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Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

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Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Old 08-26-14, 01:33 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

I thought the last season of Angel was probably it's best, and is the one that hold up the most when it comes to re watching it.
Old 08-26-14, 01:43 PM
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Wasn't that the point where Whedon was busy with Firefly, he'd more or less left the Buffyverse to other hands?

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Old 08-26-14, 02:30 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Originally Posted by robin2099 View Post
I thought the last season of Angel was probably it's best, and is the one that hold up the most when it comes to re watching it.
Originally Posted by hanshotfirst1138 View Post
Wasn't that the point where Whedon was busy with Firefly, he'd more or less left the Buffyverse to other hand?
No, season 4, the 2nd to last season of Angel, was the one that was (half) made while Whedon was busy on Firefly. Once Firefly was cancelled, Gina Tores jumped onto the last half of season 4 of Angel. The final season of Angel had Joss's near total attention since both Firefly and Buffy were done, and the only other thing he had going was shopping around the Firefly movie Serenity.


Fringe is one where the last season could be considered its best, although I know some fans were turned off by it.

From what I've read, The Killing's final season finally got the show right, but that only ran 4 seasons.


I think part of the problem is that TV shows just tend to go on just a little too long. Since their survival is based on ratings, the producers and network aren't really aware that the TV audience is tired of a show until after another full season has been produced. This then results in either the show getting cancelled suddenly, or where the producers get advanced knowledge and create a somewhat satisfying closure.


Also, once a show gets up to 5 seasons, it's more likely that a show's quality is going to have ebbed and flowed a bit from season to season. So while the final season may be a good or even great season, it's much less likely to be the best season.
Old 08-26-14, 02:33 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Originally Posted by Original Desmond View Post
even when you look at long running sitcoms

Friends - No
Sex and the City - No
90210, Melrose place and BH90210 - NO
Family ties, family matters, growing pains, step by step etc - No
How i met your mother - No
Baywatch - No
Married with Children - No
Charmed - No
Your definition of "sitcom" is really odd....
Old 08-26-14, 04:01 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Can't add any to the mix since haven't seen final seasons of Wire & Breaking Bad yet.

The nature of television almost excludes most final seasons of long-running shows from having a strong finish since, by definition, "long-running" shows usually run out of material long before they end. And if they're making enough money, it usually proves too great a temptation for people to keep the show going long after its creative peak in order to milk every dollar. Heck, some shows used to try to just hang on long enough to hit the magic "100th episode" that would almost guarantee syndication after its end.

Another problem is the definition of "long-running". It's hard to compare shows with hundreds of episodes (I believe Gunsmoke had 635 in its 20-year history) with today's shows of 10-13 episodes. Some fantastic older shows hadn't even really hit their stride by the episode count that many cable shows reach in their entirety. Can you imagine the pressure of turning out 39 episodes of quality product in a single season?

If you consider the "real" Andy Griffith Show to be the first five b&w "Barney" years (and totally forget the last 3 lame color years without Barney), I'd say that A.G. just got better & better throughout its "real" 5-year run (of over 150 episodes) even though shows back then almost never had a "series finale." To put things in perspective, A.G. had 159 episodes in its first five years while Seinfeld had 180 in all nine years (acknowledging the first two short "seasons" of Seinfeld).
Old 08-26-14, 04:53 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
Another problem is the definition of "long-running". It's hard to compare shows with hundreds of episodes (I believe Gunsmoke had 635 in its 20-year history) with today's shows of 10-13 episodes. Some fantastic older shows hadn't even really hit their stride by the episode count that many cable shows reach in their entirety. Can you imagine the pressure of turning out 39 episodes of quality product in a single season?
I've been trying to think of some UK shows that might technically fit the "long running" requirement of 5+ seasons, but with their incredibly short episode orders could maintain quality and possibly even improve it.

Absolutely Fabulous ran 5 non-consecutive seasons + some specials, but I don't think anyone considers its final season to be its best.

Red Dwarf maybe could've qualified if it had ended after series 5 or 6.
Old 08-26-14, 04:56 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Would 24 count?

I don't know if Live Another Day was necessarily the best season of 24, but it was certainly right up there. The shorter season led to less superfluous stuff, like Kim and the cougar, or frogmen in the Potomac.
Old 08-26-14, 04:57 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Originally Posted by Paff View Post
Would 24 count?

I don't know if Live Another Day was necessarily the best season of 24, but it was certainly right up there. The shorter season led to less superfluous stuff, like Kim and the cougar, or frogmen in the Potomac.
I guess it depends on if it ends up being the last season or not.
Old 08-26-14, 05:42 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

The final season of CHEERS was really good, although I don't know if you could say it was the best one.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE certainly has a shot at this...it's gotten better with each new season - we'll see.
Old 08-26-14, 05:45 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Having the last season as the best (like let's say we do all agree on Breaking Bad), shows the show's makers had a clear vision, discipline and aren't money whores. A rare thing in today's world.

a poster above mentioned UK shows. Gee John Cleese started the trend of show creators being absolutely sh*t scared of a drop in quality that they limited the product to a degree never seen in the US with Fawlty towers. And the trend following with everything from the YOung ONes, the Office UK even the inbetweeners.
Old 08-26-14, 05:46 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Your definition of "sitcom" is really odd....
Yeah it was only supposed to be a loose definition
Old 08-26-14, 05:47 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

And reality shows really don't stand a chance as it is usually the first or second season which is the best and they run until they are totally bled dry.
Old 08-26-14, 05:59 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

I agree that this is a tall order considering the sheer length of time it would take for such a run. Creators leave or lose their vision, talent leaves, people are unsure how many seasons they're going to get. Even something as preconceived as Babylon 5 fell off in the fifth season, I believe.

Maybe Game of Thrones? Depends a lot on George RR Martin, though.
Old 08-26-14, 06:00 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

As a big Fringe fan I completely disagree that the last was the best. Proabably a tie between S2 and S3.
Old 08-26-14, 06:28 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Originally Posted by hdnmickey View Post
As a big Fringe fan I completely disagree that the last was the best. Proabably a tie between S2 and S3.
Yeah, the last season was good but, season 3 was the peak and early season 4 kinda sucked.
Old 08-26-14, 10:27 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Every really crappy show that lasted 5 seasons or more.

Is a show really long-running if its episode count is equivalent to two seasons of a show in the sixties?

Last edited by the big train; 08-26-14 at 10:37 PM.
Old 08-26-14, 10:40 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

What about 'Frasier?' The original writers came back and that final season was off the charts good, much better than the prior ones.
Old 08-27-14, 01:50 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Originally Posted by Traxan View Post
What about 'Frasier?' The original writers came back and that final season was off the charts good, much better than the prior ones.
That's a good choice. I'm often surprised at how well this show holds up. I watch bits and pieces of old episodes in syndicated reruns and always get a laugh out of it.
Old 08-27-14, 02:10 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Breaking Bad, Smallville, Dollhouse, Friday Night Lights and Lost (j/k).
Old 08-27-14, 07:03 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Here's hoping some shows ending this fall or next year will qualify:

Justified
Sons of Anarchy
Boardwalk Empire

Hopefully, Hell on Wheels will finish strong whenever its time is up (each year keep expecting to see it cancelled but already in 4th season). Maybe Bohannen will stuff all of the Swede's orifices with dynamite and watch him blow up real good right after Swede yells (in Norwegian): "Made it, Ma!...Top of the world!" while Elam (reincarnated as the bear) rides a unicycle.
Old 08-27-14, 09:37 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
Here's hoping some shows ending this fall or next year will qualify:

Justified
Sons of Anarchy
Boardwalk Empire

Hopefully, Hell on Wheels will finish strong whenever its time is up (each year keep expecting to see it cancelled but already in 4th season). Maybe Bohannen will stuff all of the Swede's orifices with dynamite and watch him blow up real good right after Swede yells (in Norwegian): "Made it, Ma!...Top of the world!" while Elam (reincarnated as the bear) rides a unicycle.
I have a feeling that Justified will finish strong but season 4 will be the high water mark. There is no fucking way Sons of Anarchy is going to have its strongest season this year.
Old 08-27-14, 10:24 PM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

S2 of Dollhouse was certainly better than the first. But does a two season fit this thread?

I don't feel the last season of Frasier was as good as the first couple seasons. While it was better, they had already lost it at that point and no wrap up could save it.
Old 08-28-14, 12:10 AM
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Re: Long Running Shows where the Last Season was the Best Season ?

Originally Posted by hdnmickey View Post
S2 of Dollhouse was certainly better than the first. But does a two season fit this thread?
Not according to the OP. I think a lot of us would have found the question easier if it had.

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