So this week, How I Met Your Mother finally ended and the universe and twitterverse is up in arms about the ending. Well once again, I feel like an alien with opinions completely opposite of the rest of ya. See, the finale ended exactly how it should have and here is why.
Despite what Entertainment Weekly and other magazines might have led you to believe, How I Met Your Mother has sucked something awful since Barney and Robin hooked up. It was as if there were not only new writers and directors, but Robin and barney were replaced by two different actors, or had lobotomies.
You see Barney and Robin, in their prime, were the two best things about that show. Lily and Marshall were cute in the beginning. However, like many other characters in other shows (see Friends), became abysmal caricatures of themselves. Ted was ok but could be annoying, especially when delivering certain lines written to be cool. He just couldn’t do it convincingly. But for the most part, he was passable, EXCEPT when he and Robin were together. They had AMAZING chemistry, even in the g-d awful final seasons. But for most of its run, Barney and Robin were the best things about the show. Funny, likable, extremely well-acted (in the early seasons), they made the show. But once they hooked up, Neil Patrick Harris suddenly forgot everything about how to act as that character and became almost mentally challenged in his portrayal. Robin did her best but, again except when connecting with Ted, seemed lost.
Which leads us to the finale. No one will believe this but my family is my witness. When the pilot aired and they revealed that Robin was NOT the mom, I was pissed. They were so great together. Soon after, I thought up a way for it to still work out for them and by sheer coincidence, it was the almost eerily the same way the creators had planned (apparently having filmed the ending back then and locking it in a vault due to the ages of Ted’s children). My version was to reveal that after he was done telling the story, you find out the mom was dead for years and after all these years, he realizes he still loved Robin. And Robin realizes she wasted a lot of time too. Well the finale wasn’t exactly that way but close enough.
Now having said all this, there’s a difference between ending how it should have and being well done in its execution. Neil Patrick Harris really seems to have completely lost the ability to play Barney and was the WORST thing about the ending except for one crying scene involving his new daughter. I don’t know what happened but he has been playing this role so over the top since the Robin hookup, he went from the best thing to the worst. Alyson Hannigan turned in her best performance in YEARS, finally bouncing back from the awfulness of the last few season. Jason Segel, while not as awful as he has been, was passable. The directing and writing were very weak. And while get the whole “Robin is never around thing” it was too sad and little too much.
Ted and Robin deserved to be together. It was the only time when the show came alive, romance wise. I’m glad that despite a few years of awfulness, they went out exactly as they should have. And while I haven’t been able to watch it for years and enjoy it, I’m still a little sad that it’s over.
Addendum: There has been a fan recut of the ending that has been spreading like wildfire and is proving to be, not only popular, but the choice for many people as how the ending should have been. While I will admit it is far tighter, and in theory, a far better wrap up to the story itself, I’m not sure it should have ended that way. Christin Milioti did an amazing job in the short amount of time given to her, as the mother. The gang was entrenched for years and so popular, to introduce a new character and have her seem to fit so quickly, is a testament to her abilities and the choice made. She seemed right. But they could have done a better job of the stories with her, leading to the end.
But the most important question was NEVER answered which is why the hell does Ted’s voice turn into Bob Saget?
And now for your perusal, the alternate ending that is so popular. You decide.