I was late to liking this show. HIMYM is one of those shows that has made me think Netflix is the greatest thing around for media. I believe we started watching it because of Noah, though I am not completely sure. What I know is that it became a show that we watched as a family. Even with the screwed up morals in the show, it was a show that really connected with us. I think the reason for this is that for all the relational bingo that happens within the show it is still focused on the value and importance of a strong marriage/relationship. Ted wants what Marshall & Lilly have and he is telling a story to his kids which has as its trajectory the achievement of such a relationship. The group’s relationship fits into this too. Robin & Barney might stink at dating relationships but they are tight with the group. The entire time I’ve been watching the show I’ve felt like Ted was telling the story to his kids with the hopes that they would one day achieve the loving relationships in their lives that he has in his. I guess that is probably my main problem with the ending. It felt to me like the ending turned the story from a joyous focus on others (i.e. Ted’s hope for his kids for a spouse like his wife and true friends like his, and his need to brag on how great the kid’s mom is and how worthy she was of all the struggle) to another selfish explanation concerning why Ted wants something/someone.
Here are the other things that drive me nuts about the ending:
- Robin – the end turns Robin into an object that is basically passed around between Ted & Barney. The ending kind of fakes being romantic. Ted goes and grabs the blue French horn trying to bring everything back full circle. Of course, we have been through this scenario several times before. We know the plot line. The only reason that this ending seems romantic is because the story stopped, but if you think about it you will probably admit that Ted & Robin will most likely go through the same process they have gone through before and their relationship will become destructive once again. As a matter of fact, when I think through the continuing story my imagination has Robin going back and forth between Ted & Barney kind of like Sisyphus
with his stone. I really liked Robin’s character throughout most of the series. The end kind of reduces her to an object.
- Ted – the story arc of HIMYM is focused on the strong relationships in Ted’s life. In the finale pretty much all of those relationships are no longer around. The story of each of the main relationships in Ted’s life is “finalized” and then kicked out of the script. Marshall becomes Supreme Fudge & Lilly is preggo with baby number three and then they are wiped out of the story. Barney’s life is changed by finally meeting a girl he really loves unconditionally, his daughter,and he is wiped out of the story. Ted’s kids agree to Ted going after their “aunt” and they are wiped out of the story. In the end Ted ends up standing on the street, rather than in one of the many familiar places of relationship in the show (Ted’s den, the bar, etc), staring up at Robin, a woman who has also basically been wiped out of the story too. That’s not a real Robin that Ted is staring up at, not a flesh and blood character of depth. That character was pretty much written out of the script when she became engulfed in work, too busy for the group, and merely briefly came back for Ted’s wedding. Nope Ted is staring up at an idealized, romanticized object. The series ends with Ted alone with his fantasy rather than surrounded with the strong relationships he has been bragging about for the rest of the series.
- Barney – Barney’s character grew a lot during the show. His character is one of the best parts of the show. Yes he is comic relief but he also developed a ton. Which is why the quick fix that happens in the finale drives me nuts. The guy who struggles on his wedding day, claiming that he has a better tie (a corn flower blue tie) at home and tries to climb out the window to escape his wedding day, holds his daughter for the first time and everything is fine. End of story. The real fun would have been seeing how Barney handles a whining female who he can’t dismiss from his apartment in the morning. Or watching the maker of the playbook develop parenting styles. Can you imagine how much fun Barney’s “plays” to protect his daughter from jerks like him would have been? So HIMYM spends all but one episode of its final season focused on the wedding day of Barney & Robin, a relationship that will end after three years because neither one of them is really changed by it, and 2 minutes on the relationship that supposedly really changes Barney. PLEASE.
- Marshall & Lilly – I don’t have a big problem with the ending of their story. I’m really just more surprised that since HIMYM was messing up all the other story lines that they didn’t decide to screw up Marshall & Lilly’s also. I’m surprised that the show didn’t decide to have Marshall cheat on Lilly and reduce Lilly to a weak, quivering blob of a woman. Two things that wouldn’t fit their characters. Why not be consistent HIMYM? If you were going to mess up everything else, why leave out Marshall & Lilly?
I know this has been a long post, but I thought the ending really stunk. It was almost as bad as the Lost finale, and I am still really mad about that ending. HIMYM was such a good show and it deserved a better ending. I know that real life doesn’t always work out nice, but I wasn’t watching HIMYM for real life. I was watching it for entertainment and a reminder of how important good relationships are important. Instead HIMYM trashed all that in the last season and tried to redeem it by going all “Sixth Sense” on us with a surprise ending in the last few minutes of the finale that would supposedly change everything that had happened in the show before the finale. Well it did change everything, just not for the good.