The end of St. Elsewhere was pretty cool.

Great TV Finales. Horrible TV Finales!
And Now for the Big Finishes… Oz and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch have already left the building, Dawson’s Creek (WB; May 14) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (UPN; May 20) are down to their last few episodes and it’s looking like The Practice, Just Shoot Me and The Drew Carey Show may be put out to pasture at the season’s end. Meanwhile, Sex and the City begins its final fling on HBO this summer, and TV fans are already guessing how Friends will wrap its 10-season run next year. Yep, it’s the beginning of the endings.
In the two most anticipated series enders, according to those fast-flying rumors, Buffy and pals will face the possible destruction of Sunnydale, while Dawson and his oh so verbose cohorts will jump five years into the future. The romantic entanglements (surprise, surprise) haven’t really changed all that much, and big buzz is weddings–as in, plural.
Matrimony, future shock, the complete annihilation of the world as we know it…Sounds like standard series-finale fodder. Let’s just hope the Buffy and Dawson’s folks really do go out with a bang and leave us long devoted (and long suffering) fans satisfied. If producers have a shot at some last-minute tinkering, though, perhaps they should take a little flashback of their own and recall the greatest moments in series-finale history…
• M*A*S*H (CBS, Feb. 28, 1983): “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” was the two-and-a-half hour installment that found the 4077 gang shipping out Stateside as the Korean War ended. But a traumatized Hawkeye (Alan Alda, who nabbed Emmys for acting, writing and directing) and his best bud Hunnicut (Mike Farrell) had trouble saying farewell. The most ironic moment in the episode, which attracted a record 125 million viewers, was Section 8-minded Klinger’s (Jamie Farr) decision to marry Soon-Lee and stay in Korea. The most poignant: Hawkeye, departing the camp via helicopter, looks down and sees Hunnicut has finally bid him adieu, by spelling out the word goodbye with rocks.
• Newhart (CBS, May 21, 1990): “The Last Newhart” may go down as the most clever series wrap-up ever. Vermont inn owner Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart) is the sole holdout when a Japanese conglomerate offers big bucks to the townsfolk to snap up their land. But after getting bonked on the noggin by a golf ball (the inn is now located in the middle of the new development’s golf course), Dick wakes up and realizes the whole thing–actually, the whole Newhart show–has been a dream. “Honey, wake up. You won’t believe the dream I just had,” Dick tells Emily (Suzanne Pleshette), the wife of the Newhart’s Bob Hartley character in the 1972-78 Bob Newhart Show. After Bob relates the details of his slumbering delusion, Emily says, “That settles it. No more Japanese food before you go to bed.”
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