'm surprised that "ALF" wasn't even mentioned there. The series finale was supposed to be a two-part episode, but they ran out of funds and they only showed the first part, leaving things on a big cliffhanger (and it's a hell of a lot more noticeable in this show than on QL - or any other show, for that matter; at least from the ones I've seen). But well, it was another NBC show, so I guess this doesn't really come off as a big surprise. They're famous for pulling the plug on the best shows, and just when they're getting the chance to grow, to be even more interesting. The TV movie that came out in 1996 was supposed to be a sequel to the last episode, but it looks like they didn't care anymore. It wasn't a good effort, in my opinion. ALF was long gone, and in one of the worst ways ever. Usually, I'm a sucker for "non-happy" endings, but the one from "ALF" just didn't fit.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Its really about Sam reflecting on who he is and what he does. He is no longer just a scientist working on a government project. Or an unwilling observer being flung around through time. He is a hero. He is Don Quixote. But unlikely the literary character who aspired to great deeds he could not achieve, Sam Beckett actually achieves them.

Wow. I've never thought of it like that before. Somewhere, he made the transition between an unwilling observer to a hero. So are you saying that by reflecting on who he is and what he's doing, the final episode wasn't really an end, but rather, a beginning of a new series of leaps with a fresh perspective in mind. Sort of like a benchmark.

I hope I didn't completely mutilate your intended meaning by that comment, but I indeed found the above statements very interesting nonetheless.
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:19 AM   #17
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No that is exactly my meaning! Thanks!

I would love to sit down one on one with Don Bellisario and talk about this episode. I was tempted to ask him questions at the convention. But its to big a subject to sum up in a few words.
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" Tom is just a great name! Tom is the name of a Hero! You don't want to name a hero Percy or something"

Don Bellisario on why he used the name Tom so much in Quantum Leap

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Old 04-09-2009, 03:23 AM   #18
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The Don Quixote metaphor is certainly apt, however, we never did learn who Sam's windmills were.
Attempting to return home???
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Don Bellisario on why he used the name Tom so much in Quantum Leap

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Old 04-10-2009, 03:52 PM   #19
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They shouldn't have included "Gilligan's Island" though. A TV movie made years later doesn't count.
I disagree. Quantum Leap may still add to itself with at least a TV movie(if not a series to follow). That's just my opinion.

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Old 04-17-2009, 05:50 AM   #20
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There's a lot of things I would have liked to have seen before that sort of ending were to take place.....

Ah unanswered questions......

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Old 05-17-2009, 10:48 PM   #21
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Am I the only person who liked the ending?
I liked Mirror Image too.
I thought they made the best of the situation and left the door open for further adventures.
Al the bartender was a very interesting character and the dialog between him and Sam was intriguing,very introspective.
I especially liked how Sam leapt back to see Beth and made things right for his best friend Al.
It was a very moving and memorable episode.
I just really wish the series would have gone on.
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:56 PM   #22
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I loved the ending, too.

About the list itself, I must say that I'm surprised that "ALF" wasn't even mentioned there. The series finale was supposed to be a two-part episode, but they ran out of funds and they only showed the first part, leaving things on a big cliffhanger (and it's a hell of a lot more noticeable in this show than on QL - or any other show, for that matter; at least from the ones I've seen). But well, it was another NBC show, so I guess this doesn't really come off as a big surprise. They're famous for pulling the plug on the best shows, and just when they're getting the chance to grow, to be even more interesting. The TV movie that came out in 1996 was supposed to be a sequel to the last episode, but it looks like they didn't care anymore. It wasn't a good effort, in my opinion. ALF was long gone, and in one of the worst ways ever. Usually, I'm a sucker for "non-happy" endings, but the one from "ALF" just didn't fit.
Wow,I havent thought about ALF in years!
Thats right,I remember watching the last episode where they had his buddys Skip and Rhonda coming to take him home to Melmac,but then the Alien Task Force showed up and it was to be continued......but never was!
That really annoyed me!
They eventually made a TV movie called "project Alf" to resolve it,but I didnt care much for it either.
Its amazing to me to think its been 23 years since that show came on and I remember watching it when it was new.
Time seems to go faster the older you get.....maybe Ziggy has a theory on that.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:57 PM   #23
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I'm really on the fence about Mirror Image... I'm undecided as to whether or not I liked it. I'm leaning towards no though because the show ran for 5 years and I expected something... bigger, more exciting I guess. I love the ending with Beth/Al, that was awesome, but the rest.... I don't know. I remember watching the finale when I was 12 and scratching my head, I had no idea what was happening. It's going to be on again on ION soon.

I see that The X-Files made the list. I loved The Truth, but I can see why some people were disappointed. I loved the last movie, but I may be biased because I got go to the LA Premiere. I gave Gillian Anderson my copy of the movie, she didn't have it.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:16 PM   #24
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unfortunatelly this kind of method for tv stations like nbc to cancell shows like that and leave us with the mouth wide open WHAT THE F@@ HAS HAPPENED NOW?? is somethin that they like to use A LOT.
And one perfect recent example was with the show THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES.
For me personally this was one of the best sci fi shows out there with full of twists and full of suspence.BUT the good NBC or FOX sorry i dont know which one it was that commited this crime lol decided to cancell the show and not give it another try and leave us with unexplaned qs and a dumb ending lol i mean john connor was the man who started all this so how noone knew him lol.
THEY DONT RESPECT THE FANS and even if they are right about the poor ratings at least they could make a movie to answer some qs, give a proper ending and end the show with the smile. BUT NO THEY DONT DO THAT THEY JUST LIkE TO PLAY WITH OUR NERVES
Another good example was with a 90s show called VR5. A good sci fi show like the matrix, with very good special effects and creppy episodes.But they decided in the last episode of the series to <KILL???> THE CHARACTER and for us the vewers to never find out if she was really died.
So for me the ending of MIRROR IMAGE had to be one of the DUMBEST endings in the history of sci fi tv.and i mean the ending the last part of the scene not the whole episode which was really good.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE NEVER CAME HOME?? where did he go? to jamaika ?? lol
so for the love of god .BRING THE SHOW BACK TO LIFE and give a nice ending before good al retires
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:07 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by leaper View Post
unfortunatelly this kind of method for tv stations like nbc to cancell shows like that and leave us with the mouth wide open WHAT THE F@@ HAS HAPPENED NOW?? is somethin that they like to use A LOT.
And one perfect recent example was with the show THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES.
For me personally this was one of the best sci fi shows out there with full of twists and full of suspence.BUT the good NBC or FOX sorry i dont know which one it was that commited this crime lol decided to cancell the show and not give it another try and leave us with unexplaned qs and a dump ending lol i mean john connor was the man who started all this so how noone knew him lol.
THEY DONT RESPECT THE FANS and even if they are right about the poor ratings at least they could make a movie to answer some qs, give a proper ending and end the show with the smile. BUT NO THEY DONT DO THAT THEY JUST LIkE TO PLAY WITH OUR NERVES
Another good example was with a 90s show called VR5. A good sci fi show like the matrix, which they decided in the last episode of the series to <KILL???> THE CHARACTER and for us the vewers to never find out if she was really died.
So for me the ending of MIRROR IMAGE had to be one of the DUMBEST endings in the history of sci fi tv.and i mean the ending the last part of the scene not the whole episode which was really good.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE NEVER CAME HOME?? where did he go? to jamaika ?? lol
so for the love of god .BRING THE SHOW BACK TO LIFE and give a nice ending before good al retires
Well, I never take any movie or TV show so seriously to say that the creators (writers, directors, etc.) just like to play with my nerves when something doesn't go the way I want. Instead, I try to understand them the best I can (after all, it's only art; it's only fiction, and my life does not depend on it). To me, the best shows and movies are the ones that dare to go in an unexpected direction. Not everything has to be answered, in my opinion. In fact, I think that, if it ends up asking more questions than it answers, it will be even better, because that means that I'll have to use my imagination, and that way I can come up with new theories, reanalyze them whenever I want, and even find things (like hidden messages, hidden symbolism, if there is any to be found, or deeper meaning, like a more rich and developed psychology, etc.) that I couldn't have noticed if they had decided to spell everything out for me.

You say that "they don't respect the fans," but I think that a movie or TV show that respects its audience (and its fans) is the one that doesn't always have to spoon-feed everything to us (Alfred Hitchcock knew this, and take a look at his work, full of subtleties and open-endings, and yet widely loved and recognized - the same with Kubrick, The Coen Brothers and many other directors, except that Hitchcock had his own TV show). Be worried with the shows or films that never give you a chance to think for yourself, that always keep answering everything for you, like the creators just said "oh, no, our target audience is just too dumb to get this, so I'll have to explain my full point, either through dialogue or through certain actions, no matter if they get too repetitive."

I haven't seen "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" yet, so I can't tell about the ending, but as for the ending to QL's "Mirror Image", well, I can say that it's not as bad as people make it out to be. Not everything has to be happy endings, and, anyway, the one to Quantum Leap may not appear to be a happy one, at least not on a first glance, but it is. It was Sam's decision to keep leaping to help people. He forgot all about himself, just like a true hero (fictionally speaking), and that's why he never returned home. A true unhappy ending would've been this: "Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home because he died in the process" or something of the like. Just because he didn't go home doesn't mean that the ending has to be one of the dumbest ones ever. To quote the movie "The Butterfly Effect": "True happiness can only be achieved through sacrifices..." In this case, Sam sacrificed his own life to save the world. There's no need for a movie. If they made one just to bring him back home, it would be pointless. We need more open-endings, in my opinion. Viewers need to learn to be potential, to think for themselves, to open their minds and, most important, to imagine their own scenarios. Again, my own POV.
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Last edited by Night Terror; 05-29-2009 at 02:06 AM. Reason: Corrected some typos.
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