The season has finally ended — rejoice! Tottenham Hotspur have progressed through a Premier League campaign that has felt at best like a slog and at worst an interminably bleak hellscape filled with the rotting carcasses of our hopes and dreams... and come through to the other side. That campaign concluded with a 4-1 win away at Leeds that got them relegated and made Spurs fans feel something akin to pleasure for the first time in a while before the crushing reality of the situation settled back in. (Choose hope.)
I almost didn’t write one of these, but hey, it was a halfway decent match so why not? Today’s theme continues the greater theme of endings and it’s one I haven’t done before — series endings to TV shows. Predictably, this is another topic that’s absolutely massive, and I only have a handful of category headers, so yes you’ll certainly yell at me for not choosing the one that you absolutely think deserves to be there. So be it. At least you’re not arguing about Tottenham Hotspur.
Here are your player ratings to the theme of TV series endings. WARNING: SOME SPOILERS, SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
5 stars: Breaking Bad
Enthralling as it was, Breaking Bad was a difficult watch for me due to a lot of the themes involved and the way things just emphatically fall apart at the end, but I have to say they absolutely nailed the ending. Walter White sees his entire world crumble around him and simultaneously gets everything he ever wanted and loses it as well. The ultimate resolution is pitch-perfect as Walt ends up being one of the most engaging and interesting anti-heroes in a show that is rightfully lauded as one of the best series of all time.
Harry Kane (Community — 4.5): What the hell, let’s do it and be legends. Harry Kane scored a brace on Sunday to put him at 30 Premier League goals, which equalled his highest ever league goal tally with the 2017-18 campaign. Both were bangers, too. If this was the last time we see him in a Spurs shirt, at least he went out on a high.
4.5 stars: M*A*S*H*
OK kiddies, I know this was a long time ago and if you were born after 1985 it’s likely you’ve never watched a single episode, but once upon a time there was a comedy series that was all about doctors and support staff deployed at a base during the Korean War. And it was incredible — funny and grim and thoughtful and bleak and wonderful. The finale focuses on the ceasefire that eventually creates the DMZ, contains the mix of tragic and hopeful themes that came to characterize the entire series, and ends with the word “GOODBYE” spelled out in rocks viewed from a departing helicopter. There are estimates that close to half the country tuned in to watch the final episode, and it’s just about perfect television.
Just padding out the categories.
4 stars: Justified
God, I loved this show, and in its final season it really leaned on the frenemy status of Raylan and Boyd Crowder, along with the love triangle established with Ava. By the end of the finale, all the story beats got tied up neatly, and it had a very poignant ending capped by one of the all-time best lines: “We dug coal together.”
Pedro Porro (Community — 4.5): Really well-taken goal and looked quite good running against a bad defensive line that was pushing high to score. He’s gonna be a weird one under [insert manager here]. Lots of talent, but I don’t know how he fits in a not-bizarro Conte side.
Yves Bissouma (Community — 4.0): Thought he looked composed on the ball, snapped into tackles, and continued his resurgence since returning from injury. What did Conte DO to him?!
Lucas Moura (Community — 4.5): Normally wouldn’t be getting a rating, but that was a hell of a goal and whatever you think of him it was a poetic way to say goodbye to a club that it’s clear he will love forever.
Ryan Mason (Community — 4.0): Didn’t make any tactical errors and used his subs well. I think, all considered, this was a much more impressive caretaker stint than after Mourinho. He’s done well. I still don’t want him for the permanent role.
3.5 stars: Star Trek: The Next Generation
One of the best things about ST:TNG was the way they developed the characters over the course of the series, though in some ways Picard was always that strangely aloof authority figure who could never connect personally with his crew. “All Good Things” broke that ice and brought things full circle with the return of Q and time travel. It wasn’t a perfect episode by any means but it did an excellent job of tying the series together with a neat bow, and those thematic notes ended up with a more satisfactory conclusion in Star Trek: Picard.
Emerson Royal (Community — 3.5): Had the hockey assist for Kane’s first goal and looked good enough on both sides of the ball.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 3.5): Picked up another assist (to Kane, naturally) and looked like a threat to get in behind all match.
Clement Lenglet (Community — 3.5): He was fine.
Pape Matar Sarr (Community — 3.5): Had a hockey assist for Porro’s goal by nodding it into his stride. I still have high hopes for him and don’t understand why he doesn’t play more.
Richarlison (Community — 3.0): Again went close a couple of times and just couldn’t find his way past Robles. Snake-bitten season. He’ll be back and better next year.
3 stars: House
Confession: I loved this show and I was satisfied with the way it ended, but I thought it could’ve been executed better. Specifically, while it’s cool that House got to spend the last few months with his best friend, I would’ve thought he’d have to face some kind of accountability for his actions over the past few seasons. Instead he fakes his own death and gets off scot free and that’s kind of lame.
Fraser Forster (Community — 3.0): Made a couple of easy stops (Leeds were awful) but showed his lack of speed again with their single goal. He may leave the club this summer. I will not miss him.
Ben Davies (Community — 3.0): Could’ve done better for Harrison’s goal but was bog-standard decent otherwise.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 3.5): A little off his feed again, especially when he blew the pass that could’ve set Sonny up for a goal. I do kind of enjoy watching him play more centrally at times.
Matthew Craig (Community — no rating bc I forgot to include him and nobody noticed): Hard to really get a feel for him in a short window, but it was cool to see him get a full senior debut.
2.5 stars: The Sopranos
Controversy? I don’t think so. The Sopranos was one of the first “prestige shows” of the new millennium and while there are people who will try and convince you otherwise, ending the series on one of the biggest makes-u-think cliffhangers (and in the middle of a musical phrase no less) is dumb, and the show deserved better.
Davinson Sanchez (Community — 3.0): Still looks jittery with the ball at his feet and had a couple of yikes moments in the first half. Stabilized when Leeds were down big and weren’t threatening. He needs a fresh start somewhere not here.
Oliver Skipp (Community — ): I’ve said it before, but Skipp has proved to be useful homegrown depth at Tottenham but not much more than that. Another, for me, subpar outing alongside Bissouma in midfield.
2 stars: How I Met Your Mother
God, there were so many options here. Seinfeld? LOST? Gossip Girl? All considered. I almost used St. Elsewhere, which ended by making the whole show be from the imagination of an autistic child. But I’m giving it to HIMYM because the show spent nine seasons setting up the premise and promising what’s in the goddamn title to viewers only to pull the lamest bait and switch in TV history. GOD. I’m still mad about this.
Nobody, thankfully, was here.
1 star: Game of Thrones
“Who doesn’t love a good story?” STFU Tyrion. Without spoiling it for anyone who actually hasn’t seen the ending of this series yet, if this really was how the author intended the book series to end, then there’s still time to change it, George. I can accept Dany’s story resolution (though spare a thought to the young girls in the world who will grow up named “Daenerys”) but the “winner” of the Game of Thrones was stupid and bad. Just an impossibly dumb and incoherent way to end one of the best prestige fantasy series of all time.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as the Game of Thrones ending.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating: