Whether it’s discussing character arcs with colleagues around the water cooler or dissecting developing storylines on social media, there’s a special kinship between fans of acclaimed TV shows. critical. The bond is strongest when a series is about to end, with viewers gathering around televisions across the country to say goodbye. The much-anticipated conclusion to AMC’s “Breaking Bad”-inspired watch parties with cocktails chilled with blue-tinted ice cubes, while the series finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” rewarded the cable giant with record scores.
When the latest episode of a beloved series fails, however, the backlash can be severe. What exactly makes for a controversial finale? Clever writers with overly cerebral ambitions tend to polarize audiences, as do characters who fail to stay true to form. Audiences also take issue with the unresolved questions and incredible plot twists. Sometimes the show’s off-screen antics — or even lack thereof — will impact the tone of a show’s final episode.
Stacker curated a list of 15 TV shows marked by controversial season finales, all of which won at least an Emmy or Golden Globe in a given category. Keep reading to see if any of your favorite programs make the list. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
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