When I considered my list of angry TV moments to write about for this article, I went through a lot of wondrous crappy moments like Jay Jay The Jet Plane, the last episode of Showtime‘s Dexter’s, censored anime (ahem – Sailor Moon characters Sailor Pluto and Sailor Uranus were “cousins” at one point in the US… remember that?) … but nothing makes me cringe more to this day than the series finale for CBS‘s long-running sitcom How I Met Your Mother.
Talk about self-destructive ending, man! It’s as if the show decided to lodge a grenade up its own ass(-pirations) and blow to bits years of hard-earned trust in character development and storylines.
Okay, let me explain. I believe HIMYM got it wrong in a couple of ways. I don’t mind the use of the story-telling device whre the narrator keeps a secret from viewers/readers… “deus ex machina” has been around since cavepeople first told stories in stone. But to keep us waiting for years to meet this “amazing mom/wife/woman” only to then just pretty much kill her in the same episode – and then try to sell us on Ted being with with Robin again.
I felt cheated. I think every single little connection they so emphasized at some point during the show was for nothing. It was so rushed that it cut off any possible way to connect or feel for anything that happened shortly after.
What it did do, though? Set off a domino effect of ticking little anger-bombs…
Which brings me to the next level of series disrespect done to my persona: Robin and Barney (and pretty much every lead character in the show) but mostly those two. I still feel slightly nauseated that I bought into the show and their amazing character development – that was one of my favorite things about HIMYM. No matter how silly it got for each of them, they went through really low moments and ended up rising above – some more relatable than others, but all were meanigful and endearing.
So while it hurt when Barney and Robin broke up, I was okay with it. What really bothered me, you ask?
How each character regressed back to the bad traits they each had overcome during the years: Robin going back to ditching her friends during holidays and Barney becoming “Barney.” Then the finale came – and nothing felt “genuine” and “sincere” about them, as it felt like there was a rush to get them settled into “happy endings” with no little thought about how abrupt of a shift it was (once again) for the characters. Another example of how it felt like the show’s creative was seriously disconnected from its fanbase.
To be clear, my issues with the series finale have made it near-impossible to rewatch How I Met Your Mother like I used to during those “golden days” – a cautionary tale for future series with faithful fans who are invested in the work that you do.