Kyle: Okay, clearly everyone seems to have a soft spot for mewling dino-infants and the Code of the Wilderness. That's cool. I guess I was one of seven people who watched Roseanne.
The ending is still more depressing. When you look at the abstract of the series in total, Dinosaurs had that ending coming from a long ways away. Their episodes bit hard with social commentary, so the whole society-kills-itself-with-stupidity-and-nukes thing fit the situation. Plus the very first episode alluded to their inevitable ending.
In that first episode, Earl is telling the Baby about how he was born. But the ending lines were about why Dinosaurs rule the earth. Cut to some cavemen screwing around, looking like dunces, and Earl says, "And we're going to rule it forever."
Well, we all know how that turns out. Even children understand the joke there. The ending is the logically dark joke's punch-line. Essentially, I say to Dinosaurs what I usually say to dinosaurs when I see them: Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal.
As far as depressing goes, I would much rather see the Sinclairs come to their chronological time than see the Conners wallow in lower-lower-lower middle class struggle. The Sinclairs got to live the good life, then it was over. Said and done. Meanwhile the Conners never got a break, and boy did they try harder. The motorcycle shop, the loose-meat restaurant, the kids going to college ... and all for a lousy "Nope, keep trying. The end...?"
Besides, look at the families:
The Sinclairs are comprised of a selfish oaf father who abandons his family in episode one, a sociopathic materialistic daughter, a holier-than-thou mother who loves to take the moral high ground when it's convenient, a diabolical grandmother who poisons the minds of children, a naive nincompoop son with zero aspirations, and that irritating, vicious little antichrist of a baby who was one skateboard away from Poochie status.
The Conners were made up of an admittedly nerve-grating mother (who is so self-aware that her uncouth demeanor is the rallying point of the show) who tries her best despite adversity, an older daughter who manages to find love and stability with lots of responsibility heaped on her shoulders, a younger daughter with a twisted view of the world who can find the funny of any bad situation, a mischievous scamp son, and the man.
I'll be honest, I've got a platonic crush on Dan Conner. John Goodman was my fantasy father.
So, the swift death of a clan of dicks or the Willie Loman-esque plight of a family of good folks? In the case of the Sinclairs, I quote Stephen King: No great loss.