The best and worst TV endings of 2022, from ‘Better Call Saul’ to ‘Killing Eve’



CNN

To win a gold medal in Olympic sports like diving or gymnastics, the final key step is landing successfully. This is also true for TV series, which, however popular they may have been in their heyday, can leave a sour aftertaste if they spoil their finales.

This year brought a mixed bag of finishes, from AMC’s “Better Call Saul” – which put a cherry on its splendid run – to Showtime’s “Ray Donovan”, which after ending abruptly in 2020 presented a a dreary film intended to provide its audience with a degree of belated closure.

A few caveats: This isn’t an exhaustive list, with “His Dark Materials,” “The Good Fight,” and “Better Things” among the other shows — some notable, some less so — that ended their broadcasts this year. Additionally, entries are limited to programs where the producers knew they were coming to an end and could plan accordingly, excluding something like “Westworld,” which was canceled after its fourth season and robbed the ability to premiere. an ending – not, frankly, that it likely would have mattered much given its confusing creative spiral.

From top to bottom, then, here are some of the shows that said goodbye in 2022, and whether their routines wowed the judges (OK, this judge in particular).

“You Better Call Saul” (AMC, August 16): All of that tease of a black-and-white future finally came together when the “Breaking Bad” spinoff reached its conclusion, which included weaving in some of the original characters to help say goodbye. Given the suspense that has always existed about what separated Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) from Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), Saul’s quiet gain and act of contrition seemed as perfect as most of what came before it. .

“Ozarks” (Netflix, April 29): A family that commits crimes together seemingly stays together, as the Byrdes left behind a lot of collateral damage in their dangerous latest arc, and in the process brought their children into what had become the family business. A beautifully acted series from start to finish, with Jason Bateman and Laura Linney leading the way.

Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz and Sterling K. Brown in

“It’s us” (NBC, May 24): The unapologetically sentimental and romantic finale captured the tone of the series well throughout its run, something that finales should always aspire to. It also created a solid showcase for Mandy Moore, while capturing the challenges of caring for and saying goodbye to an aging parent.

“Atlanta” (FX, November 10): Anyone expecting some kind of closure clearly didn’t pay attention to this long-delayed final season, which was even more lyrical, dispersed and sometimes surreal than those that came before it. Still, the Donald Glover series unfolded entirely on its own terms, which was interesting just on that level, producing great moments along the way more than a cohesive whole.

Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross in the

“Blackish” (ABC, April 19): The long-running ABC sitcom has featured many memorable episodes over its eight seasons. The ambitious finale wasn’t necessarily one of them, but after all, from the funeral in New Orleans to the cameo of gymnast Simon Biles, it gently ended with a reminder that sitcoms could end, but life goes on. Like “The Walking Dead” (see below), the series hasn’t been helped by the determination to make it “adult” and “mixed,” another example of franchise fatigue.

“After Life” (Netflix, January 14): Ricky Gervais’ wistful series about coping with grief cut against the grain by choosing a less uplifting ending than most films and TV shows dedicated to the theme, accepting that not everyone can move on afterwards having experienced a tragedy. Thoughtful payoff couldn’t elevate this to the high-profile efforts of “The Office” and “Extras” co-creator.

Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate in

“Grace and Frankie” and “Dead to me” (Netflix, April 29 and November 17): Two Netflix shows about the unlikely friendships between two very different women have said goodbye, the first providing a nifty showcase for older stars, starting with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, while ending with a bit of a whimper after seven seasons . The two flirted with death in their final seasons, as “Dead to Me” centered on the bond between Jen (Christina Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini), though the twists and turns that preceded it, starting by all the twin James Marsden, had started to get a bit tedious.

“The Walking Dead” (AMC, November 21): The main problem with the ending of this AMC staple is that it really wasn’t an ending at all, as all those promotions for spin-off series featuring important characters have made clear. Above all, it felt like a good way to end the season after the Commonwealth’s long plot. Beyond that, it’s basically an intermission on the “Dead” franchise, in part because the network is so invested in this “zombie verse” that it needs to keep moving forward.

Liev Schreiber in

“Ray Donovan: The Movie” (Showtime, January 14): After ending abruptly in 2020, this gritty Showtime drama sought to iron out issues with a movie, relying on an extended flashback that added only marginally to the story. Liev Schreiber’s Ray wielded a wicked bat in his glory days, but this latest trip to the plate (unlike “Dexter: New Blood,” which premiered in 2021 but didn’t officially end until this year, making the most of its limited run do-over) was a swing and a dud.

“Killing Eve” (BBC America, April 10): Putting aside the tired nature of the “Bury your gays” trope, this once addictive series concluded with an episode that was as chaotic as it was unsatisfying. After scorching early on, the spy comedy-drama should be remembered for its first game of cat-and-mouse involving desk-bound analyst Eve (Sandra Oh) and accomplished assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer), not not by chance, turning the then-unknown Comer into a bankable star.

malek

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *