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#1 Edited by KaneRobot (1419 posts) -

I kind of gave up on watching The Office every week several seasons ago. I catch up when the mood strikes me but nothing has really had me take notice in years.

Not to get deep into spoilers since it's less than a week old, but the end of Thursday's episode was fucking weird and set a totally different mood than anything that show has ever done. Part of me writes it off as "feh, they want to make sure they have a lot of attention as they wind it down, so they're trying a weird stunt and of course they'll eventually have a happy ending" but I have to admit I'm kind of interested to see what's going to happen, so I guess it worked.

To summarize it in a brief way if you don't know or care to watch the show itself -

The lead couple (Jim/Pam) get into an unprecidented, very uncomfortable argument, which leads to Pam breaking down. This itself has never even come close to happening before, but on top of that, she turns to a guy on the camera crew for comfort. The camera crew had never really been a part of the show - 9 years running - until that moment.

So I was trying to think of other shows that pulled some bizarre twist near the end of its run and the only other one I can think of is Roseanne (with the last episode showing the last season was all just how she wanted things to turn out, rather than how it actually turned out). There's gotta be at least a few others out there, right? Originally I was just trying to think of comedies but I'll take anything that people can come up with.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36000 posts) -

Roseanne.

#3 Edited by KaneRobot (1419 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Roseanne.

Shit, had no idea.

V_G_K - too busy to click links OR read posts.

#4 Posted by BisonHero (6169 posts) -

Huh. So they pulled a reverse Trailer Park Boys? Trailer Park Boys would hilariously interact with the camera crew in the early seasons, then by about season 5 they're barely ever acknowledged at all.

Anyway, for a show that only had 3 seasons and then a couple made-for-TV movies, ReBoot went from being lighthearted fun with no continuous story arcs for the first one and a half seasons, then at the finale for season 2 shit suddenly gets incredibly real and the main character gets jettisoned into fucking space with almost no chance of returning. Then like 2 episodes into the 3rd season, the funny little boy sidekick character GETS SLASHED IN THE FUCKING EYE WHILE FAILING TO PROTECT HIS CITY and has a badass cybernetic eye for the rest of the series, while this big elaborate plot unfolds to return to the city and save it from recently introduced villains. It was a pretty cool show.

Seriously, imagine if at the end of the second Professor Layton game, Layton gets trapped in an alternate dimension or some shit, then suddenly Luke becomes the main hero of the series, except OH SHIT some guy fucks up one of his eyes with a giant blade, and suddenly Luke gets tough as shit with a cyborg eye and works out a bunch and becomes a badass. It was THAT much of a tonal shift.

#5 Posted by Sgtpierceface (610 posts) -

Never watched The Office, but that sounds like a cool twist when they're nearing the end like this.

#6 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Roseanne.

that was soooo weird.

#7 Posted by Hailinel (23891 posts) -

@KaneRobot said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Roseanne.

Shit, had no idea.

Man, Rosanne's final season was just made of what the fuck.

The show I always look at for this question is Sliders. Now, part of the reasons for the twists it takes are due to changes behind the camera and in the core cast, especially in the last two seasons, but the final season was just balls-out crazy. As in, not only did the show leap the fuck over the shark, it did so while dangling its junk in perfect chomping distance and doing the Shin-chan elephant dance.

In lieu of trying to write out my thoughts here, I'll just link to this user review I wrote on Screened years ago. The fact that this show managed to stay on the air for five seasons despite seemingly everyone looking for ways to sink it is either amazing or horrifying. I'm not sure which.

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#8 Posted by BisonHero (6169 posts) -

@KaneRobot said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Roseanne.

Shit, had no idea.

Specifically, the very last episode pulls some crazy shit out of nowhere that is actually quite sad, given how positive the final season was right up until that last point. It gave the show a kind of sentimental ending, but it didn't really earn that because there was literally no way you could have seen the last episode coming.

#9 Posted by ManU_Fan10ne (662 posts) -

School Days.

#10 Posted by deathfury (531 posts) -

Neon Genesis Evangelion.

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#11 Posted by JaredA (820 posts) -

The ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion wast just... disappointing

#12 Posted by ImaTreee (209 posts) -

I'm going to say Breaking Bad because the first season starts as a comedy, but as you keep watching, you realize how dark the show really is. Each of the characters have their own secrets and problems that contribute to how dark the theme is in the end.

#13 Posted by BisonHero (6169 posts) -

@deathfury said:

Neon Genesis Evangelion.

@JaredA said:

The ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion wast just... disappointing

Really? I don't think the ending of that show qualifies. The show was pretty dark throughout, and c'mon, surely you expected a pretty fucking bizarre ending. Sure, it outdid everyone's expectations by making no attempt to resolve the plot whatsoever because they were out of animation money so instead they just had Shinji internally deal with his problems but maybe also magically interact with other people's consciousnesses, but that was more of a "completely retarded WTF ending" than the dark turn out of nowhere that KaneRobot seems to be looking for.

#14 Posted by Fr0Br0 (3089 posts) -

The last episode of The Cosby Show when the girl from That's So Raven killed Rudy and wore her skin around like a robe was a little dark. Pretty telegraphed though, not totally unexpected.

#15 Posted by Hailinel (23891 posts) -

@ManU_Fan10ne said:

School Days.

Oh, Jesus. Talk about out of nowhere.

Nice boat.

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#16 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1914 posts) -

Black Adder had one of the most sobering and poignant endings I've ever seen. I think that the fact that is was such a great comedy made the point they showed at the end, the pointlessness and absurdity of war, all the more effective. And they did it without one spoken word, almost no audio at all. That ending will always stay with me, it gives me great sympathy for the innocent men and boys that died in WWI.

#17 Posted by TheHT (10880 posts) -

Berserk

#18 Posted by deathfury (531 posts) -

@BisonHero: Evangelion definitely has a pretty dark and bizarre tonal shift starting at episode 16, I'd say. Also, the "we ran out of money" ending was a real bummer, but they made a movie called End of Evangelion that wrapped things up much better.

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#19 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

I'll say twin peaks. I know it's pretty dark and gloomy throughout, but that fucking ending...so dreary, hopeless and abrupt

#20 Posted by hinderk (685 posts) -

Dinosaurs

#21 Posted by inknail (155 posts) -

Just off the top of my head due to recent viewing:

  1. Wakfu: Waits until halfway through season 1 before things get real, and then gets unexpectedly dark by the last few episodes.
  2. Tiger & Bunny: I felt like the ending episodes were really tearing me in different directions between comedy and tragedy here.
  3. Madoka Magica: Not sure if it counts since it starts getting dark only a few episodes in, but there are a lot of surprises later on as well.@BisonHero said:

    Anyway, for a show that only had 3 seasons and then a couple made-for-TV movies, ReBoot went from being lighthearted fun with no continuous story arcs for the first one and a half seasons, then at the finale for season 2 shit suddenly gets incredibly real and the main character gets jettisoned into fucking space with almost no chance of returning. Then like 2 episodes into the 3rd season, the funny little boy sidekick character GETS SLASHED IN THE FUCKING EYE WHILE FAILING TO PROTECT HIS CITY and has a badass cybernetic eye for the rest of the series, while this big elaborate plot unfolds to return to the city and save it from recently introduced villains. It was a pretty cool show.

    I forgot how crazy that show got in its prime, been a long time since I watched ReBoot. Along the lines of CGI series I guess Beast Wars would also fit here. Not really towards the end of the series, but more like several major confrontations throughout (Dinobot's warrior poet routine comes to mind).
#22 Posted by Fr0Br0 (3089 posts) -

But seriously, even though Serenity is technically a movie,

Wash's sudden and actually pretty shocking death right after one of the character's most heroic moments had me with my mouth wide open. Didn't expect the series to end by killing one of the best characters on the show.
#23 Posted by Pr1mus (3809 posts) -
#24 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1439 posts) -
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#25 Posted by TMBaker (230 posts) -

FRINGE I guess, having a planet enslaved by emotionless intellects can be a downer.

#26 Posted by RenegadeSaint (1523 posts) -

What about the last season of Arrested Development? They knew they weren't getting picked up and that show descended into pure madness. It may sound hard to believe, but the stuff in the first couple seasons comes off as reasonable when you're watching the final season. Still awesome, of course, just weird.

#27 Posted by Pr1mus (3809 posts) -

@ll_Exile_ll said:

@Pr1mus said:

Alias.

I guess i never really thought there would be actual immortality...

There are implications even in the very early goings on that this was in fact a thing in that universe.

Oh yeah i know that. I just didn't expect them to actually show it like that. At least we can't say they didn't answer the question. It's totally a thing and that guy is still trapped in that cave today. Which is kinda cool. And weird.

#28 Edited by Zippedbinders (983 posts) -

I don't know if it necessarily counts, but Outlaw Star goes pretty crazy in the final two episodes. The Leyline, McDougal, Gwen Kahn, the crazy giant ship fighting segment. Two minutes of nothing but harmonica.

After that, I just expected all 26 episode animes to have either batshit or dark endings.

ReBoot was phenomenal. I've got the whole series on DVD, I think what really helped was that when Season 3 started, the animation studio finally figured out lighting and shadow.

#29 Edited by GunstarRed (5025 posts) -

@Fr0Br0: I saw the film before it was released with a room full of hardcore fans. I think it was the loudest gasp of shock I have ever heard.

#30 Posted by JasonR86 (9608 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Roseanne.

Yep. And Twin Peaks. Season 1 of Twin Peaks had dark moments. Even the clusterfuck that was season 2 had dark moments. But holy shit the ending to the series was fucking dark. Good Lord.

#31 Edited by spiceninja (3055 posts) -

The last season of the Drew Carey Show changed the camera style from that of a standard sitcom to and in-your-face handheld style like more modern comedies. They kept the laugh track though and that combined with the weird camera and terrible writing made it feel like some sort of fever dream.

#32 Posted by BisonHero (6169 posts) -

@Zippedbinders said:

After that, I just expected all 26 episode animes to have either batshit or dark endings.

Isn't that expectation pretty much 100% accurate, though? I think I have yet to watch a 26-episode shounen anime that didn't get pretty nuts by the end.

@Zippedbinders said:

ReBoot was phenomenal. I've got the whole series on DVD, I think what really helped was that when Season 3 started, the animation studio finally figured out lighting and shadow.

Yep, it was rad. And even after it took the dark turn, they still manage to conclude the 3rd seasons with a parody of "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" that goofily explains the plot of the entire last couple seasons because they realized it was probably a lot for people to keep up with.

#33 Posted by NoelVeiga (1071 posts) -

@Pr1mus said:

@ll_Exile_ll said:

@Pr1mus said:

Alias.

I guess i never really thought there would be actual immortality...

There are implications even in the very early goings on that this was in fact a thing in that universe.

Oh yeah i know that. I just didn't expect them to actually show it like that. At least we can't say they didn't answer the question. It's totally a thing and that guy is still trapped in that cave today. Which is kinda cool. And weird.

This seems to happen with many of Abrams' co-created shows. You think you're watching something with some tenuous connection to reality and then you slowly start to realize that you're listening to some sort of new age post-religious nutcase's ramblings. Or something. It's weird. Fringe did the same thing.

#34 Posted by Emoney244 (153 posts) -

The whole third season of Moral Orel. Sure there were some dark themes in previous episodes but it just turned into something so dark and depressing and I really loved it at the end.

#35 Posted by Fr0Br0 (3089 posts) -

@GunstarRed: I bet that must have been quite the experience.

And can anyone tell me the truth? I tried watching Twin Peaks for the first time not too long ago. I watched the first three episodes and was bored dead. It just felt like it had the production values of an early 90's Soap Opera (Accurate to Jeff and Ryan's description). Does the show really pick up to hold my attention soon, or at least lose the whole cheesy Soap Opera vibe or am I just screwed for jumping into it so late after it initially came out?

#36 Posted by Hailinel (23891 posts) -

I remember watching the third season of Reboot when they started airing the show on Cartoon Network and had my mind blown. I stopped watching before the second season had finished and had no idea that they had gone in that crazy direction.

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#37 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@inknail: no way does madoka count, it gets dark by epi 3 (that's when mami gets her face eaten right)

#38 Edited by ShaggE (6331 posts) -

Moral Orel. Goes from a parody of Christian children's cartoons to an insanely dark and soul-crushing drama.

Does season 2 of American Horror Story count? I know it's technically dark from the get-go, but that show has always been silly and campy. The last two episodes were suddenly and strangely heartwrenching (while still being campy as hell). Without spoiling anything, the Sister Jude story really nailed the mental illness angle at the end. Weird, coming directly off the heels of the most bizarre and hilarious scene in recent memory:

#39 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai takes a pretty weird and serious turn for what is essentially a gag show/manga about dimension jumping.

#40 Edited by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@Cloudenvy you reminded me, would usagi drop count? I only know the outrage second hand

#41 Posted by CaptainCharisma (339 posts) -

@hinderk said:

Dinosaurs

Is that really how that show ended? I saw a bit of it when I was younger and enjoyed it. Even now I almost shed a tear so I can't imagine what my younger self would've done at that moment.

#42 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@Animasta: Well, the Usagi Drop anime, thankfully, totally avoids all that insane nonsense the manga got into and ends nicely.

#43 Posted by inknail (155 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@inknail: no way does madoka count, it gets dark by epi 3 (that's when mami gets her face eaten right)

Yeah, that's what I meant by getting dark only a few episodes in, but where ep. 3 kicks the series into some pretty dark themes, ep. 10 has some really shocking moments not to mention the implications that it brings to the previous episodes. Also, ep. 11 had some pretty crazy stuff too (the Homura fight scene)

#44 Posted by Inkerman (1449 posts) -
@ShaggE said:

Moral Orel. Goes from a parody of Christian children's cartoons to an insanely dark and soul-crushing drama.

Does season 2 of American Horror Story count? I know it's technically dark from the get-go, but that show has always been silly and campy. The last two episodes were suddenly and strangely heartwrenching (while still being campy as hell). Without spoiling anything, the Sister Jude story really nailed the mental illness angle at the end. Weird, coming directly off the heels of the most bizarre and hilarious scene in recent memory:

Yeah those last two episodes were just really impressive. I have a weird relationship with American Horror Story. I hate the weirdness and I'm not a fan of horror (classic American or otherwise), but I suddenly found myself really drawn into both seasons. I also discovered I really like Connie Britton as an actress.  
 
And Blackadder's simply amazing end has already been mentioned.  

For my two cents I'll say Dollhouse. It goes from dark and mysterious to MOTHERFUCKING APOCALYPSE.
#45 Posted by Teoball (575 posts) -

Farscape. 

The last few minutes of the last episode really surprised me. They finish the story in the mini series that came out a little while later, but I didn't know that at the time.  

#46 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

@Emoney244 said:

The whole third season of Moral Orel. Sure there were some dark themes in previous episodes but it just turned into something so dark and depressing and I really loved it at the end.

I thought everyone forgot about Moral Orel.

You are my favorite person.

#47 Posted by carpei (60 posts) -

Look up Space Runaway Ideon. The ending is....well, you'll see.

#48 Posted by Hailinel (23891 posts) -

@CaptainCharisma said:

@hinderk said:

Dinosaurs

Is that really how that show ended? I saw a bit of it when I was younger and enjoyed it. Even now I almost shed a tear so I can't imagine what my younger self would've done at that moment.

Yep. The ice age starts and everyone dies.

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#49 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@CaptainCharisma said:

@hinderk said:

Dinosaurs

Is that really how that show ended? I saw a bit of it when I was younger and enjoyed it. Even now I almost shed a tear so I can't imagine what my younger self would've done at that moment.

Yep. The ice age starts and everyone dies.

man I never even WATCHED the show and that made me super sad :(

#50 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4594 posts) -

@Emoney244 said:

The whole third season of Moral Orel.

Jesus Christ, this. That show was pretty fucked up in the beginning, but it was a kind of fucked up you could laugh at.

No Children is just, Jesus Christ.