Tuesday, April 1, 2014

HIMYM: Finale

I have watched from the beginning - never missed an episode.  9 years with the gang at MacLarens and I don't even drink.  Back before HIMYM was pronounced "HIM-YIM" and everyone knew about Robin Sparkles, slap bets, interventions and the play book, I was entertained by their clever humor - and characters.  For awhile during that first season, I thought I was the only one and I thought it might be cancelled.  But, it wasn't.  And with a slow build - it lasted 9 years and gained a following.  A following I didn't realize existed until the series finale.  

I loved the finale.  The more I think about it, the more I love it.  The more I love it, the more sad I am to say good-bye to the gang at MacLarens.  I feel a bit grief stricken by it.  But, I expected to be sad - I've realized in this last season, how much I am endeared to these characters as some of my best TV friends.  What I didn't expect and the reason I had to write this out - is how very many people hated it.  They didn't just not like it - they hated it.  And I just don't get it.  Part of the beauty of the end of this story - is that it is the end of the story that they have been telling us all along.  The pieces were doled out slowly and subversively - but the clues were there.  They were ALWAYS telling THIS story.  This story.  The one where the mother, Tracy - who is Teds soul mate, has been dead for 6 years and the kids know its time for Ted to be with Robin.  Over the years, there have been so many reveals that this is the story they were telling.  From the reveal of the mothers name in season 1 in the aside about the stripper named "Tracy".  To the severe sentimentality to which everything about the mother is regarded.  I remember thinking through the very long 'Robins locket hunt' that went on this season, that I didn't really understand why they were telling THIS part of the story.  Especially because I knew our time with this gang was short - I felt a little perplexed about why this locket had to be chased down by Ted and we had to see the hint of his ever present affection for Robin even moments before she got married.  Why did Robin have to look Ted square in the face before marrying Barney - and ask why she wasn't marrying Ted?  I kept thinking - there has to be a reason - why this is an important part of the story.  I always felt like it was okay for Ted to pine for Robin through the thick of it.  He hadn't met the mother yet - he didn't know what could be - and Robin was always this great love of his life, who just didn't want what he wanted out of life (yet).  I've had one of those, I get it.  Sometimes you don't get to be with someone you adore, because you want different things.  I get it.  But, I didn't get why it was important to keep showing it up until the very second he met that Mother.   If this were all real and those things happened - wouldn't these details be edited out?  And it was all because they knew the end from the beginning.  

But, now it all makes sense.  This was always the story they were telling.  It always was.  It all adds up.  For me, it all rings true.  They showed us this end all along.     The show has been the sitcom version of Jeopardy throughout - most often revealing the answer - before we can even guess what the question could be.  The fun of this show was in the reveal and in finding out the question.  Aunt Robin. Goat. Barneys getting married.  Pineapple.  (Still no question on this one).  We got the big answer in the pilot of this show.  Robin is not Ted's kids mother,  but she's a really important part of this story.  

I imagine most of the 'haters' are reacting to the whiplash of cramming all the big happenings of this
gang from Barney and Robins wedding through 2030 into 44 minutes.  It was a lot of reveals - a lot
of answers and it was hard to catch up with the questions.  It made me really want there to be more show.  I do wish more of this last season was spent on the happenings they packed into the few short minutes of the finale instead of just the wedding events. (Though, the full season over one weekend experiment was a win, IMO). I wish there was just more: 

More Barney and Robins 3 successful years of marriage
More #31
More Barney as a Dad
More Judge Fudge
More Renaissance Fair decorating
More Explanations: Pineapple
More Answers to Questions: Where Ted And Tracys kids were at their wedding
More Answers to Questions: Why Ted let 7 years pass with his soulmate - not married.  He was always so the marrying kind. 
More moments: How the gang supported each other through more real loss
More moments: A little of Robin and Ted being 'so obvious' when Robin is over for dinner in 2030
Infinitely more of that mother, of Tracy McConnell - and more of TM and TM.  Their courting, more of their firsts, more of her with the gang.  More Mother. The Cristin Milotti and Josh Radnor chemistry was so fun to watch - more, more, more

I think the upset fans - just want their own 'more's.  We've become accustomed to getting all the details - in decidedly non-linear ways, of course - but all the details nonetheless.  I just don't understand any fan that is upset by the facts of the end - because this show has been telling us these facts all along - they knew the end from the beginning - so the information was all there.  There is a reason the 'theory' that the mother was dead was even theorized to begin with - because it was in there.  In the storytelling.  Its a great story.  Two great loves.  Growth.  Love.  Aging.  Unity.  Support. Magic. Family. Fun. Funny. Sincerity.  Sentimentality. Legend....(wait for it) dary Friendships. Legendary storytelling.

The finale just hit so many right notes for me.  I really loved it.  And nothing could top  my all time favorite version of  Downtown Train (by Everything But The Girl - back in the days before they went techno) underscoring the pivotal meet cute as Ted finally meets Tracy.  Perfect song.  Pitch-perfect introductions. Speedy wrap up.  It made me realize why I have loved this show.  This is my generation. The show runners can go back and pull up a tune from the early 90s and know that it works.  I'm one of them.  Same age as the actors and show runners - similar goings on - similar (though far less funny) groups of friends - only in my life we'd be found around a TV sharing treats - instead of around a table at a pub sharing drinks.  How I will miss this story, these characters and this very particular type of masterful storytelling genius.  How I have loved this show.   I'm clearly a sentimental mess.

Thanks for the memories HIMYM gang!

PS -I wrote about HIMYM back in 2008 - my love for it is bright:  HIMYM and DHMD

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