As a fan of ‘How I Met Your Mother’, of course I was one of those who are enraged by how the creators ended the series. If I haven’t seen all, I would say that it’s probably one of the worst season’s finales in the history of sitcoms, even series.
Having said that, I think there’s still one good thing that came out of it. Alyson Hannigan. As the series developed, she became the most well-rounded character in it’s final episodes. Every Lily’s heartbreak, be it the realisation that she’s just not “artsy” enough to pursue a career as an artist or many things eventually changed with the gang, felt more sincere than many emotions delivered by almost any character in sitcoms I’ve ever watched. Just like what Alyssa Rosenberg said in Washington Post’s blog, “Lily’s heartbreak is rooted in the same ideas about adult relationships…”
This is one of the strengths of televison format compared to movie, I think. It gives time for the creators to develop the characters and the actors to, in a way, BE the characters.
Sitcoms are mostly, if not all, are clichés. Friends, maybe one of the most celebrated sitcoms, is definitely built on piles of clichés. It is then, or probably still, considered very successful. Though after re-watching some of it’s early episodes, I found myself just couldn’t laugh at it or connected to it like I used to. Maybe I just don’t relate to it anymore (I didn’t really relate to it the first time it aired because I was not on the same life’s phase) or maybe now I see it just as neatly knitted clichés, right to very end.
Now back to HIMYM. I guess I still can’t digest why the creators decided to cramp everything in the last 2 episodes and they’re not even well-cramped! Of course HIMYM is also one of those sitcoms that’s built on piles of clichés but somewhere along the way they managed to develop the characters and made those who follow the series feel connected to it. Which I kinda like, no real black or real white.
But then they just threw away years and years of characters’ development into two disastrous episodes. Well, season 9 wasn’t exactly an exciting and great season anyway; it is stretched way too long, but still. It nullifies the entire “adult life lessons” that they’ve been saying to their audience for the past 5 seasons (starting from when Barney and Robin began to have feelings for each other but tried to hide it because of the Bro Code) that “you don’t always get what you want in life” and trash it into Disney black hole where “the boy finally gets the girl of his dream and they lived happily ever after”.
It’s so sloppy, messy and wrecked I begin to think that it was intentional. Now here’s my theory. Maybe, just maybe, somewhere along the way the creators thought that they want to create one of the most unforgettable unexpected season finales in the history of TV series. So they decided to ruin it, big time. After lots of twists and turns, they finally made one last huge twist, a huge disappointment one to most fans. And if that’s the case, well then I salute them. Because that, would make a brilliant plot to make fun of the whole series and it’s devoted fans and life, really. But if not, then I supposed it’s just a very very very bad decision.
I guess life DOESN’T always turn out to be just the way people want it to be. So once a jerk will always be a jerk, no matter how much you’ve learnt that it’s the emptiness inside that drove all of your inhuman behaviours, you just can’t help it. You’re born with the DNA. You don’t have the capabilities to think or to feel, because your fate has been predetermined.
And I guess in real life, just like the Disney life, the guy (or the girl) always gets the girl (or the guy) of his dream, eventually. Just as long as you keep the dream (or the illusion) alive, date some people along the way and even marry someone that you love enough to have a family with, then once she’s off the hook, and you, who always secretly wish to be with her, are also off the hook, you can always try to rekindle the romance, right? The once short-lived relationship with the girl who think of you as a back up plan that you romanticised in your head for years. And the ambitious girl who were willing to give up her marriage for her career and pathetically seemed quite happy when her back up plan, the “ideal” guy, suddenly showed up in front of her apartment with the blue French horn after oh I don’t know how many years and suddenly just forgot that she was never really in love with him but as ambitious as she is now and as determine as she always has been, it is only reasonable to settle for the guy that seems to check all the right boxes in traditionalists how-to-find-the-one-that-will-last-forever manual’s checklist. Yup! That’s THE dream. After all, first love never dies, right?
Almost sounds like Diana-Charles-Camilla’s love triangle there, minus the complications of class value sets and royal family rules. Oh and plus he was never (I guess) a pathetic back up plan for her.
“Last Forever” what now? They never really got to make those last episodes, right?