All Good Things Must End: How "The Good Place" Teaches a Lesson in Story Telling.
"The Good Place" recently revealed it's final episode of season four, and subsequently, the final episode of the entire series. This isn't a comprehensive review of the show, nor will there be any spoilers. This blog post will only cover how "The Good Place" created a masterful ending, the downfall of various shows that have been continued for years, and what you can do to close the final chapter of a piece of work.
A primary theme of the last couple episodes is "All Good Things Must Come to an End." If you have an unlimited amount of time and resources at your disposal, you'll eventually complete all your desires. Even if your desires change and grow, with enough time you may end up leveling off as you experience it all. Shows like the Simpsons and Family guy unfortunately drag out their glory. You can tell how after a certain season the writing and creativity of the jokes and stories drop quality. The jokes get stale and cringey. The story and lessons becomes forgettable, and the overall message of the show in its entirety becomes muddled. This often is caused by a mixture of fatigue, writers block, changing of staff, intended audiences shifting, attempting to appease certain political ideologies, and even changes to the cultural zeitgeist. However, there are instances where shows have been going on for decades that still have a strong and developing story. One Piece has almost 1000 episodes, and has been a long-running manga for many years. With a solid foundation, and with lots of amazing and uniquely creative settings, the world of One Piece still has a strong essence compared to the very first reveal of Luffy. How did Eiichiro Oda accomplish such a feat? It may be a mystery, but perhaps it's the memorable characters who shift and grow, the unending creativity of the different settings all on the same world, the epic fights, and still maintaining true to the same audience it was originally created for. Perhaps Oda has a specific ending already mapped out, and knew of it from the very start of his manga.
Regardless, it's important to let a good story end, no matter how badly we want more. The more we ask for in a show or a book, the less quality we may be getting in its story, thus the more disappointed we become. When you have a story you wish to share, be sure to have the ending in mind, otherwise you risk dragging it out and diminishing its quality.