Saying Goodbye to How I Met Your Mother
By: Holly Leveque
I have been watching How I Met Your Mother just as long as anyone. Through the years I have seen it develop into a show that is at the end of the day loyal to the long time viewer. The amount of inside jokes, the call backs, the flash forwards, they all are little gifts from the writers. These are gifts to the people who have stuck by the show all these years waiting to meet the mother.
When the series finale of any show rolls around I always know to not expect anything. Maybe its because the first series finale I can remember watching is St. Elsewhere. Maybe its because I watched Lost.
More than likely it is because I am a writer. And as a writer I know that in some CBS meeting ten years ago, the writers & producers, Carter Bays & Craig Thomas, stood in front of the network, Les Moonves, and in the midst of the two hour long meeting when they were asked- as they always do- what is your end point? They spewed out their answer that they had at that moment. And the network found it charming and interesting at the same time and bought the show. And BAM you are on TV, characters come and go, viewership is found, chemistry is formed, and years go by and suddenly the end of your show is near and you have to grapple with the fact that your baby is ending. And you remember that you have to somehow incorporate the pearl of an idea you have ten damn years ago.
Your show, if you did the job of a writer, will change, adapt, and evolve into something that shows the journey of these people you created. These people you know everything about, you love and are a tad bit protective over. These people that you now have to say good-bye to in a way that satisfies you and the viewer alike.
So no pressure.
There have always been rumors that HIMYM is a tale of a man telling the story of how he met his children’s mother for a greater reason than just telling a rather long story. Why would a person tell a story that lasted so long? And go into detail about all of your father’s conquests that was not your mother. That’s just weird. But you tell stories to remember, to rationalize, and to make sense of something that seems so senseless.
The signs have all been there and in the 8th season when Ted in a moment of clarity in his never ending story, does something that is only possible when you are telling the story. You are the storyteller, you can play with time and matter, and soften or harden any detail you desire. But when Ted runs to the mother’s door and delivered one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful and honest moments of television in the last ten years, he said that he wished he met her 45 days before he did, so he could love her for those 45 days, if only he had that time back. He would.
Hmmmmm. Why would a someone say that to someone who they were still sharing their life with? They wouldn’t.
Because as we learned in the series finale the mother is dead. Big surprise there. And Robin is the stepmother. Some fans did not respond well to this reveal to say the least. They saw this as the ultimate betrayal. We have waited and WAITED around to meet the mother, for Ted to get his happy ending, and you just take it away from us! That cold son... We took it personally.
But the more and more time passes and the complaining is still coming the writers via twitter released a statement basically saying that they are sorry we didn’t like the finale, and they would offer a different finale in the DVD- Blu Ray- release. Something that they really didn’t have to do.
Something that I actually think they shouldn’t do. Since the finale came and went and it became pretty clear that this has been the writers plan all along. This was their vision of the show from day one. It’s a story of how life, whether we like it or not is complicated. It’s not black and white. You date a lot of people, you love, you experience loss, you settle and you meet a lot of people. And maybe the story of how I met my kid’s mother is a little more complicated. The kids know there father has told them about every romantic relationship in his life because he's searching for another woman to love. He's reaching out to his children for help. Comedy comes from reality, and it's a little known wives' tale that 100% of us die.
And THAT is fucking beautiful. Life is not a happy ending all the time. There are high and low points but you learn and grow from them all and they make you who you are. And this show captured that.
Sure I cried when I found out the mom dies. I screamed the moment I knew that Robin was the stepmother, that moment when we found out about their divorce. I knew it then and by the end of the finale had accepted that this was the way this person, this characters journey was leading towards. And I enjoyed it.
And let’s be real, every person who watched this show at one point wanted Robin to be the mother. And if you say that you are not one of those people than you are a lying to yourself, they had chemistry throughout the series. So boo freaking hoo. Two characters you really cared about got together. If that’s the worst thing that happens to you all year than you clearly need to spend more time at bar, telling stories, making memories with that group of friends in that place where so much happened.