TV Article

The Long Goodbye

What are TV's all-time best breakup scenes? Check out today's Ask the Critic question and post your own

ENGAGING ENDING Sam and Diane's near-miss nuptials on Cheers ranks as one of Flynn's top three TV breakups
Image credit: Cheers: Everett Collection
ENGAGING ENDING Sam and Diane's near-miss nuptials on Cheers ranks as one of Flynn's top three TV breakups

What are TV's all-time best breakup scenes?

Everyone has a favorite TV couple — what are the best TV breakups? — Cassie L.

Wanna go a little cheeseball? When Shelley Long was leaving Cheers, the writers had Diane postpone her wedding with Sam (Ted Danson) at the last minute so she could work on a book. They both knew she wasn't really coming back — the episode ended with an impossibly daydreamy vision of Sam and Diane as a very old couple, dancing in their living room. Corny, sure, but aren't all breakup daydreams a little silly? When Deadwood's Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) had to end his affair with Alma Garret (Molly Parker) following his wife's arrival in town, the act was as taciturn, dutiful, and quietly rageful as one would expect a Bullock breakup to be. On the lighter side, Arrested Development specialized in cracked relationships — whether it was Michael (Jason Bateman) discovering his girlfriend (Charlize Theron) wasn't as mentally mature as he, Gob (Will Arnett) trying to get out of his drunken marriage to a seal trainer (Arnett's real-life wife, Amy Poehler), or Buster (Tony Hale) mourning his forced separation from his hand.

Originally posted Aug 17, 2006