Created By: Damr1990 on May 10, 2011 Last Edited By: Damr1990 on May 21, 2011

Last Season Boldness

so there won't be a next season? LET'S GO NUTS ON THIS ONE!

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Needs a Better Title, Needs More Examples

So here you are. You've worked on this series that has lasted for some time, perhaps way more than most series do. Lately things have gone really well, but the ratings are low and the bosses keep messing up your premises. Perhaps the show has been around for so long that the team has just run out of good ideas, the Myth Arc has just not gone anywhere, or even the toys aren't selling enough for the execs to consider their Cash Cow Franchise to be worth being kept alive. So what do they do? They decide to end the series. Wow, that's terrible, so you just have one last season to work with, and you'll have no more work. So...what do you do now?

Well, if you're going out, then you'll go out with style and without restrictions!

Remember those ideas you never used because they were too crazy? You'll throw them out there like nobody's business. Those obscure plot points you weren't supposed to reveal until three story arcs later? It would be a waste not to use them! Those jokes that were a little too obscene to meet the taste of the Moral Guardians? You'll find a way to sneak them into the script.

Basically it means that since it's the last season of the show, you'll just throw caution to the winds and do whatever you couldn't do before. If the series is sentenced to death it will die with a BLAST.

Depending on how it's done the results may vary. If done correctly, it could be a great way to end the series and even resurrect it from its ashes. If done badly it could be the nail in the coffin that leaves no opportunity for future attempts to bring it back.

Compare/Contrast Cancellation, Finale Season (for when the ending was planned at that point since the beginning), No Ending (when concluded too abruptly), Too Good to Last (in the eyes of some fans), Final Season Casting (when budget constraints in the last season or other reasons require the main cast to be replaced), Gecko Ending (when the TV version was finished before the media it took its origin did), Growing the Beard (if the ending was good, it may be considered a last minute growth), UnCancelled and Post-Script Season.

Examples:

  • Power Rangers in Space. It was planned to be the last season of Power Rangers, so the writers did a good job in that one (often considered among the best of the entire franchise), and in fact it helped to prevent its cancellation.
  • Sonichu's author decided to end the series in chapter ten, where he basically finally got himself laid, filled (just a few) plot holes and brutally tortured his trolls and detractors... wait...what?
  • Roseanne
  • Smallville is currenlty going through this.
  • When it became clear that Justice League Unlimited won't get another season, the writers went and outright killed a good half of established villains in the final episodes, including Gorilla Grodd, Lex Luthor, and Darkseid (again).
  • Brad Kern thought the seventh season of Charmed was going to be the last so he did this and did it again when the eigth season turned out to be the last.
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • May 10, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    Dude, can I fix your formatting?

    I think this is probably what happened to most of the Star Trek series.
  • May 10, 2011
    Damr1990
    ^ hehehe, go ahead n.nU
  • May 10, 2011
    ElaineRose
    • Inverted with the fourth season of Babylon5. "What, you're canceling our five-season building story arc at four seasons? Well then, we'll just have to cram all the drama, action, and plot twists into a single season." And so was codified the Wham Episode by the Wham Season. "What's that? You need us to pull another season out of the air? Okay... we'll introduce a new bad guy and the potential for a spinoff..." And so there was the season that nobody really liked.

    Also, a few of the indexing things and references in the description on Wham Episode should be helpful (since Wham Episodes are common season/series finale tricks.
  • May 10, 2011
    Damr1990
    The first Final Fantasy could be considered this, Square was about to go Bankrupt, and so they launched this game (which was quite different for the rest of it's time) as their Final product (the name itself points it out)... the results are quite obvious
  • May 10, 2011
    Micah
    This is a consequence of the Second Law Of Metafictional Thermodynamics.
  • May 10, 2011
    X2X
    End Of Series Awareness sometimes comes into play with the characters.
  • May 11, 2011
    Arivne
    I've proofread and edited the original description (and examples) as best as I could. I tried to change the original as little as possible. Hopefully it's a little easier to understand now.
  • May 11, 2011
    Deboss
    Related to Gainax Ending?
  • May 11, 2011
    peccantis
    Distant cousin of Gainax Ending, which is about work endings that differ wildly and Mind Screw-ishly from the rest of the work.
  • May 11, 2011
    arromdee
    For Power Rangers, Power Rangers RPM had it happen for the same reason as Power Rangers In Space.
  • May 11, 2011
    Damr1990
    If the writters decide to go too heavy in the symbolism, it could easily Fall into Gainax Ending territory, but it is not something that will always happen also watch out for possible cases of Writer On Board and Author Filibuster if the writters don't take the news very well (or just decide that since they will be out of bussiness soon, they can use the series as a medium to express their ideologies) Also, note that if donne badly it could also made it seem done to hastly(see sonichu and Babylon5 examples above)
  • May 11, 2011
    StarryEyed
    • The creators of the PAX-network show Doc seemed to find out it was ending only a few episodes before the finale. Well, time enough to cram in a major character's pregnancy, a reveal of juvenile diabetes for the Bratty Half Pint, a life-changing incident for the female lead that causes her to abandon her job at the clinic to become a missionary in Brazil, and, oh yeah, tying up those pesky romantic plotlines for the good Doc. Which of course means he has to decide to go be a missionary doctor in Brazil too.
  • May 11, 2011
    MC42
    A Gainax Ending can happen but they're unrelated aside from both being tropes about series endings.

    Description should note that this trope could occur when the series writers attempt to make the season more awesome so the ratings grow and the show is saved from cancellation and fail. When this happens, expect material for a proposed next season to be leaked to the public. This happened twice to Star Trek Enterprise: the Xindi Arc in season 3 and the switch to a more plot-heavy season 4 were both attempts to save the show from cancellation. Season 3 succeeded, season 4 didn't.

    The rest of the Star Trek series from TNG on fall under Finale Season. The Original Series was simply Seasonal Rot leading to No Ending, before being Un Cancelled for the Animated Series and the movies.
  • May 11, 2011
    jaytee
    Description still needs some work. Lots of awkward phrasings, run-on sentences, etc.

    It looks like others have edited the main description already, but I'd feel weird doing so without specifically asking permission.
  • May 11, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • May 13, 2011
    Damr1990
    Bump
  • May 14, 2011
    Koveras
    When it became clear that Justice League Unlimited won't get another season, the writers went and outright killed a good half of established villains in the final episodes, including Gorilla Grodd, Lex Luthor, and Darkseid (again).
  • May 14, 2011
    jate88
    Brad Kern thought the seventh season of Charmed was going to be the last so he did this and did it again when the eigth season turned out to be the last.
  • May 15, 2011
    peccantis
    IRL:
    • There are plants that only bloom when they are withering to their deaths.
  • May 16, 2011
    Damr1990
    ^i'm not sure if that counts... maybe as a separate trope
  • May 16, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    I think this is Finale Season. As the troper who originally proposed that trope, I can safely say that this is exactly what the trope is intended for.
  • May 17, 2011
    EternalSeptember
    Yep, this is Finale Season, but with more assumptions and speculation about the backround process and the creator's thinking.
  • May 17, 2011
    MC42
    Not really Finale Season. If this is what you intended it for then the description for Finale Season does not make that clear. Right now it looks like Finale Season is for shows that were planned to end after X number of seasons from the beginning, while this trope is for shows that are canceled or not renewed but the creators are still able to make another final season without originally intending it. Star Trek Enterprise would be an example of this, since the fourth season only existed so they could shove it into syndication, but it isn't an example of Finale Season because plans for additional seasons had been made and the creators intended it to go on longer.
  • May 18, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    ^ I can see how you can see that. From the description as it currently is:

    "The defining characteristic of The Final Season is that it is a planned final season and is announced as such from the very beginning."

    When what it should say is:

    "The defining characteristic of The Final Season is that it is a planned final season and is announced as such from the very beginning OF THE SEASON."

    It's really such a minor nitpick, and I assumed it would've been implied. Nobody had a problem with it before. You can change it if you like, because that's exactly what the trope is supposed to be about. It's about any season in which the writers and every one involved knows that it's going to be the very last, even if from the very beginning of the series, they had no idea if they were going to end after 2 or 8 seasons.
  • May 18, 2011
    GinaInTheKingsRoad
    May lead to Trash The Set.
  • May 18, 2011
    DAN004
  • May 18, 2011
    ElaineRose
    ...So... Babylon 5 doesn't count?
  • May 18, 2011
    AFP
    Babylon 5 is an interesting case, as knowing they were about to get cancelled caused the show to have a lot of plot points get tied up sooner than they would otherwise, making for a very busy season with lots of story arcs going on.

    Then the show got Un Cancelled, and having shot its narrative wad, ended up with a Post Script Season for its final season (it is worth noting that, while B5's fifth season had a lot of pretty weak episodes, overall, the season's story arc was solid, and set up a lot of stuff for the Expanded Universe to deal with.

  • May 19, 2011
    jaytee
    Yeah, this is Finale Season. Duh, don't know how I missed that.
  • May 21, 2011
    MorganWick
    Especially since what you thought Finale Season was wouldn't really be a trope, being a natural part of any planned-from-the-beginning show. (I don't know if we have a trope for that - I only know of tropes that exist on the edges like Myth Arc.)

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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