Thursday, April 3, 2014

Review the How I Met Your Mother Finale? Challenge Accepted!

At the end of the pilot episode of How I Met Your Mother, future Ted Mosby tells his kids, "It's a long story." Who knew it would take 9 seasons and 200+ episodes to finally get to how Ted met their mother.

Warning: There be spoilers below (obviously)

My first impression of the finale was one of disappointment. An entire season was spent crawling towards the wedding of Robin & Barney, slowly introducing us and the gang to the mother. But in the finale, in one fell swoop it felt like all of that was undone. It felt rushed and I felt a bit cheated, and the Internet 'outrage' would have you believe a disaster had just happened.

But over the course of 9 years, this is what How I Met You Mother has done. It's taken twists and turns, and tackled serious issues like Marshall & Lily breaking up and the death of Marshall's dad. It's played with Ted's emotions like a rag doll denying him the love that he most desperately wanted. But it's also had some of the silliest moments from slap bets to Robin Sparkles, the naked man to Robots vs. Wrestlers. HIMYM was never afraid to dip into the absurd. So when we get an episode that is pretty much exactly like any other episode, we lose our collective minds because we didn't get our happy ending.

"Let's see what happens when we take away the puppy." - Dr. Egon Spengler (Ghostbusters 2)

A few days and a few viewings later, I am still bummed. Quite frankly it's because the mother has died. I know there have been Internet rumors on this for months, but who ever thinks the Internet is right? Even though we barely got a season with her, it was obvious that she fit into the gang well, and was a perfect match for Ted. And when good people die, even when they're fictional, you can't expect people to be happy.

"We'll always be friends. It's just never gonna be how it was." - Robin Scherbatsky

Looking back on Robin and Barney's divorce, it really should have been expected. These were two extremely volatile personalities whose relationship seemed to be held together by scotch tape. Did I expect it? No, but it wasn't surprising, It was heartbreaking, as was Robin's subsequent deletion from the gang. But that's life. People fall in and out of your life. Hanging out every night turns into getting together on weekends which turns into only getting together for the big moments. And even that sometimes falls by the wayside.

But one of those big moments, Barney Stinson becoming a legend... waitforit... daddy! The man whom I've always thought to be the illegitimate son of Dan Fielding from Night Court became a legend-daddy after his divorce from Robin allowed him to go back to his old, wild ways. But just like that, after the birth of his daughter, he changed. Wanting to go home early and lecturing some women on their attire and bad life choices, he finally found the one person to whom he could give everything he was.

"Wow, you're really into Aunt Robin." - Luke Mosby

Wow, Ted really was into Star Wars wasn't he? The thing I respect most is how the writers stuck to their original idea of Ted ending up with Robin. The conversation with the kids was filmed early on in season 2 so this has been a secret for almost 8 years.

The series really was about Ted pining over Robin, even when she got engaged to Barney, the attraction never stopped. From episode one, we were told she was Aunt Robin, which wasn't entirely untrue but turned into a huge fake out. The writers really could have listened to public opinion, ditched those scenes, allowed Ted and the mother to live happily ever after, and made us all happy. But this is the story they wanted to tell and being an aspiring writer myself, I will never fault them for that.

"Endings are never easy." - J.D.

HIMYM always reminded me of Scrubs. They have the same group dynamics and have the same kind of goofy humor. As far as finales go, HIMYM wasn't the best nor was it the worst. But Scrubs, now that was a series finale. I know it wasn't technically a series finale as there was another season, but season 9 never existed. The first part of this pretty much sums it all up about endings.

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