How They Ruined a Great TV Series

Yes. I'm still reeling from that terrible, horrible, no good, miserable How I Met Your Mother finale and I've been urged by others to get my feelings out about it. I never knew that one episode could manage the ruin of an entire series I once adored. (The t.v. show version of (500) Days of Summer if you will..) A series that taught you to hope that eventually even through all the hardships and waiting, true happiness with the right one would come at last; that really, it would all work out in the end. Sure the writers still gloat and think that's still true with what they gave us....but truly and honestly, they got it all wrong....and in the process ruined many of the characters I came to love. Below be SPOILERS.

I could go on and on about the mistakes that were made in this finale. From spending 3 seasons shoving the Barney and Robin relationship down our throats only to dissolve it within 10 minutes (and for the record, I never bought the relationship....but I guess now it's clear I was never supposed to,) or worse: tantalizing the audience with the idea of what the reward of the show was. They made us believe that after suffering through years of emotional anguish and unrequited love our leading man would find happiness with a woman who loved and deserved him; instead that so-called reward was revealed to be merely a footnote. The absolute worst part had to be the scene where the kids reveal the big twist. What would have worked as a series finale from Season 5 and earlier feels completely out of place and disrespectful now. Over the course of this season, we came to love the mother but in a matter of seconds we are informed she's dead and who even cares because he's been in love with Robin all along. The stubbornness of these writers to stick to an ending that no longer benefitted any of its characters was kind of appalling and seems like they had something to prove with their arc for Ted as a reflection of themselves. He has his cake and eats it too. The woman of his affection for years goes after the bad boy but in the end flies back to him. It strikes me as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network and his secret desire to build this whole thing to prove a point in the end that the nice guy doesn't finish last, even though it appears that for a time Barney won the battle. The only problem is you no longer made your nice guy nice and the love of his life turns into a casualty for a pointless and childish point.

I love you, but it's kind of convenient for me that you're dying now that Robin is single.

Maybe I could have gotten behind it if the execution had been handled well, but the creators were more concerned with delivering a twist than telling the story right and respecting the show How I Met Your Mother turned into and not the one it was when it began. Yes it began as the Ted/Robin show and "aww too bad they already called her Aunt Robin and they can't end up together." It became a show about getting over a person you deeply wanted it to work out with, and finding hope that eventually you'll get over it and find the one who will truly get you and love you. Here are my favorite scenes about what I believe that show had become before retconning all the character growth and lessons we came to learn over the years (and instead leaving it at a very unhealthy lesson at that "don't worry kids, obsession pays off" or "just wait around and end up with someone that never really appreciated you!") These scenes convince me that the writers made a horrible mistake with their resolve to keep their precious ending. These ten scenes will remain the things I treasure about the show when all is said and done.

Ted: "I think you know how you feel about me now, and time isn't gonna change it. Do you love me?"
Robin: "No."

You can't feel bad for Robin EVER. She had her chance and she CHOSE Barney. Oh and she flat out told Ted she didn't love him. Ted deserves to be his dream woman's first choice. Ted was never Robin's first choice and she knew him long enough to be able to appreciate him....yet it's only when he's finally happy with someone else she begins her regrets. Only took her 10 years to realize it. Let's kill the mother now so Robin can find her happiness!

(Continuation of previous scene since it cuts off before the best part...)

 The imagery of Ted walking through the sea of yellow umbrellas that ANY ONE of them could be the one who he would share a "lifetime" of happiness was beautiful and full of hope. Now? ....

Robin: Shouldn't I be with the guy who finds me my locket? Shouldn't I be with the guy who STEALS the blue french horn?? Look me in the eye and tell me why shouldn't I be with THAT guy?
Ted: Because I'm not that guy anymore!

Yet merely an episode later and supposedly 17 years pass and SURPRISE: he's that guy again? Then who was he when he was ready to meet his future wife? Speaking OF his future wife, let's hear about all the setup about her that clearly didn't impress their snotty kids.

(Apologies for the sound quality)
"She's on her way Ted, and she's getting here as fast as she can." 

But don't anticipate it too much. She's just gonna die after a decade of all that WAITING.

Victoria's ex describes to Ted how he'll KNOW when he meets the love of his life.
Klaus: Have you ever felt this way about someone?
Ted: Yeah I think so.
Klaus: If you have to think about it, you have not felt it.

AKA no Robin shouldn't have been the only thing those dumb kids took away from that story as we see moments later it flashes to their meeting. It forever and always should have stayed with their mom.

I love you. I'm always going to love you. Til the end of my days and beyond. You'll see.

Sigh. This was where the death theories first began. But I still believe this is one of the most beautiful scenes to have ever aired on the show and I loved the idea of a future self-knowing just where to go to make the past version of themselves happy. And it is now our consolation prize in lieu of the finale to show, even though, that episode didn't fully, how much he truly loved her.

You picked a real winner Mosby. 
I did.

This juxtaposition of Ted at one of his lowest moments side by side with a blissfully happy and in love Ted is, in my opinion, the most rewarding scene of the entire series and probably my favorite. After everything he'd been through, we see a Ted who has his love fully and completely reciprocated; in short we'd never seen him happier on this series. This was the girl.

And that kids is the kind of stupid thing you say before you meet someone who hits the reset button on the world, who makes it seem ridiculous you ever considered settling.

Initially I felt this scene was introduced far too soon in the season, and do still stand by that. But now having seen the whole last season, it was one of the brightest and best spots. Plus Future Ted's narration once again is beautiful and again the lesson we want to be learning in reference to the woman who bore your children and not some dumb ex girlfriend who shares the same name as a bird.

Give your heart and soul to me and life will always be La Vie En Rose.

Seriously. You watch that back to back with that final scene of the kids and you just KNOW those writers are insane. Can't you see what's best for the show!???

Anyway. I'll end this retrospective once more with the video I posted yesterday and how the show SHOULD have ended.

Funny how sometimes you just find things.

RIP HIMYM. I wish the writers could have respected what you grew into and ended you properly.


Joey said...

This was incredibly well written and thought out.

I wish you could get it to the writers some way!

These scenes say it all.

Sarah said...

Wow. Those writers really, really blew it. They really did make all those other scenes meaningless by having him end up with Robin. Besides that, he really was so much better with Tracy. Robin never appreciated him...and never deserved him. Badly done, writers. Badly done. I don't care if you have it mapped out from the beginning. If things change, you have to go with it. Robin and Barney should have worked out and Ted's heart should have stayed with Tracy...whether the writers decided to still kill her off or not.

poirot said...

The Robin hate in your post is just appalling. She is a good-hearted person who is very considerate of Ted's feelings. And I do believe, in hindsight, she lied when she said she didn't love him in "No Pressure."

Also, Ted really did let go of Robin before he met the mother. There is literally no indication he was still in love with Robin while they were together. It's not like he goes after Robin the minute Tracy dies. He waits six years before he tries asking Robin out again. How is that in any way unreasonable? Tracy herself started dating again six years Max died. Or did you want Ted to remain miserable for the rest of his life?

I expanded upon this, and other thoughts over here:


poirot said...

And by the way, why does anyone bring up Klaus's speech? I mean, this is a guy who is running away from his own wedding. Anything he says about love should be completely disregarded.

It would be like taking cooking advice from someone who can't even make instant noodles.

Emily said...

Very considerate of his feelings? Like on his wedding day to Stella stringing him along again saying MAYBE one day she could want him again? Please. Robin is selfish. I don't hate her character through the course of the series and even at one point I wanted them together...but now I don't believe she deserved Ted. She chose Barney over him repeatedly. Who wants to be someone's second choice? And why would she lie to him in No Pressure anyway? Just because he said he wanted kids? Even though he made it clear that his love for her would have been enough...?