Game of Thrones came to one of the most controversial series endings, as fans discovered that the ‘rushed’ final season’s core theme was taken from The Dark Knight “… either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain… ”. Over 1 million outraged viewers have taken matters into their own hands by signing a petition to remake the season. The viral petition has been receiving criticism from annoyed celebrities. One celebrity’s statement that struck a chord with fans was that of Lily Reinhart (the chick who plays Betty on Riverdale) who randomly commented about the petition. Reinhart stated,
“This is not how television works… TV shows are not fan service. It’s ridiculous of people to think they can demand creative change from artists.”
With controversy surrounding the most expensive and elaborate series ever created, it got me thinking: Do fans have a right to complain when they dislike the ending of a series they hold dear and they’ve invested years of their lives watching? Can viewers demand creative change? Are petitions necessary? How effective are petitions?
Fan campaigns have worked before, it saved Chuck from cancelation, gave us a Firefly film for closure and helped secure another two seasons of the classic teen drama Roswell. I personally think the petition is an emotional outlet for fans to express their disappointment and frustration. Even if the petition doesn’t work, it’s a way for fans to show their disapproval and it serves as a coping mechanism.
When viewers connect with characters, watch them develop for years and invest in their story, they form a personal relationship and when season finales end with abrupt character unlikelyness and story spontaneity, there’s a sense of unfamiliarity and betrayal. It’s like a violent ending to a long trusting friendship, which in turn has to be processed, mourned and dealt with. (Here’s looking at you Dany!)
We know that series finales can be problematic as not everyone will be pleased with the outcome. It will leave one or the other fan frustrated, however, viewers and fans alike have ALL the right to complain, critique and mourn the death of their relationship. Even if it is in the form of an appeal and even if it seems gratuitous and insignificant, as long as they aren’t sending death threats or physically harming anyone, viewers have all the right to express their anger, sorrow and dissatisfaction by calling out those at fault for anticlimactic conclusions.
Let’s remember that there are series finales that have left majority of the fans content. I thought I’d share a list of some of my best and worst beloved series finales. It’s from the worst to the best and in no order…
Game of Thrones (WORST)
True Blood (WORST)
How I Met Your Mother (WORST)
Burn Notice (BEST)
Penny Dreadful (BEST)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BEST)
Veronica Mars (BEST)
Breaking Bad (BEST)
The Americans (BEST)
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