Sex and the City (HBO)
Air date: 2/22/2004
How could you write a fulfilling ending to Sex and the City? The joy of the series was always about the dating misadventures of independent women. The traditional ending for shows about singles is for the protagonists to ride off into the sunset of a family brownstone in Park Slope. How could such an ending be satisfying to fans who have relished half a decade of brunching and fucking? Thankfully, Samantha gets to have an ending that doesn't involve being coupled off, but the other three waltz off into (semi-)wedded bliss.
That Carrie ended up with Big has to be the least satisfying of these women's fates. Though it was long assumed that Carrie would end up with Big, it's hard to view their coupling as anything but a blow against the independence these women had asserted throughout the show's run. To the bitter end, Big is nothing more than a rich jerk, treating Carrie with the most condescending of kid gloves. If this is the happy ending of the Manhattanite fairy tale, then everyone should be glad that we've been priced out of the borough.