I’ve been a TV lover for my entire life. I figured out how to use a remote control at a far-too-young age, and my mom used to find me spread out in front of cooking shows when I was supposed to be playing quietly. Frankly, I think it’s understandable — great TV is something that binds people together in a way that other media cannot. When we’re all collectively holding our breath and staring at a screen in suspense, it’s a bonding experience like no other.
To feel absolutely and completely entranced by a show is, unfortunately, pretty rare — which is part of why I think so much of the country (and world) is so animatedly anxious for the arrival of the final season of Game of Thrones — and, subsequently, the final episode of Game of Thrones. GOT has won an unprecedented amount of acclaim both critical and widespread — making this one of the most widely anticipated finales in modern television history.
Here, members of the Everygirl team share the other series’ they felt most eager to see the end of — the shows that most kept them on the edge of their seats.
Big Little Lies
Even though I read the book first, I was still on the EDGE OF MY SEAT throughout the entire first season of Big Little Lies (which I included on this list because none of us knew it would end up getting a second season, mmmmkay). The entire premise of the show plays with timelines — we start the show knowing that someone will be murdered at the END of the show — but we don’t know who. Not only did we desperately want to know who was murdered (and by who), but we also got the literal shock of a LIFETIME with another end-of-season reveal (involving a secret affair and paternity identity). If you haven’t watched it, I can’t recommend it enough — and now’s the time, because season two is coming out this summer.
While obviously nowhere near as graphic as Game of Thrones, Gilmore Girls was a page-turner for a different reason — the dramedy’s heroine kept us in wit-filled suspense all series long as we wondered if she’d end up with lovably-grumpy diner-owner Luke Danes. After seven full seasons of will-they-or-won’t-they (involving two long periods where they, in fact, DID, and even a period where she was MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE), GG lovers waited with bated breath to see if Luke and Loralai would ever make it down the aisle for good. Bonus plot: We also got to wonder if Loralai’s (annoying) daughter Rory would end up with Luke’s nephew Jess or the incredibly-hot-and-amazing-and-can-you-tell-which-team-I-was-on Logan.
Now remembered as arguably the greatest TV show of all time, those who were able to watch The Sopranos live were gifted with some of the most groundbreaking and shocking television they’d ever seen — which of course meant it left those same viewers completely confused when it came to how the always-surprising series would end. First of all, I highly recommend giving the entire series a watch. But for those of you who can’t manage (or stomach) it, I leave you with this — at LEAST watch the final episode, as it’s an ending you’ll be thinking about (and talking about) for years to come.
If you’ve come here for a list of shows that are only suspenseful in the action sense, you should probably know that you’re going to be deeply disappointed. Romantic suspense is so much fun because it allows you to feel the rush of adrenaline you get from “not knowing” — without having to cover your eyes out of fear. When Ross and Rachel had a baby together, then Rachel dated Ross’s bestie Joey, some viewers were convinced they were destined for a rocky back-and-forth forever. Thankfully, the two-part final episode of Friends answered the question of are-they-each-others’-lobsters-or-not, once and for all. If you’re hoping to get the answer to this question any earlier, don’t hold your breath — Friends dragged this storyline out for 10. long. seasons.
Sex and the City
Listen, we all knew Carrie wasn’t going to end up with Aleksandr (ugh), but even so, the SATC finale was an Event with a capital Everything. Carrie had left for Paris in a flurry of “don’t ask me any questions la la la” and didn’t even bring her laptop CARRIE WUT and things had gone downhill at exactly the right speed considering Aleksandr (ugh) was involved. The audience was looking for a Big Moment (lol see what I did there) and boy, did the series deliver. One of my favorite scenes of the entire run is Carrie chasing Big up six flights of stairs, tripping him, and then dissolving into laughter — it captures their dynamic as a couple in exactly the right way. In other news, Charlotte and Harry make me cry every time when they get their news, Miranda proves she’s always had a will of steel, and Samantha has some hot sex. *kisses tips of fingers* Perfection. Plus, we get the reveal of Big’s name and an iconic final shot of Carrie disappearing into a NYC sidewalk. Everything we wanted and more. (by Kelly Etz)
Listen up, Upper East Siders — the series-long journey to uncover the identity of the eponymous Gossip Girl was one of the most highly-anticipated reveals of the 21st century — and finding out who it turned out to be proved even more shocking than the paternity of Georgina Sparks’s baby. We wondered who blogged about the whereabouts of the UES’s most famous teenagers since the very. first. episode — and the final reveal episode was well worth the wait (Or was it? Honestly still up in the air.) The five-year jump-ahead was about as surprising — and who everyone ended up with haunts me to this very day. XOXO, you KNOW I hated it.
House of Cards
After seasons of watching Frank’s wrath and the show continuing after his unexpected death, the end of House of Cards could have gone in any direction. Fans saw Claire as a leader free from Frank’s manipulation or control, and the show continuing without its protagonist and drawing to a final close on the Underwood reign was one of the most anticipated closes of a series. It was an absolute roller coaster, and we held our breaths until its (very odd) end. It definitely wasn’t the finale I would have expected when I was obliviously watching season one, but damn was I on the edge of my seat. (by Maddie Galassi)
The angst-filled teen soap that drew the WB’s highest ratings of all time also gifted us with one of pop culture’s most talked about love triangles (paving the way for other teen dramas to come like Vampire Diaries and Riverdale). When the storyline started to feel a bit too neat and tidy, the plot changed from Joey’s-deeply-rooted-love-for-Dawson to will-Joey-pick-Dawson-or-Pacey — a move that left us begging to know who she would choose. Viewers were waiting up until the final moments — and it was well worth the wait.
How I Met Your Mother
What a whirlwind the last season of HIMYM was, amright (no need to answer, I obviously am). I actually enjoyed most of the season, which was pretty much entirely about getting us to like Tracy McConnell. And you know what? I FELL FOR IT. I LIKED TRACY. I LIKED TRACY AND TED TOGETHER. I had a lot of feelings and they were all positive. And then the writers decided to rip all of that away in a devastating 30 minutes that just kept exploding in our faces. If you liked this finale, then we have absolutely nothing to speak about to each other because I’m confused at how your brain works. But for better or for worse (in this case it was worse) this was a finale I HAD to watch when it aired. So that was a good way to spend a precious 30 minutes of life. (by Kelly Etz)