I’m not usually crazy enough to write about the disappointment that comes with a show’s series finale. I complain a bit and then get over it. For some reason, though, I feel like one of my favorite shows failed me last night and I’m going to rant for a moment about why I feel this way. If you’re not interested in my pointless rant, you can turn back now. If you are interested, onward!
I’ve spent years watching How I Met Your Mother and somewhere along the way I fell in love with the characters, the story, and the laughs and heartache that came with both. As the show grew I feel like I grew along with it, learning more about myself and about others from these fictional characters that felt more real than many of the people we come across on a daily basis. With that being said, I find myself in awe of the train wreck I witnessed last night on the Monday night lineup. I watched as a show of nine seasons was dismantled in less than an hour with a storyline that destroys all of the growth that we’ve seen in these characters over the years. While some (with me using that word generously) things served to uphold the story and deliver a finale worth watching, the rest only served to disappoint.
ALERT: Spoilers Ahead…
1. Years of character development is lost in a single episode. The writers spent an entire season on Barney and Robin’s wedding only to have their marriage unravel within three years. We see the characters grow and develop as they grapple with the challenges of their lives and love, only to watch as they revert back to who they were.
2. The entire show hinges on Ted’s story of how he met Tracy; the very same Tracy that he meets and apparently loses to some illness all within the confines of a forty minute episode. We see little snippets of their happy life before it’s yanked away and we’re plunged back into the drawn out Ted & Robin crap that got old a long time ago. This is oddly reminiscent of Sylar in Heroes, who simply would NOT die, despite how much his ridiculously drawn out life damaged the effectiveness of the story line.
3. We’re made to believe that Tracy is Ted’s epic love. We suffered through heart break after heart break with him throughout the years, waiting for that perfect somebody to come along and change everything. The story shows and overtly says that THIS love is different; it is something else entirely. Yet we come full circle to the blue French horn and Ted’s love of Robin; something that completely discredits how epic his love for Tracy was. Depending on how you look at it we’re given two (more or less) epic love stories that can’t possibly exist without diminishing the other.
4. The perceived concept of the show contradicts the reality. For a show that is titled “How I Met Your Mother” we are given so little of the mother to begin with and then forced to watch it become a story of how Ted took the long and winding road to Robin, which makes Tracy a wasted character beyond her use as a human baby factory and turns Ted into the man he was in the very beginning.
It would have been more effective to show how Ted and Tracy met without providing an epilogue that only serves to ruin their union and the nine seasons that precede it. Knowing now that the writers had this in mind (most likely since the beginning), I probably wouldn’t have wasted my time waiting this long for something that would only disappoint. I didn’t need a happy ending for Ted and Tracy; happy endings are rare and altogether unrealistic. I did, however, need more than what we were given. I needed a reality based on character development; not the poorly constructed, jumbled mess of nothingness I witnessed last night.
Maybe the writers wanted everything to come full circle from the very beginning, but in doing so they destroyed so much of what they created and left us with the impression that Ted is still a chump, Robin can’t find happiness within herself, her work, or anyone else besides Ted, and Tracy was more or less useless, despite how she was written to perfectly complement Ted. We’re left with a steaming pile of crap. On that note I leave you…
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry