Top 5 TV series finales that aired in 2019: 'Fleabag', 'The Big Bang Theory' and more
2019 has been a great year for television, especially with the endings of fan favorite shows. Here's our list for the top 5 series finales that aired this year.
2019 was a phenomenal year for television -- and not just because Apple and Disney launched their streaming platforms -- and saw some incredible new shows premiering, but also because some long-time fan favorites ended their run.
Sure, some shows were unknowingly airing their last episodes after they were canceled by their network. Some shows ended their runs knowing these were their final episodes, and though certain shows disappointed (we're looking at you, 'Game of Thrones'), many shows ended in what could be described as perfect episodes.
Here's our selection for the top 5 television series finales that aired in 2019:
Arguably the show most deserving to be on the list, but also least wanted since the two-season comedy-drama show released its second season this year, followed by an announcement by Emmy award-winning creator, writer, and star of the show, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, saying that the second will be the last -- that is unless Waller-Bridge decides to revisit the beloved character when she is in her 50s.
Season 1 of 'Fleabag' was already revered, but the second season received all-around perfect reviews. Claire's miscarriage, the infamous hot priest, Fleabag's father's wedding all came together to form the stories of the six-episode second season that featured some of TV's best dialogues.
In the final episode, when The Priest chooses God over her, it broke all of our hearts -- but not without a smile as Fleabag guided the fox that finally made an appearance towards Andrew Scott's character. When she walks away, she tells the viewers not to follow her, and there the show ends. It might be hard not to wonder whether Fleabag will revert to her old, self-destructive self -- but some may feel that, no, Fleabag is only moving forward.
For a show that lasted only 12 episodes, 'Fleabag' made all the difference in the world to its viewers, and for that, Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterpiece deserves the top spot on the list.
When 'Veep' went on a two-year hiatus as its lead actor, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, sought cancer treatment, it returned to a very different world. This could be seen in the final season as the writers incorporated the #MeToo movement, and got one of its characters to base their presidency campaign on anti-vaxxers and bigotry. There was also a foreign power (China) meddling in the elections, mirroring real-world events.
But, as the season ended, Selina Meyer's exploits to become the Commander-in-Chief finally paid off, but at a cost. She frames Gary to be the fall guy for the Meyer Fund Scandal. The series finale was Emmy award-winning actress, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, at her best -- and though she may have lost to Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the final bid for the Emmy award for her role as Selina Meyer -- there is no denying that Louis-Dreyfus brought to life an iconic character.
The finale was everything the series promised over its run through seven seasons. It was funny, horrifying, nuanced, and brilliant.
The series finale for 'Broad City' encapsulated and magnified everything the show was about: the chaos of New York City, but most importantly, the chaotic-yet-wonderful friendship between Ilana and Abbi. It's a sweet, heartwrenching farewell to these characters that have graced our screens since 2014, but it is still unbelievably funny.
In the final episode, Abbi and Ilana do the one thing they never managed to do despite living in New York City - walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Abbi says to her friend, "You know, Ilana, me and you, we’re still going to be us, no matter what. That’s never going to change. Even if we’re in different cities, that’s never going to change.”
Ilana says she knows this, adding, "But it is going to change. But this is still going to be the most beautiful, deep, real, cool-and-hot, meaningful, important relationship of my life."
This dialogue alone reflects what the web series-turned-Comedy Central show means -- to the landscape of television (doing something that Lena Dunham's 'Girls' couldn't do) -- but also what the characters symbolize to their viewers.
Jane the Virgin
Jennie Snyder Urman's 'Jane the Virgin' changed the landscape for Latinx representation on television. A loose adaptation of Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen, 'Jane the Virgin' premiered on our screens in 2014 and told the story of 23-year-old Latina devout Christian, Jane Villanueva, who became pregnant after an accidental insemination procedure.
Over five seasons, we see Jane and her family navigate this as well as the other characters in her life. Jane's relationship with Michael tragically ended when he seemingly dies, only for Michael to come back -- albeit without his memories -- in the finale of the penultimate season.
Was 'Jane the Virgin' always about the love story between Jane and Rafael? We don't know, but the series finale serves as a beautiful tribute to their relationship -- especially their friendship. The episode -- also the series's 100th episode -- also served as a magnificent farewell to all the other characters we have known and loved for the past five years.
The Big Bang Theory
This list would not be complete without the inclusion of Chuck Lorre's 'The Big Bang Theory'. When the sitcom debuted in 2007, "geeks" and "nerds" did not have the kind of stories told about them. Fast forward a few years and it became normal to see a bunch of dudes arguing about 'Doctor Who' and takeout in the same scene.
The success of the show can be understood from the fact that it ran for 12 seasons -- and in its final season, had 20 million viewers for each episode. Perhaps the only other sitcom to have received this level of devotion and aura around it was NBC's 'Friends'.
The series finale was demure compared to the hijinks of these beloved characters that we have seen for the past 12 years. There were quite a few events with Sheldon winning the Nobel Prize and the announcement that Penny is pregnant. The show has been problematic in the past, but it is its refusal to change that is reflected more deeply in the finale.
Of course, there were more shows that ended this year but a few more deserve notable mentions, namely, 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend', 'You're the Worst', and 'Legion'.