Happy endings, cliffhangers and…

What aspects of TV shows, movies make a good ending


Baylee Stewart

According to the-numbers.com, as of September, there have been 1.22 billion ticket sales in the United States in 2019.

Baylee Stewart, Co-Editor-in-Chief (Print)

Silence fills the theater as the end of the movie nears. Everyone is intently watching the screen making sure not to miss a single second of it. Suddenly it ends, practically in the middle of a scene. Numerous emotions flow throughout the viewers, from contentment to confusion to anger. Everyone leaves the theater talking about what just happened in the movie.

This is exactly why movies and TV shows end in the ways they do. They can end with cliffhangers, upsetting endings and happy endings. They are designed to make you talk about them to people around you. When people talk about a movie that ended abruptly or if it ended with complete shock, it spreads the word about the movie and more people go to watch it.

Many people don’t like when movies or TV shows end in cliffhangers. However, if a movie or TV show continues on into the rest of a series, this allows for cliffhangers to be entertaining. This method of ending a movie keeps you guessing of what is going to occur in the following movies. The concept goes the same for a TV series.

For example, a movie series that continued on with a cliffhanger is Avengers: Infinity War. At the end of the movie, many viewers were left wondering what was going to happen in the next movie. The next movie, Avengers: Endgame, which debuted in April, answered most of the questions viewers had from the previous movie. 

A TV series that ends in cliffhangers at the end of every season is Riverdale. This past season, season three, ended in a flash forward from the upcoming season, season four. This left viewers in a state of confusion about what is going to occur in the upcoming season. 

On the other hand, when there is one movie in a series, a final movie in a series or a series finale in a TV show, then a good ending is needed. A good ending consists of the feeling of fulfillment when the show or movie is over. A viewer should not have to wonder what will happen next on a good ending. 

For example, a movie that ends with a happy ending would be Beauty and the Beast. Everything works out at the end of the movie and no viewer is left wondering what happens next. Most Disney movies that aren’t a series end with a happy ending because it gives viewers satisfaction and makes them want to watch more movies created by Disney. 

An example of a TV show series finale would be Friends. At the end of Friends, life is good with the group and everyone in the show is satisfied. With the end of this series, no viewer is left wondering what will happen.

There are some viewers who enjoy the sad or devastating endings of a movie or TV show. They enjoy the cliffhanger associated with the tragic endings. Most movies that have a devastating ending are usually cliffhangers. This keeps viewers interested in what will happen next, even though they might be upset with the ending. This goes the same for TV shows At the end of a season, an upsetting ending will sometimes occur and viewers have to wait until next season to find out what happens.

“I like tragic endings, like at the end of Avengers: Infinity War when everyone disappeared,” senior Adam Hessler said.

Cliffhangers and happy endings are by far two of the best ways to end a movie or TV show. Whether they leave you with confusion, anger or satisfaction, they keep you coming back. The types of movies or TV shows that end in cliffhangers keep you drawn to the series and make you anticipate the next season or movie. When movies or TV shows end in a happy ending, it makes you watch similar movies by the same people and it certainly leaves you satisfied.