There is perhaps no bigger source of anxiety for TV viewers (and creators) than the series finale. How will the writers tie things up? Will all lingering questions get answered? Will fans be satisfied, or be left to feel their years of viewing was a waste of time?
Though such concerns haunt showrunners and writers, a few shows do stick the landing, even when expectations are ridiculously high. To that end, our Decade in Review series (which runs bimonthly through December) continues with a look back at the very best series finales of the last 10 years.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: The decade isn’t quite over yet. With several shows still due to wrap their runs in the weeks and months ahead (including Jane the Virgin and Orange Is the New Black), there’s a chance at least one of those series finales will knock it out of the park — and if one (or more) is worthy of a spot on our list, we will update the attached gallery accordingly.
In the meantime, though, we’re reflecting on 15 other shows that delivered satisfying, well-executed final episodes, including a few (such as The Big Bang Theory and The Americans) that just recently wrapped their runs.
Scroll through the attached gallery — or click here for direct access — to see our picks, then drop a comment with the series finales that would make your lists.
Looking for more of our Decade in Review? Scroll down for links to our previous galleries: