Rachel Paige
August 26, 2015 7:19 am

For anyone who has loved a television show so dearly they’ve canceled plans to watch it, there are only two ways a series finale can go: it’s either amazing, or it’s awful. There’s sadly not a whole lout of middle ground. If it’s a great finale, it’ll be remembered forever. If it’s a bad finale, that will be remembered forever, too.

It’s impossible to compare one series finale to another, because comparing the ending of 30 Rock to the ending of True Blood is like comparing apples and pineapples. But, one Reddit user has taken a quantitative look at how series finales stack up, using a pretty simple formula. Consulting IMDB, ChallengeResponse made a series of graphs highlighting the difference between the average rating for an TV episode, compared to the rating for its series finale. We can now clearly see how well a series performed overall, and how its finale then stacked up to expectations.

So, for an example, Friends as a series scores a 9/10, but its series finale scores a 10/10 because Rachel got off the plane. This is different from The O.C. which averaged 7.5/10 for its run, but its series finale scored a 9/10. Or like the fact that How I Met Your Mother averaged a solid 8.5/10 right up until the finale, which plunged down to a 5.5/10. Agree to disagree on this one, Internet, because thinking about that finale still makes me cry to this day.

According to IMDB, the show with the best series finale bragging rights goes to Breaking Bad. The ending to the cult series gave viewers exactly what they wanted (and what they wanted was dark). Coming in second is Six Feet Under (seriously, that drive through life), The Office’s last ep takes third place, Spartacus: War of the Damned (who knew?) comes in fourth, and Parks and Rec’s finale clocks in at number five.

As for the least satisfying last episode? That title goes to Two and a Half Men—which scored the lowest in IMDB ratings, according to the graph. SpoilerIn that ep, there are lots of jabs at Charlie Sheen’s character, and a sudden plot twist. Then, in a meta-moment, series creator Chuck Lorre suffers the hands of fate (aka a falling piano). People also weren’t so satisfied with the endings of Dexter, True Blood and, of course, HIMYM

If you’re up for debating a lot of TV today, check out the the series of graphs below — even though it will probably remind you to binge a few shows in the near future.

(Image via NBC)

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