Doug Hyun / HBO
When NBC's "Seinfeld" called it quits in 1998, co-creator Larry David seemed less interested in going for laughs than making the audience cringe. After nearly a decade of flaunting selfishness and greed, the "Seinfeld" characters got their reward -- a prison sentence. In Entertainment Weekly, Ken Tucker wrote that the very concept was misguided. "That they should be punished for all the vicarious fun we had at their expense is David's way of saying we never should have made these cruel losers Must See-worthy," the critic noted. In the Los Angeles Times, Howard Rosenberg said it simply fell flat. Rosenberg wrote that "it had its moments, and its concept was clever enough. But it delivered many fewer yucks than yadas. The 45-minute howl of a retrospective that preceded the finale worked against it, in effect, by reemphasizing just how breathtakingly funny and unique "Seinfeld" had been, compared with how meekly it was bowing out despite its gifted cast." Fans who were disappointed, however, were ultimately rewarded with the 2009 season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," pictured, which featured a season-long story arc about a "Seinfeld" reunion, and once and for all properly closed the book on the series.
Note: Not all contributors to this gallery were disappointed in the "Seinfeld" finale, and some even found it brilliant, as David forced viewers to consider just what they were laughing at all those years.