The ghost of Goodbye haunts the most famous series

One of the reasons that the cast and creators of Game of Thrones cite for the violent reason that 80% of fans of the series hated the ending was the problem of accepting the ending. “I don’t think everybody’s going to be happy, you know, and you can’t please everybody,” said Kit Harington at the time. “My favorite TV shows are The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and The Wire, and they all ended in a way that… It will never satisfy you,” he suggested.

Simplification certainly does not apply. The endings of Lost, in 2010, and Game of Thrones, in 2018, were just bad. The ending of The Sopranos in 2007 was controversial, but not a bad one. As we say goodbye to great content – ​​The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Barry, Ted Lasso (supposedly), and Succession – nothing better than looking for a few things that get in the way of the end of a story. Fans yearn for complete narratives and rightly get annoyed when things go south.

There are many fans who will complain about the conclusions of sitcoms, comedies, and dramas, I will focus on the main ones. I won’t go into detail about them and I’ll focus on the ones that were actually more successful. Not in chronological order.

Between 2004 and 2010, before social networks were effectively globalized, Lost was a worldwide success that surprised many people, inheriting some X-Files orphans. With a non-linear narrative, several hints, and growing suspense, Lost opens with the survivors of a plane crash – Flight 815 – who must band together to survive on an island where they quickly realize there is something sinister in the air. Over six seasons, theories, twists, and a few surprises kept the interest especially when the writers used flashbacks, flashforwards, and flash-sideways to keep the suspense going, but in the end, it’s revealed that – in fact – everyone was dead the whole time, which what we saw was how each survivor imagined their own death. Yes, confused. And yes, people felt cheated. For many years, Lost was the main reference of a series that ended badly. It was just a teaser.

Before Lost came the end of The Sopranos. For me, the series is still unsurpassed in TV history. With exquisite writing, legendary performances, soundtrack, cast, and production quality at the level of cinema or theater, which were not common in “television”, each episode was breathtaking and perfect. The only series since then that is approaching the same level is Succession, which has yet to conclude, so there’s still the challenge of goodbye. I think it will be as impactful as the New Jersey mob family.

The Sopranos was, like Succession, loosely inspired by real people and brought the mafia into prime time without the glamor of The Godfather. Tony Soprano, in a historic performance by James Gandolfini, was cruel, complex, and yet charismatic. He was able to hit, kill, have people killed, and still have the audience cheering. When it was time to say goodbye, it was so abrupt that it left the world stunned and still trying to understand what happened. The “open” ending was completely unexpected, innovative, and epic. I remember to this day being scared and feeling like laughing alone at the boldness.

After eliminating his enemies, Tony and his family come out of hiding to eat at their favorite diner. There’s still tension in the air because there was an order to kill the mobster, which we imagine (hopefully) got lifted when the mastermind is killed, but still there are strange people surrounding the Sopranos. Then someone we don’t see walks in and Tony looks up to see who it is. The screen goes black, when Journey‘s Don’t Stop Believin’ stops precisely at the phrase: don’t stop, as if it had been interrupted. Because it was.

Currents divide to this day, but it was clear to me that Tony was murdered. He had talked before about what it would be like to die and the conversation ended with the argument that death is like everything suddenly erased. The actor himself, with no patience to explain, was short and thick on a red carpet. “Do you think Tony was killed?” the reporter asked. “Yes”, he just replied. And James Gandolfini read the script. Tony died, people, and it was deserved.

The ambiguity of the ending generated a lot of discussions, even passion, but it did not reach the negative unanimity of Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones was a series that broke paradigms and became a fever that even five years later, keeps social networks boiling. Unlike Lost, which was already on open TV, and The Sopranos, which went from cable TV to becoming a phenomenon, Game of Thrones was born “small” and became a giant. Even though it is fantasy content, dense and complex.

Out of George R. R. Martin‘s books, which were still being written, the series suffered the consequences of several external factors. The first and worst of them was the fact that the writer to this day, in 2023, still hasn’t finished his books. Without ‘official’ material to drive the story, the narrative left the books and followed what seemed to be the initial proposal for the conclusion of the story. The second was that – with popularity – the content had to be simplified and downgraded a bit to keep a more varied audience. Third, as a result of the second, HBO began to expect to keep more seasons on the air, after all, it was an attraction for more subscriptions and merchandising sales, in addition to being another franchise to be explored. And fourth, it was exposed to the cultural shift that included #metoo and the demand for strong female characters. All the protagonists suffered at the hands of male chauvinists and violent men as it mirrored a medieval period, and by changing them, some heroes lost meaning or leadership. It went off.

To make matters worse, the original pace was slow, interesting for everyone to assimilate the entire intricate plot, but it sped up, and became discordant. Those who are more radical belief that the series did well until the fourth season, going off the rails when the material in the books ran out. Others accepted the fifth, even with the changes, because they still had literary material to use. From the sixth on – in total creative freedom – the choices began to divide fans who still endured a seventh season with irritation, ending with the eighth and final being unanimously slaughtered. The surprise that Daenerys “goes mad” and massacres thousands of people, that the hero Jon Snow kills her, and that Bran is “elected” king, did not find a soul that defended as acceptable. To this day it is – and forever will be – remembered as one of, if not the worst series finale in TV history. An injustice to an otherwise legendary legacy for all the right reasons.

Kit Harington is not alone in his argument that fans have confused attachment to Game of Thrones with an angry reaction to what they saw as the conclusion. It’s the mantra of the entire cast, who really stand up for what they’ve presented and regret that no one (or almost no one) appreciated it.

The fear of it being a ‘new Game of Thrones‘ has been very real in the industry ever since. Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Insecure‘s Issa Rae both joked about it when their series came to an end. And now it’s the problem of Ted Lasso, from The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel, Succession and Barry currently. Nobody wants to take the crown from GOT.

I’ve been bitterly lamenting the final seasons that are airing, save for Succession. The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime Video should have ended two seasons ago. It didn’t move and now it’s going back and forth to tie the stitches, but it doesn’t engage anymore. Since I’m stubborn, I go all the way with her. Ted Lasso is in third, under pressure to continue in a fourth, but is proving that it was even predicted to end soon. In the final stretch, the light and intelligent tone changed to an irritating dictation. It’s really getting into the wrong GOT vibe. I still don’t have a conclusion about Barry, who also seems stretched, but who is so different in his storytelling that he still entertains us. I bet on The Sopranos vibe for it, for obvious reasons of the violent universe in which Barry transits. That said, without being able to repeat the abrupt ending, I’m curious to see what Bill Hader thought of closing the story.

And then, we have Succession. Flying with dense, perfect, and exciting interpretations. “Killed” the antagonist, Logan Roy, the closest to Tony Soprano in recent years, in the third episode and leaving us speechless with it. It was necessary because we are following the consequences of what he sowed – the instability of his children who are fighting to succeed him – and with that we are anguished and in love with all of them.

Succession is the best TV content since The Sopranos, the only one to deliver the same impact and reaction. And it proves that if you know how to tell your story, there are no disagreements (even if one here and another there) that can destroy an intelligent story development. There are still three episodes to go. Will the Iron Throne have a new king?


2 comentários Adicione o seu

  1. Peggy Marie disse:

    LOST was a one of a kind TV show that can never be replicated sadly. I remember we had teams – you picked which team you were on to support. I loved Desmond. ahhh good memories. 🙂

    Curtido por 2 pessoas

    1. I know!!!! And I agree!!!

      Curtido por 1 pessoa

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