So the internet exploded yet again this week. It wasn’t an Obama pic or an Ellen selfie, but a series finale that was much hyped and awaited for.
And, it now seems like the majority hated with venom.
And I count myself amoung the venomous haters.
How I Met Your Mother was a sitcom where an unseen narrator in the future was telling his teenage kids the story of, well, how he met their mother. He begins by telling of the day his friends Lily and Marshall got engaged, which prompted their future father Ted to do much soul searching and seek out his soulmate. He meets television reporter Robin and is smitten with her. Realizing this relationship would not work out, they broke up and Robin and Ted’s gigolo friend Barney start dating. So with all this happening we have what came to be nine seasons of laughs and drama and Ted telling his kids one very very very long meandering story.
But none of that bothered me. I could see Ted, the incurable romantic, expounding on and on like this. Trust me, as an old incurable romantic myself, I have told a million stories a million times to Googliebear, who really wishes sometimes (sometimes?) that I would just shut-up once in awhile.
Now back to How I Met Your Mother. And from this point forward, SPOILERS ON!
This last season all took place over one long weekend of implausible time displacement or something. All 20 or so episodes happen in 72 hours. All leading up to Robin and Barney’s wedding, where we already know is where Ted met the mother. And in last weeks installment, they finally tied the knot after Barney spent the past few seasons growing up and wooing a skeptical Robin. So yay to finding true love!
And then the writers slap us with the finale. Which skips ahead over several years to see where everyone is over time.
Early on it is revealed that Robin and Barney are having marital difficulties, which quickly leads to divorce. Over issues they knew about, and would have talked about, quite abit before they even got engaged. So these last few seasons of build up for these two was useless and a huge time waste. But they still had to find a way to humanize and redeem Barney from being the awful womanizer to someone with a soul. So to solve this plot point, they have Barney suddenly becoming a father. And to make sure this emotional highlight is Barney’s and Barney’s alone, the mother of his child is never seen, named, or even mentioned during any of this. All this cures Barney from being a jerk to the ladies, but makes him an overbearing ass instead. Much better!
Moving forward from that stupid development, Robin, who was never a likable character, becomes even more unlikeable. Pining for Ted, being grouchy for no reason with Lily, and distancing herself from everyone are just a few of the unpleasant things she does. As a viewer, you have to wonder what Ted ever saw in her.
So with Barney’s soul supposedly saved and Robin still selfishly sucking, we move on to Ted and Tracy, The Mother, living happily ever after. And then Tracy gets the Love Story disease and slowly passes away, with Ted dutifully sticking by her side.
As these flashforwards march depressing onward, we are treated to the 2014 Ted building up the courage to go talk to Tracy, who is waiting in the rain at the same train station, and finally does. This provides the only real true emotional moment of the show. Tender, meaningful, with nine seasons of missed almost meetings recapped in fun and funny ways, we get the magical crux of the show fans have been waiting for.
And time for the writers to cop-out.
Now we are caught up with the present day of Ted and the kids of 2030. He happily completes the tale and is surprised when the kids tell him that the story is really about Aunt Robin and that it is okay for him to date her, since Mom has been gone for six years.
Ted then runs off and gets that stupid blue horn from decades ago and waves it to Robin outside her apartment.
Cue happy ending.
Cue me throwing a hissy fit.
The writers knew the show had a huge contingent of Ted/Robin shippers, but had already, right in the pilot, sealed the deal that she wasn’t the mother.
But they wanted to please those fans.
But they wanted to honour what they had previously written.
So they took the cowards way out and killed the mother so Ted could be with Robin.
Cue the not so happy ending that smashes the shows central theme of true destined love.
It is fairly obvious what they should have done, and in a very non fanfictiony way, I shall explain to the writers their jobs.
Robin and Barney stay married. They have their ups and downs, but are still mostly happy. Lily and Marshall have even more kids, going to four or five as a recurring joke.
And as for Ted and Tracy?
Tracy lives, and is a loving caring human, wife and mother. Ted is telling the kids this long story because he finally is going to marry their mother. But wait, the kids exclaim, you already told us you and mom are married! Ted explains that they found out the Minister was a fake, which almost leads to another story before the kids cut him off.
Turns out Ted, the incurable romantic that he is, wants to finally marry Tracy, and needs the kids help. The daughter will be the Maid of Honour and the son the Best Man and he has been prepping the kids for the last two years for this plan. The date of Tracy’s parent’s anniversary is upcoming up, and since Tracy’s mother passed away before her first fake ceremony, Ted wants to make it right for her in every way possible.
Cue scene where Ted and Tracy and daughter and son are at the train station, exchanging vows and proclaiming their true love, yellow umbrella in the background.
Sigh, see how easy and true to the show that is?
Twitter would erupt with tears of happiness and joy. You would have been hailed as massive geniuses and the people would mention How I Met Your Mother in the same breath as M.A.S.H.
But instead your boxsets will live in the remainder bins for all eternity. What a waste.
…is currently reading Schultz and Peanuts by David Michaelis