SPOILER ALERT – IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE SERIES FINALE OF HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, CLICK OFF OF THIS PAGE RIGHT NOW.
Let me start off by saying that HIMYM was a classic sitcom that I have grown to adore. Yes, it ran 2 to 3 seasons too long, but it is what it is, and I am happy to call myself a committed fan.
But with that said, as a committed fan, I cannot help but feel a little conned by the finale. Okay, yes, it had a couple good moments and humor that has been missing for much of this season, but I can’t let the show’s cuteness factor overshadow the issues that will now be burned into my brain for the rest of eternity. Here were some of my issues:
(Don’t worry, I’ll keep these relative short.)
HELLO TRACY MCCONNELL … GOODBYE TRACY MCCONNEL … THE FAKE OUT
Oh Tracy, aka The Mother, you were a bright spot in what was a quite dull (and unfunny) season. Many of us HIMYM fans forced ourselves to watch this season because we were emotionally invested, and you gave “The Gang” a nice boost of energy that has been missing the past couple seasons. But what the hell! We meet you and then you’re killed off for the sake of Ted and Robin?! TED AND ROBIN?!
Listen, I am not saying that the writers owed us anything specific, but sheesh, the show is called How I Met Your MOTHER. With that final little twist at the end of the episode, you confirmed that this entire series was just a crafted fake-out.
NOTHING HAD THE CHANCE TO LAND
As an actor, one thing I try to focus on is letting moments land for the audience. If a moment lands with the audience, it is a lot more powerful emotionally. In the finale, the writers crammed (literally) decades worth of story into 60 minutes. Dare I say they crammed entire ENTIRE SEASON into 60 minutes. Some of these moments worked, but some other moments, particularly the important moments did not work.
For example, imagine how more powerful the whole “Barney having a kid” thing would have been if they didn’t cram it into 3 minutes of the episode. I would have much rather had them dedicate an entire episode to that plot point instead some of the other episodes we had to painfully sit through this season.
Seriously, we’re supposed to just accept the fact that Barney spent all of last season and this season maturing, only to because an ignorant asshole again in a matter of seconds, then re-mature without us learning anything about the mother of his child?
BACK TO THE MOTHER FOR A SECOND…
So let me get this straight… in a matter of two minutes we finally learn the Mother’s name (Tracy), we see how Ted met her, we see Ted mourn her, and then we see Ted move on from her. TWO MINUTES! Shit, that’s AT LEAST 3 episodes right there!
I think my friend Frank had it right when he said, “They should have just called the show How I Briefly Settled for Your Mother.”
THE FINAL SEASON LEADING UP TO THE WEDDING
Sorry, I am going back again… but why did we spend an ENTIRE season leading up to the wedding of a couple whose marriage was destroyed in a matter of seconds? WHY?!
Seriously, this was one of the biggest things that bothered me. We spent this entire season prepping for Robin’s marriage to Barney, only for it to be completely pointless since they end of divorced about 10 minutes into the finale. Honestly, why even show everything leading up to the wedding in the first place? Ugh…
My friend Chris brilliantly vented his frustration as well. He appropriately renamed the show:
Let’s be honest, we knew when we all first started watching HIMYM that the final episode would come with high expectations. But that’s not our (the viewers) fault. The show began with a simple mystery, expanded on it, jumped around in time, and rewarded viewers who paid close attention … so of course our expectations are high. Shit, we knew that the final destination of the show was in the friggin’ title.
It also doesn’t help that the first 2-3 seasons of HIMYM were gut-wretchingly funny. Those first couple of seasons that were shown to me are what hooked me. But things seemed to die off in the past couple seasons – something that happens with most shows that jump the shark.
So for me, I will continue to dislike the series finale of HIMYM for a long time, but I’ll always appreciate the mystery and the adventure. In a way, it was a replacement for LOST. For me, the finale was simply a really bad (and rushed) one hour of television, but it is saved by the fact that it was the final hour of so many great half-hours that preceded it. (Final 2-3 seasons excluded.)