Needless to say SPOILERS! You know, if you’re still a baby about that sort of thing while you’re on the bloody internet. Otherwise go right on ahead.
How I Met Your Stepmother.
Turns out, according to CBS, that’s the show we’ve been watching for the past decade. When it started out all the way back in 2005, How I Met Your mother seemed like the perfect thing to fill the Friends shaped hole in my life. And it did for quite a while. It was a wonderful show. There was good writing, the characters were likable, hilarious, fleshed out and honestly fun to watch. Barney Stinson will always and forever go down in the Breakout Characters Hall of Fame. It was transforming into one of those must watch shows that had everyone talking. But around the time it hit the sixth or seventh season anybody could tell the show had both overplayed its premise and overstayed its welcome. But it still chugged on resolutely and I wasn’t complaining. There were still some wonderful moments and brilliant gags that kept me optimistic.
But the finale killed all that.
Firstly, the wedding that was tortuously drawn out for an entire season fell apart only fifteen minutes into the finale. I’d like to say right now that my problem is absolutely not with the marriage being written to implode, but with the fact that we had to sit through TWENTY TWO of those COMPLETELY pointless and mind- numbingly unnecessary episodes (with the exception of one or two) to get to THIS. Really? I sat through that terrible “letting go” scene Robin had with Ted AND that episode which was fully written in rhyme for THIS? You’d have to be Buddha to not feel at least a little bit aggressive and underwhelmed as you embrace the total waste of time that was Season 9.
Secondly, one of the best bits of How I Met Your Mother has always been how the show wonderfully managed to flesh out Barney’s two dimensional sociopath pick up artist character into something a little more realistic while still staying true to it. But every little bit of character development Barney went through the past eight seasons leaped out of a 20th storey window yelling “Geronimo!!” the minute he uttered “Perfect Month”. Sure they tried to make it profound with his speech about wanting to be himself. But it was little else than a cop-out. More disturbingly, it seemed like a cop out tailored specifically to gratify pubescent boys and man-children who just desperately wanted Barney to be “Legendary” again, run his plays and be Jim Nacho.
And finally we come to the most unforgivable part of the finale. Meet the lovely Tracy McConnell,a.k.a. the only reason Season 9 was watchable a.k.a The much heralded Mother, a.k.a Blatant Plot Device. Funnily enough, all that Ted and her story reminded me of, was another gag from HIMYM itself. There was this bit long back where Marshal tells the gang about his strange fantasy. Marshall apparently is so blissfully married that if he ever wanted to fantasize about another woman, he can only do it if he imagines it to be Lily’s dying wish to him while she’s on her deathbed. And that’s pretty much what happened with Ted and Tracy for real.
Again, I’d like to make it clear I have no qualms with Barney and Robin splitting up or Robin and Ted getting together. My problem is purely with the way it was done.
So, according to the finale, here’s the fundamental premise of the show: Robin has always been Ted’s one true love. But they don’t want the same things at all. We still want our leading pair to end up together. But we also want them to have whatever they’ve wished for.
Enter Barney. Every bit as commitment phobic, free spirited and hates settling down as Robin. Also enter Tracy. Every bit as goofy, dreamy eyed, whimsical and ready to settle down and have kids as Ted. Now we let our lead pair have everything they wanted. A life of travel, success and excitement for Robin.A life of romance and children and settling down for Ted. Now having fulfilled their destinies, The Mother conveniently drops dead and Barney conveniently splits up with Robin, leaving Ted and Robin appropriately depressed and available to ride off into the sunset with each other. The End. I’m sorry what?
On a personal note, with Game Of Thrones premiering this week, I would’ve really appreciated it if one more unnecessary onscreen death had been averted.
Still The Mother has to take comfort she wasn’t the only blatant plot device of the finale. Of course there was mysterious No.31 who existed only to get knocked up and provide Barney with a life affirming moment. Apparently she was so unimportant she not only disappeared without a trace after her usefulness ran out , but she also gave up her child to the womanizing asshole who knocked her up in pursuit of the perfect month. But hey. What do I know? There could be a grander plan in store. I have a sinking suspicion this woman might be the center of the spin-off “How I Met Your Father” which is in production now.
However after all is said and done, it’s still the end of an era. While I try and block out these later debacles I’ll always hold those first few seasons dear. Signing off with a High Infinity, I only have one question to ask: Seriously, WHO provides security for that place with the blue French horn?
©Jyotsna H. for PosterGully.com