Final Season Slump: 'Dexter' and Other TV Shows That Had Terrible Farewell Seasons

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For many fans of "Dexter," this final season has been deeply disappointing. Uneven pacing, a lack of focus on the show's titular character, too many new faces, a complete lack of urgency, and a series of completely unbelievable twists of fate have made this season hard to watch. Hopefully, the finale will prove to be a fitting end for this once-great series.

"Dexter" is far from the only series to go soft in its final season. Over the years, many other shows have had disappointing final seasons. Here are some examples.

"Ally McBeal"

For its first four seasons, "Ally McBeal" told a great story about a quirky, deeply insecure lawyer trying to balance her personal life with her professional one. But by the time Season 5 rolled around, the show had lost its signature verve and quirkiness. Season 5 also had to weather the loss of a number of main cast members, and the new characters brought in to replace them lacked the right kind of chemistry with the remaining original cast. For many fans, it didn't even feel like the same show.

"Laverne & Shirley"

This "Happy Days" spinoff ran for 178 episodes, but the eighth and final season was pretty abysmal. For a show that was titled "Laverne & Shirley" to lose its Shirley for most of the final season ... that was a pretty crushing blow. The parade of guest stars just couldn't capture the chemistry between Laverne and Shirley.

"The Drew Carey Show"

The final season of "The Drew Carey Show" had a big tonal shift from the previous seasons. The show started to rely more on cameos from reality TV show stars, and the production team changed the look of the show by using different camera shots and sets. It also didn't help matters that the network aired many of the final season's episodes out of their original production order, confusing fans.

"Gossip Girl"

The first season of "Gossip Girl" was a stunning portrayal of class conflict, modern love, and cyberstalking. As the series aged, the plots got more and more outlandish, but the show remained compelling. But the final season was almost universally panned by fans. The shortened season, the show's waning cultural relevancy, and the odd partnerships between characters like Ivy and Rufus, and Dan and Georgina ruffled all kinds of feathers.

And, of course, there was the nature of the big reveal that Dan had been Gossip Girl all along, a reveal that made very little sense. The only thing that made less sense than Dan being Gossip Girl was the idea that Serena could still want to marry Dan after learning about his online activities.

"Dexter" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime. 

Check out photos from Season 8 of "Dexter"

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