himym_radnor_wedding_a_l

All right, you guys. We have to talk about this. We’re a week two weeks past the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. General consensus has been NOT GREAT. Even after critics have panned the past several seasons and this final, gimmicky one in particular, almost every recap and review I read screamed disappointment.

Major disappointment! {Major Disappointment! *salute!*}

Much as I love TV critics (because, HELLO, DREAM JOB!), I don’t completely agree. I didn’t hate the HIMYM finale, and I actually loved parts of it.

Now, angry fans, don’t start throwing popcorn at me (or, you know, your screens)! OBVIOUSLY the show and its ending had a ton o’problems. But like Lily said to Robin at the beginning of the finale, “Once you’re in [our gang], you’re in for life!”

I’ve quit shows before, I have. Not many, but a few. (So sorry, Grey’s Anatomy. It’s not me, it’s you.) But for the most part, once I start watching a show, I’m in for life. Through the ups and downs, the Emmys and the internet hate-watching. Once I declare a show “mine,” there’s no separating us.

Unlike Barney and Robin, apparently. We’ll get THERE in a minute.

So I love my shows, and I will watch Every. Single. Episode. to the very bitter or sweet end. Then add to that the fact that I LOVE FINALES? As in, I will start – or re-start – watching a show when I hear it’s on its last legs? Well, despite all the foreshadowing and predictions and low, low expectations? I was ALL IN for this final episode with Ted, Marshal, Lily, Barney and Robin.

HIMYM finale cast

I’ve been trying to write this for several days now and I’m actually watching the finale again as I write now. And while my feelings about the show and its finale run deep, my thoughts are so scattered I think I’d better just stick to bullet points. Here goes…

The things I loved:

  • All the callbacks to past seasons – the cockamouse, the Halloween party and Ted’s hanging chad costume, robot wrestling, “Murder Train” playing during robot wrestling, the blue French horn (NOT the circumstances, just the fact that it was brought back), Marshall paying Lily for their bet over whether Ted and Robin would end up together.
  • Ted’s salt and pepper hair (Although, it’s weird. Usually as men and women age – especially on TV – the men get better looking while the women get older looking. Not so much in the case of, well, Marshall. Sorry, Judge Fudge, but time was not kind! Robin, on the other hand? Looked AMAZING – and so did Lily and The Mother.)
  • Ted wanting to get married in a castle, but doing it in the courthouse instead. [Edited to add: Okay, I remember on a second watch that it wasn’t technically the courthouse. But it was short notice and basically the same concept. So the bullet point stays.]
  • The tired new parents! (Of course.)
  • Barney meeting his baby (Barney may be totally gross, but NPH nailed this scene.)
  • The Mother convincing Robin to come to their wedding
  • Not dwelling on The Mother’s disease and death. Those details weren’t the point, and I was fine with it being vague.
  • Remembering the episode where Ted breaks down about how he wished he would have met The Mother just 45 days sooner. It killed me then, even when I was unsure what it meant for The Mother’s future (and lifespan). It kills me even more now.
  • Ted finishing the story with, “And that, kids, is how I met your mother.” (If only it had ended there…)

What totally killed me:

  • “We have to be here for the Big Moments!” THIS. Lily’s increasingly desperate attempts to keep the gang together rang true to me. These characters who I’ve watched nearly every week (and certainly every episode and sometimes multiple times a night once reruns began airing) for the past nine years, they were so different than me – and yet, not so different. They are almost the exact same age I am, and they faced a whole lot of the same things I have in those same past nine years: job frustrations, weddings, new babies, dealing with friends who breakup, loss of loved ones, home-buying woes. I may never set foot in an Irish bar in Manhattan, but still, HIMYM got me and my life. Still, nothing lasts forever. So…
  • “It’s never going to be how it was. It can’t be.” Shut up, Robin. I know, but I like to pretend it’s not true.
  • “It’s great…great….great…great…” Who hasn’t tried to convince themselves and their friends that their marriage, their job, their LIFE is just GREAT when it’s not-so-much?
  • “Much of what I do does not make me cry.” Oh, Marshall. I have been there, and it sucks. So glad your phone finally rang!
  • “It’s not a business, Barney. It’s a blog!” Hmph. Whatevs.

What I hated:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THAT ENDING??? After we forced ourselves to be okay with the BIZARRO way Ted let go of Balloon Robin just a few weeks ago? After we swallowed the last-minute jitters that made Robin temporarily decide she should be with Ted after all – and TED SAID NO THANKS? After all the back and forth, after you convinced us Barney had changed, after you made us fall in love (SO MUCH LOVE!!!) with the adorable, funny, killer musician and Renaissance faire fan Mother?

No. No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. [Cue flashback to the episode where Robin and Ted break up after the not-real proposal makes them realize they have an expiration date.]

I don’t mind that The Mother died. Sometimes these things happen, even though we wish they wouldn’t. And while I typically want all happy endings, all the time, this is one show that presented the hard realities of life in such a beautiful way that I didn’t hate it.

But to give us such severe emotional whiplash — first with the season-long build-up to Robin and Barney’s wedding leading to a marriage that ended just minutes into this last episode and then, THEN! with the series-long journey of Ted getting over Robin and finding The Mother ending in the kids and Ted blowing off any sense of grief to run back to Robin (who, BY THE WAY, totally blew off the gang for journalistic fame)?

Unacceptable.

So, I’m choosing to forget those last few minutes (I didn’t watch them the second time around) and remember all the other many, MANY great episodes of one of my favorite shows.

What made it worth it:

  • Every moment of Ted and The Mother together, especially this one:

HIMYM finale

Okay, your turn!
What did YOU think of the HIMYM series finale?


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(And in case you want to read what other people thought of the finale [in case you hated the whole thing and need more validation for those feelings than I gave you…], here are a TON of links to articles:

And, finally, Bradley Cooper just wanted a happy ending, you guys.
[Language warning.] {But it’s funny because it’s true.}

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