Overall, final seasons always seem to end up having some sort of issue about them. They can feel contrived, problematic, and flat out not as interesting.
I think unless you have a story with an end in mind when you start, you are going to have trouble. Many shows exhaust all their ideas quickly and that is why some go downhill fast. Sometimes it’s probably tough to just suddenly come up with a way to end it.
I feel Breaking Bad should be an example in how to end a show when it’s the right time and not try to keep going because of popularity reasons or money reasons. Look what happened with Sons of Anarchy and Dexter. The two final seasons of both of them were uncomfortably bad to the point where you start questioning whether the series were that spectacular to begin with.
It can be hard to steer the plot to a satisfying conclusion without it feeling forced. The story should have a natural progression and often times the end comes based on a network’s decision so the writers have to adjust and you can tell. So the writers try to satisfy the network and the fans and sometimes it just can’t be done.
Then you have popular shows that are kept on way too long because they are money makers and the final season is bad just because they have long since run out of ideas and have declined in quality in a way that you just can’t get back in a last season.
An example of this is HIMYM, while I personally like the finale, many people didn't. A big factor in this was the way the last season changed, with the whole season running over the course of Barney and Robins wedding, only to find out in the finale that they didn't stay together. It was also a change of format to what people were used to and so a lot of people may not have liked it because of that reason. – Tyler McPherson7 years ago
It might be interesting to reflect on the format itself, the series, in order to answer the question. Because there are so many episodes, the audience has to be 'loyal' to the series and really commit to it in order to reach the end. But most of the episodes resemble each other in the end and become repetitive which bores the audience. Maybe series have to be shorter to remain entertaining? Maybe we need to rethink how series work and their format? – Rachel Elfassy Bitoun7 years ago