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Best TV goodbyes


Gabe
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Goodbyes, huh?

 

Some make us emotional; some make us happy. Some give characters an appropriate send-off, other leave lots of unresolved questions, or hope that they may return. Some play on those heartstrings to make us feel things for a character we perhaps never really did, some we get joy in seeing their downfall.


I want to know what goodbyes you rate, for whatever reason. It doesn't have to be a season or series-finale, it doesn't have to be a major character - it's whatever worked for you.

 

To start, whilst I never watched the show, I had read something not that long ago saying that Michael Scott's goodbye from The Office was fairly special because he didn't know that there was going to be the song, and as such his emotions are genuine. It's quite a lovely little clip.

 

Matt Smith's speech as the Doctor as he regenerates really hit me in the feels, even though I'd never watched the show prior to his run. It was a lovely sentiment that obviously had layered meanings. Similarly, he does a really good speech as a sort-of goodbye for Van Gogh in his episode that was also quite poignant.

 

The Good Place largely wrapped things up, with everybody getting where they needed to be, though this one left me feeling a bit hollow. It was still very good tv though.

 

What have you got, fellow 'Mukkers?

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I'm a sucker for a series that concludes with a good montage. For example, the last episode of Father Ted, with the clips from every preceding episode.

 

And the series finale of The Wire, with the montage giving us a glimpse of most of the familiar characters...

Spoiler

... before showing a series of shots of anonymous real Baltimoreans, as if to say: those stories we've followed for the past five seasons are just a tiny, tiny fraction of everything happening in the city. Their stories continue...

 

And this might seem like a silly example to list right alongside The Wire, but more recently, the ending of the 2017 DuckTales series kind of fulfils a similar function: a montage set to music, with every character getting a moment to do some action that shows off their personality, with the promise that they're all heading off into another adventure - we just won't get to see it... 

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7 hours ago, Nick R said:

I'm a sucker for a series that concludes with a good montage. For example, the last episode of Father Ted, with the clips from every preceding episode.

 

And the series finale of The Wire, with the montage giving us a glimpse of most of the familiar characters...

  Reveal hidden contents

... before showing a series of shots of anonymous real Baltimoreans, as if to say: those stories we've followed for the past five seasons are just a tiny, tiny fraction of everything happening in the city. Their stories continue...

 

And this might seem like a silly example to list right alongside The Wire, but more recently, the ending of the 2017 DuckTales series kind of fulfils a similar function: a montage set to music, with every character getting a moment to do some action that shows off their personality, with the promise that they're all heading off into another adventure - we just won't get to see it... 

 

If you haven't seen it you need to watch the excellent Six Feet Under, show has the perfect ending in this style. Bring tissues.

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25 minutes ago, Lorfarius said:

All Good Things in TNG where they all ride off into the sunset.

 

But! Also quickly summarised the character's personalities and included the fact that the captain is still the captain, and that his No. 1 finds it hilarious. Such a good round up from Episode 1.

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The two goodbyes in Northern Exposure were pretty memorable - Joel Fleischmann weirdly discovering New York through the mist while trekking in the Alaskan wilderness, and leaving Maggie behind, and then the actual final episode showing everyone in Sicily just going about their business.

 

It was the music that really made both of them - ‘Forever Nightshade Mary’ and ‘Our Town’.

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I know the show is absolute bobbins, but this clip from Fame absolutely floor's me. The actor they are all singing to had terminal cancer and died weeks after this was filmed. The cast all new this as can clearly be seen in the emotion on their faces as they sing goodbye to a friend.

 

An astonishing TV moment.

 

 

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The end of Due South, no, not the two main characters but

 

Spoiler

Fraser's dad

 

 

Firefly - The Funeral was a requiem for the show.  And the end of Serenity.

 

Spoiler

Zoe lighting the rocket for Wash, next to memorials for Book and those turned into Reavers.  And "she's tore up plenty, but she'll fly true".  And Mal opening up to River.

 

 

 

 

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I vaguely remember Moonlighting having the crew disgrunted whilst dismantling the set, all while the producer of the show chastizes David & Maddie (but in a real sense Bruce Willis & Cybil Shepard who didnt like each other) for being terrible people who should have spent time getting along better so other people could have a job or some such hijinx.

 

Recently the final episode of The Orville was just a long goodbye to all the characters. There was little in the way of a proper story & it just involved them all having a big party.

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The goodbye at the end of The Hills was pretty clever. Kristin says she's off to Europe or something and leaves Brody Jenner in the street, and they then pan out to reveal it was all on a studio backlot somewhere. If you really hate yourself you'll watch the whole thing to see why that's important.

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It's a bit of a deep cut, and not even a show I was particularly familiar with, but Suddenly Susan (the Brooke Shields vehicle) did something interesting on this front.

 

As far as I remember one of the principal cast had died, and the characters spent the whole episode driving around town looking for them and reminiscing.

 

It was oddly poignant. Felt a bit like they just didn't know quite what to do, and doubtless had to think on their feet in terms of putting a new script together.

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5 hours ago, Darwock said:

The two goodbyes in Northern Exposure were pretty memorable - Joel Fleischmann weirdly discovering New York through the mist while trekking in the Alaskan wilderness, and leaving Maggie behind, and then the actual final episode showing everyone in Sicily just going about their business.

 

It was the music that really made both of them - ‘Forever Nightshade Mary’ and ‘Our Town’.

 

Rob Morrow always regretted how he left it and wanted to do another ending years after the fact.

 

Unfortunately Janie Turner is a Trump-lovin' right-wing loon these days.

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4 minutes ago, Festoon said:

Unfortunately Janie Turner is a Trump-lovin' right-wing loon these days.

 

That's a shame. She was always great in NE.

 

+1 for Michael leaving The Office.  Always gets me.

 

Robb Stark's exit from Game of Thrones is pretty memorable.  Back from when it was properly amazing telly.

 

 

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2 hours ago, schmojo said:

It's a bit of a deep cut, and not even a show I was particularly familiar with, but Suddenly Susan (the Brooke Shields vehicle) did something interesting on this front.

 

As far as I remember one of the principal cast had died, and the characters spent the whole episode driving around town looking for them and reminiscing.

 

It was oddly poignant. Felt a bit like they just didn't know quite what to do, and doubtless had to think on their feet in terms of putting a new script together.

The goodbye to Mr Crandall in Fame is poignant because of the real-life circumstances and is a crossover between the cast and the characters getting to say their farewells.

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1 hour ago, Made of Ghosts said:

Don’t really care for any of the Doctors’ departures in Doctor Who, they’re usually a bit overdone, but the ending of Doomsday is possibly the greatest moment of the whole series (along with the last ten minutes of Utopia)

 

Yes. I was going to say this. The whole 'everything's going to be fine' moment and then Bernard Cribbins ruining it. I always think the Doctor's "I don't want to go." line is as much describing Tennant's enjoyment at playing the Doctor as it is the character's feelings. I hope his (second) return doesn't ruin that moment.

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I know it really shat the bed in the final series or so, but the two parter to end Battlestar Galactica is actually superb.

 

A great ending for Adama & Roslin, time given over to resolve each characters storyline,  and a neat ending with the 'It has all happened before and will happen again' phrase used throughout the show put to good use.

 

 

 

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The final episode of Six Feet Under was pretty incredible, and definitely a way to stop the show ever returning. It was beautifully done if you were into the show. 

Edit spoiler for six feet under

Spoiler

You see every remaining characters life live out until death in one extended montage

 

The final episode of Biker Grove. I didn't know this until fairly recently but 

Spoiler

It ends with the characters realising the show of Biker Grove is being cancelled and then battling the writers to stay alive. 

 

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