There’s an almost in the title, simply because a bad finale can’t ruin a good show. Having said that, if finales were the deciding factor to judge how a show was; HIMYM sucked. It joins the likes of numerous series finales that have failed to end things well. And it does make the endings of Dexter and Lost look so good.
Though many might consider HIMYM to be inspired by F.R.I.E.N.D.S., I feel it draws more inspiration from the best comedy show of all time- Cheers. The idea of running gags and a lot more can be attributed to this show- it ran for 11 years and had its season finale in 1993 a year before the first episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. even premiered. And the last episode of Cheers supposedly inspired the last episode of HIMYM.
But, as any one who has watched Cheers would know- Sam and Diane don’t end up together. Sam heads back to Cheers in Boston, leaving Diane to go to Los Angeles. And I wish the creators of HIMYM would pay attention to that information- I really wouldn’t mind Ted Mosby owning MacLaren’s pub. (Speaking of Cheers, remember “Swarley“? S02E07 of HIMYM)
The shabby last episode compressed happenings of numerous years into a single episode- as if someone pushed the narrative into hyper-drive. The ending bit involving Ted’s kids, was filmed at the start of season two. So this was always going to be the way HIMYM ended. This ending would probably make sense if the series ended with season two or three. But after nine seasons and so much fucking emotional investment into characters, it doesn’t hold up. Not one bit.
Over the years, HIMYM evolved in narrative and plot structure. The gags started getting bigger and the show hit numerous high-points in its run. And then the creators realised that it was a fucking sitcom. The mother (Tracy) had to die, cause all she had to do was give birth to Ted’s children (and at the same time justify the title)- she served her bit. Her death happens off-screen cause you know why; she isn’t important. And going out of character, Ted doesn’t mourn her death onscreen; he’s the guy who was waiting for the perfect woman all along- and the perfect woman is dead for crying out loud! Robin got the career she wanted and lost Barney in the process. And then Ted’s kids are all okay with him boning Aunt Robin. Marshall and Lily continue to be how they are and we will never know the mother of Barney’s baby. It’s all too perfect. Damn! Never ever believe the creators of a sitcom. And what the fuck happened to the pineapple?
It was basically the 9 year long glorified version of Kuch Kuch Hota Hain with Neil Patrick Harris and without Salman Khan , and that thought pains immensely. Not the Salman Khan bit but you know what I mean. They should have just named it How I want to do Aunt Robin, but I need to justify it.
Amidst all the gags and jokes, HIMYM told us that life just happens to us and we have to deal with the good and bad. And I guess we have to just live with a pathetic ending to a not so pathetic show. Cause life’s like that.
But the creators have said that they have an alternate ending (through the magic of editing) that will be out in the DVD release. Or you could make do with the fan made ending that’s out in the wild since they removed it from YouTube (ignoring all the other copyright violations, they sure are pissed).