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Please let David Letterman go: From “Mad Men” to “Sopranos,” our obsession with endings gets everything backwards – Salon

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Examining how the drama over David Letterman’s exit reflects our overall cultural preoccupation with “perfect endings.”

Do we care too much about endings?

It’s basically impossible now for any popular TV series to come to an end without igniting a fractious Internet debate. “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner anticipated a backlash to his ending episode long before the ending or any of the episodes running up to it aired. It’s almost as though what happens in the ending itself is less important than the audience’s grief that a beloved show is ending.

Of course, simply not ending the show won’t head off the hate, since the only thing that makes us madder than our favorite show ending is our favorite show continuing long after it should have ended–the level of anger around shows that “should” have been canceled but weren’t was enough to spawn the phrase and attendant cultural phenomenon “jumping the shark.”

(Read the entire article at Salon)