A cliffhanger is a plot device used in TV, books, movies, and just about any form of storytelling. It typically features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma, or confronted with a shocking revelation at the end of an episode or chapter. A cliffhanger is hoped to ensure the audience will return to see how the characters resolve the dilemma and to ensure that network executives don’t pull the plug on a show.
This doesn’t always work, though.
Below are some TV shows that I thoroughly enjoyed watching and still haunt me while I sleep since I don’t know how they truly ended.
5. Breakout Kings
Breakout Kings aired on A&E for a total of two seasons (23 episodes). While this show was probably more liked by myself and more popular than some of the other shows on this list, I listed it first since Executive Producer, Nick Santora, later took to twitter and revealed what would’ve happened had the show had the chance to actually end. It’s not much, but it’s better than…
Sliders jumped the shark long before the plug was pulled. When it jumped exactly is highly debated, but the fact remains that the show went downhill even more when it moved from FOX to the Sci-Fi Channel and lost a lot of it’s funding. Even then, it had a cult following that tuned in every week… up until the last surviving character from the original cast injected himself with a virus and “slid” to fight the Kromaggs alone.
3. Tru Calling
Tru Calling was one of those shows that only got better as it went on. Unfortunately, the execs over at FOX had decided to pull it before they realized that it had gotten better and people were coming back to it. With Tru (Eliza Dushku) coming close to discovering the truth about so many things, FOX didn’t even have the decency to air the final episode that they had produced and didn’t air it until SyFY had run it as part of a Tru Callingmarathon.
Soap has been claimed to be one of the best TV shows of all time by Time, garnished praise from TV Guide, earned 17 Emmy nominations, and was even recognized by The Museum of Broadcast Communications as “arguably one of the most creative efforts by network television before or after.“ In addition to all of the other cliffhangers, you want to cancel one of the most creative comedies a split second before the main character may or may not have been shot?!
1. Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is one of those shows that I didn’t watch while it was actually airing, but I remember when people all across America were talking about how great the show was. So, when a friend and I were talking about it years later, I decided to go ahead and watch it online. If I had known that the most liked character of the show had become possessed by a demonic rapist and then… (???) I would’ve slapped people and never watched it.