On Monday night the final episode of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother aired, ending a highly successful run that lasted nine seasons and 208 episodes. And, as often is the case with the ending of beloved television shows, the finale is surely to become a lightning rod of fan rage.
To understand the fan devotion to HIMYM, I believe it’s essential that someone have been a fan of the series at one point. I became a fan of the show during its third season, which was a little confusing, but I quickly caught up on the story via reruns.
Understanding the compelling backstory between Ted Mosby, Lily Aldrin, Marshall Eriksen, Robin Scherbatsky and Barney Stinson was vital, not only to following the show, but also loving its characters as well. And loving its characters was key to putting aside the narrative’s many shortcomings and watching anyway.
HIMYM was one of my favorite shows for a few years after I got hooked on it. I loved the first three seasons that I missed, and I loved the next four seasons that I experienced as a devoted fan. Then the frustration began to overwhelm me and I consciously checked out, catching episodes only occasionally through the last two years.
As the show’s ridiculously hyped hyped final season progressed, I attempted to force myself back into the fold, for reasons unknown. Peer pressure, maybe. I stopped the moment I realized the entire season would be nothing but the days leading up Robin and Barney’s wedding, a coupling that was ridiculous the first time it failed.
Imagine if Friends’ final season was dedicated to the coupling of Rachel and Joey, and nothing else. That is a particularly apt comparison, given that HIMYM borrowed way too much from Friends over its run—essentially doing the same thing they did over a decade, but worse.
Because I had committed some amount of time and energy to the show over the years, I decided to tune in for the last two episodes of the series, thinking I might regret it otherwise. Now that they’ve both aired, all I can say is that I regret even bothering.
If you haven’t seen the finale of HIMYM, please note SPOILERS AHEAD!
Also, if that’s something you really care about, get a life. I’m so sick of hearing about spoilers from idiots on Twitter. If you are so spoiler adverse, how about you try staying off social media for a couple of hours? Anyway.
As far as the finale goes, the only thing that sucked about it was everything.
First of all, you remember all those episodes devoted to the ‘will they or won’t they’ nuptials of Barney and Robin? Well, they did and their wedding was beautiful. Oh…but guess what! They pretty much got divorced…like a minute later.
Barney went on to have a bastard child with one of his nameless skanks and becomes the ridiculously annoying doting parent that pollutes Facebook pages worldwide. And Robin? Well, she becomes a crybaby lamenting the way life unfolds for those around her because she never finds love or happiness. Basically, she becomes Ted.
Then there’s Lily and Marshall. Literally nothing happens with them except for that they stay together and make everyone feel like lesser people for not having such an amazing relationship.
Everything these two had to learn about themselves, and life, happened in the first two seasons of the show. Nothing else mattered once they were back together. They have a bunch more kids and Marshall decides he’s going to run for state Supreme Court. Surprise, surprise.
Then there’s Ted Mosby.
If you didn’t already hate Ted by the time the HIMYM finale aired, well then you haven’t been watching close enough. This guy might be the most manipulative, vapid, narcissistic phony in the history of television. And that’s on his best days!
The entire premise of HIMYM was built upon a story Ted is telling to his two children, which was supposedly about their mother. The story was certainly framed in a way that suggests it’s about their mother.
Even the title of the show suggests the story we’ve all been watching play out for nine seasons was about Ted and the mother of his children.
So what’s the problem? Uh…the problem is that it was never a story about Ted and, what turned out to be the DEAD mother of his children. That’s right boys and girls, the mother in How I Met Your Mother turned out to be a woman who died six years before the story even began.
As it turned out, the only reason the vile narcissistic Ted was even telling the story to begin with was to get his kids on board with the idea of him chasing after “Aunt Robin” again. That’s right boys and girls, the whole fucking thing was A SCAM.
Now, because this is a television show, there are going to be plenty of people out there who discount the anger felt by fans. And, in a way, that’s very understandable. I mean…there are kids starving in Africa and other truly terrible things playing out all over the world constantly.
But in the real world in which we’re not all personally responsible for the starving children and other truly terrible things playing out all over the world, being outraged by this nonsense is (at least a little) warranted.
Even as a casual fan, I recognize all the time wasted caring about this stupid show and the imaginary characters in it. It’s one of the few things I’ve allowed myself to get invested in over the years. It’s sad enough to get “invested” in TV, but it’s so much worse when you realize you’ve been scammed.
HIMYM treated their passionate viewing audience with the same disdain it treated Ted Mosby’s poor kids. The difference is that the kids, whose ending was scripted, happily accepted the shit sandwich that had been served to them over the last decade. They’re fake, after all, and don’t have to deal with any of the real life implications stemming from his nonsense.
For all the non-fictional folks who have been spoon fed the same bullshit and wasted countless hours of their real lives being interested, it’s going to be a lot harder to stomach it with a smile.