Once, a very long time ago, I was an avid How I Met Your Mother fan. I loved the premise of the show, the actors, the storylines, all of it. A few seasons ago I lost my interest in it. Perhaps because they were slowly but surely growing up, settling into their lives as parents and husbands and wives. Whatever the reason, I stopped watching it regularly and only gleaned information about it from various tumblr users. When I heard about the series finale, I contemplated watching it despite my concerns as to how they’d wrap up a show I used to love. I decided, after seeing endless bloggers describing their hatred in overwhelming detail, that I couldn’t miss it. And honestly, I don’t understand what all the negativity is about. The show came around full circle, in the most perfect way. I looked deeper at some of the angered fans’ remarks, to get some sense of why they hated it so much. To all those who hated the finale, here are all the reasons you should actually love it. If you’re reading this I want to assume you’ve seen the finale already. But, if not, spoiler alert. You have been warned.
- They didn’t throw Barney’s character development away. Contrary to what everyone else seems to think, all of that growth didn’t just vanish. He was handling something that was completely new and unpleasant for him, a divorce. Everyone deals with things in their own way, and for Barney it was reverting back to his lethario past. His capacity to love, and the emotions he slowly revealed were still right beneath the surface. And it took looking into his daughter’s eyes for the first time to pull it all right back up. He needed to find love again to allow himself to be the Barney everyone came to know and love. It’s human nature to revert back to old behaviors in times of struggle. So if anything, I see Barney’s actions throughout the finale to be incredibly realistic.
- Yes, it is very sad that the mother died of an illness. And yes, there should be a grieving process. However, Ted and his children shouldn’t be depressed until the end of time. I’m not saying they should forget about her, not at all. But at some point, he has to move on with his life and find someone new. They had six whole years to deal with the loss, and to come to terms with it all in their own way. I’m sure there was plenty of crying, and late nights spent as a family in the living room sharing stories and looking through old photographs. I don’t doubt for a second that there was grieving, and neither should you. Just because they chose not to document the grieving process is no reason to be angry. People move on, it’s how the world works. Ever heard of the five stages of grief? Well the last stage is acceptance, and that’s exactly what the Moesby’s did. Accepted the reality, stored up the best memories, kept her in their hearts, and pushed forward.
- Ted ending up with Robin was actually brilliant, if you ask my opinion. I will admit that I am biased, considering my adoration of that couple, but that is beside the point. For starters, they made a pact years before promising they’d get married if they were forty and single. (I’d like to think that after the credits rolled they fell in love all over again, and spent the rest of their lives together as husband and wife.) And secondly, it paints a beautifully realistic picture. Sometimes you don’t get to spend forever with the person who is seemingly perfect for you. Things go wrong, the love can fade, or they could even pass away. The writers showed through Ted and Robin’s relationship that there can be love again. Even when you think the only person you could ever truly love is gone. Plus the reason their relationship didn’t pan out is because they wanted entirely opposite things in life. But he got his family, she established herself in the world of broadcast journalism, and now those things are no longer roadblocks to their otherwise happy relationship. Of course I may be unable to convince you that Ted and Robin winding up together was the perfect end for a not so perfect story. Especially if you happen to be a fan of Barney and Robin, like most. All I’ll say is, he stole a blue French horn for her.
- This brings me to Robin and Barney’s divorce. Even those who think they are meant for each other may not make it to the end. It’s the cold, hard truth of the matter. These two were depicted as remarkably similar throughout the entire run of the series. And, I will admit, it was clear that they were very much in love. But at the end of the day, she wanted her career more than she wanted to play housewife and there is nothing wrong with that. Not all marriages work out, we can’t all be Lily and Marshall. It is sad, and I can understand how the shippers feel let down. But it stays true to the real world, and I can appreciate a show that doesn’t just hand out perfectly happy endings to all. Life is about struggles as well as triumphs, and they captured both of these so wonderfully.
- It was a magnificent show, and one episode can’t possibly tarnish the other 207 episodes. People saying things like they’ll never watch the show ever again, and that the other seasons were basically meaningless frustrates me. It was one episode. So what if it didn’t turn out the way you expected. They gave us six wonderful characters who I’m sure practically became a part of your family. And over the course of nine seasons, we watched them grow into adulthood and many of you were probably dealing with the same situations. A ‘bad’ finale doesn’t make a bad show.