To win a gold medal in Olympic sports such as diving or gymnastics, the final step is to stick the landing. That’s also true for TV shows, which, no matter how popular they were at their peak, can leave a sour aftertaste if their finales are botched.
From top to bottom, here are some of the series that will be ending in 2022, as well as whether their routines wowed the judges (OK, this particular judge).
This year’s finales ranged from AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” which put the icing on top of a stellar run, to Showtime’s “Ray Donovan,” which, after ending abruptly in 2020, presented a drab film intended to provide its audience with a belated sense of 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, others not so – that ended their runs this year. Also, entries are limited to programmes where the producers knew they were coming to an end and could plan accordingly, excluding something like “Westworld,” which was cancelled after its fourth season and deprived the opportunity to craft an ending – not that it would have likely mattered much given its confusing creative spiral.
“Better Call Saul” (AMC, August 16): All those hints of a black-and-white future came together as the “Breaking Bad” spinoff reached its conclusion, which included bringing back some of the original characters to help say goodbye. Given the constant suspense surrounding what separated Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) from Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), the understated payoff, and Saul’s act of contrition, seemed as perfect as most of what came before it.
“Ozark” (Netflix, April 29): A family that crimes together apparently stays together, as the Byrdes left plenty of collateral damage in their final dangerous arc, bringing their children into what had become the family business. From beginning to end, this is a beautifully acted series led by Jason Bateman and Laura Linney.