TV can be a cruel master.
In a perfect world, "Glee" would be over. We've followed these characters through high school. They won nationals (finally) last week, and spent Tuesday night dealing with graduation and contemplating what they'll do next.
OK, so there were plenty of clunky moments along the way. The emotion in these last few hours was nevertheless heartfelt, and brought the series to a kind of logical conclusion from its unlikely beginnings, when there were plenty of naysayers (yours truly among them) about this kind of enterprise succeeding.
But of course, that can't happen. The show's still a success (if a bit less of one) for Fox. And in terms of exiting on one's own terms, "Lost" remains far more the exception than the rule. Network series normally don't plan their demise to leave the stage artfully. Hits are so elusive networks and studios grab all the cash they can for as long as possible, and sort out the rest when the numbers no longer add up.
The final sequence on the season finale (spoiler alert if you haven't watched yet) dealt with the Rachel Berry character, played by Lea Michele, saying goodbye to her small town, unleashing those golden pipes and taking off for New York to pursue her dreams. (As an aside, "Smash" also should have ended with its season finale, which didn't completely redeem the show, but did at least provide an element of closure.)
"Glee" still has plenty of characters and will obviously take steps to continue its existing storylines and reload new ones.
Still, I have a sinking suspicion whatever comes next, when we look back at it people will say "Gee, 'Glee' would have been so much better if it had ended in May 2012."
In TV, the need to keep plodding ahead is where dreams have a way of running afoul of reality.