[Contains unconvincing talcum-powder-covered wigs and SPOILERS!!!]
Last night E4 broadcast the How I Met Your Mother series finale here in the UK, with TV guides warning viewers that the twisty ending had proven “divisive” for American audiences, when it originally aired back in March.* Personally, I’ve hated this show since the pilot, when the writers pulled that bullshit “Aunt Robin” twist ending, so a very petty part of me was delighted to see so many long-time fans belatedly sharing my hate. The show began with a bullshit Robin twist, and it ended with a bullshit Robin twist… so it goes. The showrunners curb-stomped their own legacy, for the sake of sticking to a long-term vision they’d set in stone (or at least on video) back at the beginning of the second season, when they secretly recorded the main character’s teenage children cheerfully encouraging him to go hook up with the woman he was really in love with all those years he was faking it with their stinky dead mother. Gah!
In fact the whole framing device with the kids is one of the reasons I always found this show so annoying in concept… I mean, Future-Ted sits them down and claims he’s going to tell them the story of how he met their mother, but they didn’t even cast an actress to play her until the eighth season! So, up until that point he’d just been telling his kids about all of the women he’d dated/slept with before he met their deceased mother, and all of the men and women his friends had dated/slept with, and all of the totally irrelevant and wanky little adventures they’d had together FOR EIGHT F*CKING YEARS BEFORE THEIR MOTHER EVEN HAD A FACE!!! That said, even if Robin had been the eponymous “Mother”, I still wouldn’t have watched the show, because I’ve always found its narration-heavy, flashback-happy style of humour annoying, and its main characters rather obnoxious… but at least I wouldn’t feel the red mist descending every time I caught the end of an episode, while waiting for something better to come on.
Besides killing my crush on Alyson Hannigan (though not ‘Willow Rosenberg’, thankfully), the show also taunted me by casting numerous fantastic actors and actresses in supporting roles… including Lyndsy Fonseca as Future-Ted’s daughter ‘Penny’, and Cristin Milioti as ‘Tracy McConnell’ (aka “The Mother”… aka “The Betrayed Wife”… aka “That Worm-Food Woman”). At least Fonseca was able to move on to bigger and better things before the shit hit the fan… but poor Milioti was stood right next to that fan, without so much as a yellow umbrella to protect her. Sigh…
[Note: I realise that critiquing a series I’ve only seen two full episodes of is a total dick move… but I had to get this off my chest, dammit!]
* Bizarrely, my listings guide also casually spoiled the episode’s twist ending in its “what’s on tonight” write-up… which must have been intensely frustrating for anyone who was actually invested in the show.