|Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti seek shelter from all the anger on Twitter|
What if, in the final episode of Cheers, Rebecca gets hit by a bus, freeing Sam to finally marry Diane?
Or, as Newhart is counting down to its last few minutes, instead of waking up to find first TV wife Suzanne Pleschette in his bed, Bob Newhart finds his second TV wife Joanna’s dead body. Into the Vermont Inn walks Suzanne Pleschette. Happy ending!
I was never even a casual viewer of How I Met Your Mother, so I have no emotional investment in its characters. When I did pop in this last season just to try and be caught up for the series finale I found that the five main characters were not that much fun. One guy was obsessed with silly challenges. Two seemed bummed that their child was keeping them from the bar. The main guy, Ted, seemed depressed about getting older and not having found the love of his life.
The one character with heart was the new girl. Tracy, played by Cristin Milioti, She was sweet and funny and very winning. The episode which focused on the story from her point of view was by far the best of the six I saw this season.
So, if you only watched this ninth season–an extra season ordered by the network beyond what even the showrunners had envisioned–you could only be aghast at this ending. Ted finally meets and marries the girl of his dreams only to lose her in a lame flash forward or two? Billy Dee Williams got more of a send off when he pulled himself out of Dancing with the Stars Monday night. Sitcom characters shouldn’t be eliminated quicker than reality show contestants.
Nobody should be satisfied with that story, least of all the dead mother’s two children, who have had to listen to their stupid father tell them a story for nine years about how uncle Barney banged anything that walked into a bar.
Now, having also seen the pilot for this series, I remember that the other woman, Robin, the Canadian played by Cobie Smulders, was just as winning then as Milioti’s character would be eight years later. So I see what the showrunners were trying to do.
I just didn’t buy the way they did it. Basically this guy gets a second chance and figures it all out 25 years later. That can happen, but the characters don’t appear to have aged at all when we last see them in 2030. The only ones who have aged are the audience, who four years ago moved on to The Big Bang Theory.
There should be one more episode of HIMYM, where Ted wakes up, goes to the shower and there is Tracy looking back at him with a wink. “No kids, your mother isn’t dead after all,” says Bob Saget in the voice over on the special edition boxed set complete series plus extra ending DVD. (Suggested retail: eleventy million-billion dollars.)