The Rise and Fall of How I Met Your Mother
How I Met Your Mother was destined to be a success. It came at just the right time that sitcoms were looking to be a dying breed of entertainment. There wasn’t much competition and they had made some really wise casting decisions. Alyson Hannigan was a big name in TV after a long run on a the highly successful and very popular Buff the Vampire Slayer as well as her roles in the American Pie films. Jason Segel who was on a fast rise to fame after many appearances as part of the “Apatow Crew” and the return of Doogie Howser Neil Patrick Harris. NPH has said that he got this role because of his cameo in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. He demonstrated a lot of range in that short cameo, but no one would have guessed he was as versatile and talented as he is.
The first episode see two kids who are being talked to by their father Ted. He is telling them the story of how he met their mother. It’s an interesting premise, hadn’t been done before. So you have a really good cast, a good premise and some of the most consistently written sitcoms ever produced. The close attention paid to the continuity of the show was remarkable. In the pilot the gang meets Robin, she’s new in town and Ted falls for her. It looks quite clearly that she is going to be the mother. However during the final narration of the episode it Ted tells his children that this was how he met their Aunt Robin. So we know immediately that even though Ted was in love with her Robin wasn’t their mother.
But they did a re really good job with their chemistry over the course of the show. The first few years of the show are consistent with the “will they, won’t they” arc of writing. Eventually Robin does date Ted and they have a meaningful relationship, but it doesn’t work out. They try to remain friends but Ted is too hurt because he had lost the love of his life.
Barney the womanizer played wonderfully by NPH should have been a one note joke. I am not going to try and degrade Kramer(from Seinfeld) because he was hilarious, but he was one note. A silly guy who is on the fringe of the group. Barney could have just been the simple Kramer of the show who is wild for plot, but contributes nothing else.
But Barney’s quirks continuously add to the show. His playbook became a huge pop culture sensation. And he continued to grow. Barney didn’t know who his father was and this arc was really well done. Barney, though a womanizer who was up for any challenge had a deeper soul and this was just part of it. Barney would go on to have several meaningful and monogamous relationships that would be the catalyst for the most important relationship of all. Robin.
Marshal land Lily were given the breakup treatment very early on and it bothered me while watching it. The duo were meant to be with each other and their chemistry in this role was unmatched. After the season one break up they were back together and on to big things. Marshal was becoming a lawyer, Lily no longer yearning for unobtainable came back. Eventually they marry and have a baby. All of these things are huge developments in character and really progress toward the end picture. Will Marshall become a Judge? Will they End up in Italy where Lilly can finally be an artist? it’s all relative to the shows continuity and realism. Watching How I met Your Mother was like hanging out with friends. Every time it was on their problems were our problems, their successes were our successes. Their laughter was ours. And in times of grief, be it Barneys search for his father, Lily and Marshal breaking up, Marshals father dying etc. It never became overbearing with the drama, and for every sob there were multiple laughs.
After Robin and Ted broke up, They both moved on to other relationships. Ted went through a couple very serious ones. Stella being the second biggest after Robin. Though engaged to be married she left him at the alter to be with her ex and from there Ted dated many women, but his actions always indicated he was still in love with Robin.
Barneys major relationships are Robin in season 5. Nora for two seasons Quinn the stripper for two seasons and Robin again in seasons 8 and 9. Nora was his big step into really wanting to be with one person and is a changed man after this relationship ends. They are troubled because of his womanizing past, and don’t make it, but Barney is better for it. Following this is Quinn the stripper. This is when we first see Barney is vulnerable as anyone else. He has constant anxiety dealing with the fact that his girlfriend strips for other men. Ultimately he is unable to continue on with the relationship despite keeping up a facade. Once more we see a human side to Barney and he is even more relatable.
Robin and Barney began a relationship and Ted was clearly hurt, and only supportive because he cared for them both. Ted is a constant interference and they eventually break up. However years later they rekindle the relationship. Throughout most of the season Barney appears to have reverted back to his old self and Robin is at wits end. She is about to break up with him when Barney calls her to meet.
At this point Barney has been playing a game here. The mastermind of the playbook is at his best. Given their history together Barney now has both Ted and Robin in his grasps and working an angle. He is trying to see if Ted is truly over Robin. By telling him that he plans to propose to Robin and lying about how she is getting there. Barney has arranged it so Robin will NEED Ted to bring her to the meeting site. Ted ultimately accepts that he and Robin aren’t more than friends and he gets Robin there through hell and high water.
Once there she is outraged until Barney sets his playbook on fire and and proposes. It’s honestly the best part of the show. Ted is the main character, but he is outclassed in every way by everyone else. Moments like this and the birth of Marshal and Lily’s son Marvin are truly emotional. At this point we have seen Barney go completely in an opposite direction from the simple womanizer in season 1. His development is one of the best of any show.
And he and Robin have an amazing relationship, but even after the powerful moment in which Ted gives permission to barney to propose to Robin they still have Ted regret this decision and still want to be with Robin. There’s a point where Robin even rethinks things and wishes she ended up with Ted.
Now the show starts to get annoying, but after years of proving themselves I didn’t let it bother me because I knew that when they ended the show it was going to be good. And I was wrong.
The final season is set over the course of a single weekend. This is something that really bothered a lot of people, but I didn’t mind it. This is the weekend that Barney and Robin get married, and the infamous wedding where Ted finally meets the mother.
At this point hasn’t met her yet, but the audience and and supporting cast have met her in various points of the weekend. They do a really good job of making the mother seem like someone we would want to be part of the show. Once they show clips of the immediate future where Ted has met her they have really good chemistry to. And now that Barney and Robin were to be wed, Lily and Marshal were soon to be expecting their second child, and Ted was to meet the mother things seemed like they were going to end very well for the group. And in the second to last episode it does. Barney and Robin are married and so concludes some of the best character development in sitcom history. Ted meets the mother and Lily and Marshal are on their way to Italy.
Then comes the finale where we find out in minutes that barney and Robin divorced on their honeymoon. Barney became a womanizer again and has a one night stand that ends in pregnancy. barney becomes a father and suddenly has his development back. It’s terrible. The show may have been about ted meeting the mother of his kids, but what it really was about was a group of friends who experience a tremendous amount of personal growth
and in the finale it’s all erased.
Spoiler alert the mothers dead.
And the kids tell Ted that he has grieved enough and it was time to move on. Hey dad you should go fuck aunt Robin, cause you were always meant to be with her anyway. Forget about our mother and bone the woman who never really wanted to be with you.
Seriously this is how the ended. It was a terrible slap in the face to the fans who have watched over the years. A slap in the face of the characters they created, and I haven’t watched a single episode since. And this was my favorite show. I watched syndicated reruns every day of my life. It was basically the only thing that I ever watched.
I haven’t even watched anything new starring the actors involved, because I respected them enough to assume that they would know that this ending was terrible and should have said they wouldn’t film it.
It’s been said that the ending was filmed when the show started and they couldn’t change it if they wanted to and that’s a bunch of bull pucky. They could have done reshoots. The industry is filled with reshoots in entertainment. The suits behind this show thought that they had t right, refused to change it and ruined it.
Now there is supposedly an alternate ending on the dvd/blu ray release, but I am not even interested in seeing it. It was put on there to somehow appease the fans, but it’s not the ending that aired. A feature on a dvd doesn’t count. If it did than Heisnberg was Hal all along.
It was a great show that was ruined by terrible writing and stubbornness. Years later I can still watch and enjoy Roseanne as long as I don’t catch the last idiotic episode, but I haven’t even been able to stomach a re run of HIMYM. Maybe it’s to fresh, or maybe it can never be saved. I hope Carter Bays and Craig Thomas never work again. Below is a few comments made after the outrage.
“We wrote a comedy with dramatic elements till the very end,” he said in a series of Tweets. “Thanks for taking that ride with us
“We did a finale about life’s twists and turns and that is not always what happens…but THANKS!”
FUCK YOU fans but hey thanks for watching and making us rich assholes. ( I added this one)
If they were really dedicated to the idea of killing the mother it could have been done in the same fashion as all of the other drama in the show. The final season should have been about her dying. That way there could have been some screen time of the happiness Ted was supposed to find.
The idea of having the mother be dead and having Ted go hook back up with Robin in seconds of each other is the dumbest thing I have ever seen. It was terrible writing.
If they were so intent of having Robin and Ted be together they could have just had her as the mother, but they spent years creating a universe where it just wasn’t possible. I am not mad that Ted ended up with Robin and I am not mad that the mother was dead.
I am mad that it was written in the dumbest, most fan insulting way possible.