It appears that the series finale of How I Met Your Mother, henceforth to be known as HIMYM, has joined the ranks of such finales as Seinfeld and Lost, that is, series finales that I genuinely enjoyed that apparently pissed off a whole bunch of people. I don't have the stats right here in front of me as to the number of viewers enraged by the conclusion of Ted Mosby's 9 year tale of how he met the mother of the two bored teenagers we've watched grow more bored over the years. Now, for me, finding yourself angered enough by the final episode of a sitcom that you feel the need to endlessly bitch about it on Twitter or Facebook or your very own pop culture blog, is akin to complaining about the antics of teenage pop stars at a family gathering or ranting about comic book movie casting decisions in the comments section of your favorite internet site. It's mostly a waste of time. But, you know, people loved something for 9 years, watched it religiously, felt a certain connection to it, and, in the end, felt betrayed, so, I guess they should get it out somehow. Doesn't mean they're right. However, it doesn't mean they're wrong either, though most of them are mostly wrong.
To be fair, I haven't read any of the negative articles about last night's finale. I watched it, as I've watched every episode of HIMYM since it began way back in 2005, and thought it was fine. Was it ideal? Of course not. We all (i.e. fans of the show) probably had our own ideas on how the proceedings should end. The only thing I ever truly wanted was a Bob Saget cameo. I don't think that was too much to ask for. "I think Bob Saget should play the officiant at Ted and Tracy's wedding," I said to my wife. Did it happen? No, but I'll get over it. Some day.
Look, we can all agree there were a few problems with the last episode.
1.) My wife didn't like that Barney and Robin got divorced, and while I agree that was a bummer, I don't feel like it was too far-fetched. What I didn't like was Barney's slide back into his old life, though one could argue that this titanic-sized regression was necessary in order for the best moment in the episode, maybe in the series as a whole, to happen. I'm, of course, talking about Barney's first interaction with his newborn daughter. What an absolutely beautiful scene. Maybe it's because I said something very similar to my own daughter the night she was born and whisked away to the intensive care unit because she was having trouble breathing. Maybe it's how perfectly Neil Patrick Harris sold the moment. As far as I'm concerned, HIMYM could've ended with Marshall being revealed as the Zodiac Killer after this moment, and I would've been fine. That was good TV.
2.) Of course I hated that Tracy (i.e. the titular mother) was dead. It seemed super obvious and totally surprising at the same time somehow.
3.) And, no, I'm not pleased that Ted decided to return to his pursuit of Robin in the closing moments of the series. I have no doubt that he loved Tracy, in fact, I think she was probably the great love of Ted's life, but when he finally wraps up his story, we are informed that it has been six years since her death. It's understandable that Ted is ready to move on. But why to Robin? Again it seems obvious and surprising at the same time. I've always enjoyed HIMYM because it rarely went the obvious route, so to see it do just that so epically in it's final minutes was kind of a bummer.
That said, I thought the finale was fine. I laughed. I cried. I kept choosing cameo roles for Bob Saget. HIMYM is a show my wife and I have watched together every Monday night at 8:00 PM since we've been together. We never DVR'd it--which led to a few missed episodes, episodes that we've picked up later on DVD or reruns--we always watched it live, usually in bed. Since the birth of our daughter, I've been watching it next to a sleeping wife, but she usually wakes up as it's ending and asks me what happened before falling instantly back to sleep. Ah, memories!
Anyway, thanks for the laughs, HIMYM. I probably won't watch How I Met Your Dad and there is nothing CBS can do to get me to watch that Friends With Better Lives abomination they kept pimping during your finale, but I enjoyed our time together immensely.