Friday, April 4, 2014

How I Met Your Terrible Finale

Every April, bloggers worldwide attempt to write something every single day for an entire month. The project, cleverly titled BEDA (Blog Every Day in April), completely slipped my mind this year, as I haven't attempted since I was 16. In fact, when my friend Claire texted me about my lack of a blog post at 11:50 PM on April 1st, my reaction was one of total shock.

"I can't believe I forgot about BEDA!" I thought to myself, vowing to start bright and early the next day to make up for lost time. But guess what, y'all? Life happens, and here we are on the 4th day of April, BEDA-less. For that reason, I'm not promising a post every day for the rest of the month, but I will tell you that during my English lecture today I brainstormed a list of things to write about, so you may be hearing from me more often than usual. May.

So today I thought I'd alienate a good 75% of my readers by writing about the finale of CBS's How I Met Your Mother, also known as the most disappointing end to a series in the history of television. I've given myself four days to process my thoughts, so it's finally time for me to share without boiling over from angst. For those of you that don't watch the show, this may be a pointless entry for you and you can just tune in next time, and for those of you that do watch there will obviously be a lot of spoilers.

Let's kick it off by talking about how dumb it was for the entirety of Season 9 to focus on Robin and Barney's wedding and them overcoming the numerous barriers in their way only for them to nonchalantly announce their divorce. As writers, it's beyond stupid to develop a complicated relationship to just destroy it. That type of negligent writing is akin to watching a toddler build a giant block tower and knock it down immediately after adding the last block. Plus, I was never too crazy about Robin and Barney as a couple, because I thought their problems were ultimately larger than their similarities, but even I was rooting for them by the end. I wanted to see their marriage, I wanted them to have kids, I wanted them to grow old together! The writers decided from the very beginning that Ted and Robin would end up together, and instead of changing their minds when they realized the show was going in a different direction, they instead wrote poorly-developed scenarios in order to stubbornly stay on track. Which is why the reason Robin and Barney divorced was so stupid; Robin has always dreamed of being a successful international reporter, and Barney's flippant lifestyle would support and encourage constant travel.

Speaking of Barney, his relationship with his daughter was also poorly executed, and the sad thing is that was the best thing the whole episode had going for it. Barney having a kid was, in theory, very sweet, but I think we all know that would end terribly and he wouldn't actually be a good father. He is ultimately too selfish to have a child, and then on top of that him raising a girl is beyond ridiculous, as most of his fantasies involve young women with daddy issues. Plus, it was beyond sexist to not even acknowledge the woman carrying the baby at all--she wasn't named, she wasn't featured, nothing. She was just a vessel to allow for some last-minute character building. Sloppy.

Lily and Marshall ended up alright, which I'm very happy about. I do like that their relationship is so healthy and honorable and that even though no one else in the show can get their shit together, they at least stay together. And on top of that, they're still hot for each other, which you almost never see in televised married couples; they're usually crotchety and at each other's throats all the time.

Now for Ted, who used to be my favorite character and my fictional crush until the finale aired. His relationship with the mother was alluded to be sweet and close to perfect, but we as viewers got no real taste of their dynamic as a couple. I rooted for them and I eagerly awaited for them to meet, as the title of the show suggests, but when the writers actually sat down to execute those key early stages I was unimpressed. The whole 9th season inches closer and closer to the beginning of their romance, but then in the last twenty minutes the writers realized oh shit people still don't even know this lady's name. So as a result we got a shitty voiceover montage of them meeting, learning her name was Tracy, and then her dying. As nonchalant as that. Way to throw away a pivotal character. Here's a suggestion: if you name your show How I Met Your Mother, maybe I dunno...pay special attention to the mother?!

But I could honestly forgive all of the aforementioned ills if the show ended there. If maybe we saw Ted's face, cut to his kids crying, and then them hugging and saying something like, "I know you miss her kids, I do too". Sure, it would've been cheesy, but it would've at least paid homage to the great love story that Ted and Tracy was. But instead, the mother got brushed to the side to make room for Robin.

Ted was friend-zoned (though I hate that term and I don't think Ted would've used it) by Robin early-on, after they tried dating but their long-term goals were too different to make it work. But apparently all of a sudden things are magically better now that they're older? Suddenly after years of never wanting children Robin will assume the responsibility of mothering two grown kids? Suddenly after years of Ted wanting a stable life he's going to subject himself and his family to Robin's hectic schedule? Suddenly after countless episodes of moving on from Robin, Ted has the hots for her again? Oh and he kept that stupid blue French Horn after 20 years? Ugh, I'm sure most people weren't as disappointed as I am, but I literally can't deal. I can't erase the image of Robin smiling through her tears in her terrible bob haircut and 5 dogs as she gazes out the window at a graying, cardigan-wearing Ted Mosby.

So I think I'm just going to try to pretend that finale never happened. In my head, Robin and Barney never got divorced, Lily and Marshall bought a nice apartment in Manhattan for them and their 3 children, and Ted remained an aging widow in the suburbs after having a fantastic marriage with the woman he waited his whole life for. If you have any other thoughts on the show's lackluster finale--even if you completely disagree with me--leave them in comments below.

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