Now that I've watched "The End,"I'd like to share some of my thoughts, but I'd like to keep this short and concise.
Was this a show worth spending six years devoted to, with watching episodes again and again, reading up on possible future episodes, listening to podcasts, listening to commentary tracks, reading interviews, and so on?
Absolutely. I went through a lot of emotional transition during the course of six seasons, and the show was quite helpful in understanding that transition. Sure, there are plenty of questions left, but I don't think the show would be a good show had it not left things up to the viewer to answer.
Is this a show I'd recommend?
Unless you don't like TV shows that move you, challenge you, reward you, and frustrate you, then no. This is not a show for someone who just wants a simple story told every week and the following week is almost like a blank slate.
Has seeing the finale made me think less of the show as a series?
Not at all. I know of people that absolutely hate other series simply because of what happens in the series finale. I am not one of those people. When you don't know how things end, you have your imagination as to how it ends. When it does end, that imagination goes away. I won't look at the first episode the same, but that's been that way since I watched the episode after it and after that one.
What has this show led me to, other than contributing to ratings and DVD sales?
If the show's creators hoped to introduce its audience to books you should read, then they did a great job. Books like Watership Down and Catch-22 aren't high on my reading list, but the reasons why I have all of Stephen King's books in my library is much in part to this show.
I'll also add that I now have a significant argument for a show that broke the Twin Peaks curse. People who follow television know that show's rapid ascent and slow fall, but this was a show that didn't falter so far that it couldn't finish the race.