This article is incredibly spoiler heavy so if you haven’t seen the finale, or any of the ninth and, thankfully, final season, of one of the most importantly douchebagging shows of our time, then please do not read ahead, unless you give as little of a shit as I did going into this and want to know how those fuckwits who have allegedly known since the start how it would end, actually ended it. Unfortunately, you can’t get a refund on TV time, the way you can clothes and out of date food but, be bloody sure, I’m searching for the receipt on this one.
Dear Carter Bays and Craig Thomas,
I’m going to keep this as eloquent as I can, but when you’ve spent approximately 20 consecutive weeks trying to not smash your own TV with the only thing keeping you relatively sane (a glass filled with straight gin) and involved in the soul-crushingly badly written drama-like tripe which seemingly won’t fucking end, you lose not only your dignity, but your ability to enjoy the simplest pleasures. And it’s not like there’s one problem I can pinpoint and suggest you rectify in reverse once we get those time machines Michael J. Fox got to trial way back when. So I’m going to pick the top 10, in no particular order. Rest assured, there were more than 10 shitty things you and the writers did to ruin a show I unwittingly committed to, the same way I did Jesus, with the promise of hot men at church camp and free hot chocolate at Bible study. But we’d be here all day and, frankly, the 5000 minutes I already let you have were precious to me. Just because I watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians, does not mean I have time to waste. Just know that I hate you and have hated since you since the first episode of the ninth season. And this is why.
Mistake #1: Setting an entire season at a wedding
The same way Tarantino’s surrounded by Yes Men now, unable to tell him to cut a fucking thing, and no-one edited any of Stephenie Meyer’s books after the first, or even spell-checked them, there was clearly no-one in the vicinity to drop the all important bombshell: THIS IS NOT 24. There is no equivalent to Jack Bauer in this show. Hell, your lead character is a thinly veiled rip-off of Ross Geller (rest in peace, son), who’s had some spectacular moments (Teddy Westside, yo!) but for the most part has lived an incredibly boring, downright embarrassing life which he shouldn’t have lived let alone be telling his kids about. Why, why, why the fuck why did you think it was a grand old idea to move the location of the all important final season to a terribly plastic looking set, instead of using MacLaren’s? Apologies for the Friends comparisons, but can you imagine season 10 of that not taking place in Central Perk, but instead all the friends going on a road trip to some random hotel, and the 24 episodes covering one weekend of time? No? Because that’s a fucking mental idea! Whenever Jennifer Aniston and co went on road trips anywhere for more than an episode, plot was tenuous at best. And in the way Manhattan is the most important character in Sex and the City, MacLaren’s is the heart of this show. When you forgot that, you erased what made HIMYM great. I’m only at mistake #1 and I feel like I just realised my boyfriend of 8 years doesn’t understand me at all.
Mistake #2: Marshall’s disastrous road trip, or, letting Jason Segel only show up to set for 5 episodes so he could make a movie with Cameron Diaz (fuck off please)
I’m sorry, but WHAT? If you couldn’t schedule the filming of the show so that all your principles could be fucking bothered to show up to set and shoot scenes alongside the other actors who are apparently their best friends and relatives, then maybe you should’ve ended the show last season? What I don’t want to see is Jason Segel showboating solo on an infuriating and pointless car journey alongside a cliched character I’ve never seen before, and won’t again, while the other actors all show up to set and deliver lines which prompt me to remember that the now, apparently, most famous and busy member of the crew is in fact still a part of the ensemble, just having transport issues.
I do not want the cast to interact with him via FaceTime on an iPad or to hear one more thing about the pillow-shaped version of him. I’d prefer it if you’d killed the character off and all we had left was the pillow version with Alyson Hannigan sadly fucking it to sleep each night. Which is sort of what was happening at one point, anyway, but I need that closure. You could’ve at least had the courtesy to close the show with dignity and then give your favourite cast member their own spin-off and seen how long that lasted (Joey for the win!)
Mistake #3: Introducing the mother at the end of season 8, also known as blowing your load too soon, and giving us the worst possible back story (and future) for her
I get it. You want us to love her. You want us to love her how you love her, as you’ve known ALL about her since you conceived the show all those years ago. You know what, though? It’s not going to happen. Especially not when you drop heavy hints that she’s going to DIE, or you introduce her to the characters one by one in the most ludicrous meet-cutes of the century. By all accounts, Cristin Milioti is awesome. She’s loveable without being annoying. I don’t know how she achieved this feat given the dreadful scripts she’s had to deal with (the most depressing back story involving the love of her life dying, for one). But she really was and is everything the mother should be. BUT, you killed her. BUT ALSO, in introducing her before the season, but making us wait an entire year before the actual meeting between her and Ted takes place, you made a mockery of us. You might think you were all twisty-turny-rom-com cute about it. But, grandad(s), if I can call you that, you not only managed to make every yellow umbrella coincidence seem like the most boring incidental detail by compiling them all in one shitty, non-serendipitous episode, you made us pass the point of frustration in which everything’s still sort of sexy and we’re wet and we want it, so that we’ve spent the past 6 months feeling crusted, embarrassed and awful. Maybe that’s just me. But I don’t think so. Because you fucking killed her, you douches.
Mistake #4: Trying to make us believe that Ted and Robin are this decade’s Ross and Rachel (when everyone knows it’s Nick and Jess or Olivia and the President)
I’m not obsessed with Friends. I was when I was 13 and had the Rachel haircut much to the detriment of my middle school dating abilities. But there was a couple we cared about. And, like, everyone cared about it. Ted and Robin, not so much. By the fifteenth time the writers tried to convince me they were still in love or in love again or going to kiss because someone thought it was a good idea, I was shouting, “Oh, please!” at the TV, and the very fact this was happening, like it was some baseless meant-to-be bullshit, destroyed my belief in love a little bit more. Because this was a couple that didn’t work. Hell, Robin’s character has evolved more than almost any other sitcom character in recent years. Robin Scherbatsky was a shell of a woman when we met her, beautiful but characterless, but Cobie Smulders has comic timing and someone finally realised this around the season 3 mark and made Robin batshit crazy. There is no way in hell that these two were meant to be together. Robin and Barney, that strangely made sense. But Ted and Robin: boring boring boring. No-one cares if they live or die at this point. I preferred when Ted lost hope in everything, tbh. The idea that Robin is his salvation is about as convincing as Russell Crowe playing Noah of Noah’s Ark fame.
Mistake #5: So many fucking flash forwards (try-hard pricks)
I get it. You’re smart. You’re beyond smart. You’re so fucking smart your brain is a drawer of tangled string but you know where all the ends are and could untangle it in a second. I couldn’t give a shit though. This was the worst finale of the last twenty years because it tried too hard. Sure, some of the flash forwards were fun: finding out Robin and Barney got divorced having just had to sit through the longest wedding weekend of all time which made no sense at all, was HILARIOUS. Finding out that the 5 BFFs we know and love couldn’t find a way to still be friends, despite all the shit they’d already gone through, was SUPER FUN. And seeing the mother die after hearing all the wonderful stories about how she was the 626th woman Ted Mosby banged, well, that was sort of dull. She was lying in a hospital bed for approximately 5 seconds of screen time, then Ted’s kids were convincing him to date Aunt Robin who he was clearly in love with. I’m sorry, but someone please explain to me how this is romantic or is meant to make me hopeful for my life and everyone else’s? Why didn’t you just fast forward to 2100 when everyone’s dead and spend a 40 minute lingering shot on Ted’s grave stone. That would’ve made me LOL.
Mistake #6: Hiring the cast of SNL to do their thang
Your show is high profile. Everyone wants to be on it. Kudos for getting the likes Katie Holmes, Lucy Hale & Rachel Bilson to appear, they were all super lush and appreciated. But why in season 9 did you create so many ridic arcs for your most unlikeable characters for our comedy sensibilities to enjoy?
First up, Jeanette was a crazy recurring girlfriend for Ted I could’ve done without, who didn’t need to come back. Secondly, Gary fucking Blauman. The episode featuring this cunt wipe of a character was also called “Gary Blauman” and involved each of the characters saying the name Gary Blauman approximately 152 times, as they dramatically revealed to the audience whether they loved or hated him, keeping us in seconds of pent-up expense which were about as exciting as using a supermarket basic range toilet paper. Fuck you Gary Blauman. But mainly, why were you invited to the wedding when no-one likes you and we’ve never fucking seen you before? Or we have but who even cares. Bye.
Mistake #7: More wigs than American Hustle
You might not think this is important, but there is nothing more distracting than a terrible wig. Or twenty. The only thing that could ruin Gravity for me more than the terrible, terrible script was Sandra Bullock’s rat wig. And the same applies here. I dig the gray hair, totally. Ted’s never looked daddy hotter. But the terrible flash forward and back wigs, made me puke into my pyjama shirt pocket, and that ain’t waterproof, brah. The worst wig award of the finale goes to Aunt Robin in the future when she dresses like a middle class English baroness, and has hair like a twelve year old boy (and not a cool one at that).
Mistake #8: Being so unclear about what love is
This might seem like a weird one. But this show is all about one man’s quest for love, the telling of that story, in excruciating detail, to his children, year’s later, and how his friends helped him get there. Ted’s a soulmate guy, after that one person that understands him and can make everything okay. If the final season did anything right, it was in the snapshots we got of Future Ted with Future The Mother, as they clearly understand each other’s jokes, spend time with someone who’s a bit kooky in the head, comfortably, and have an unspoken vibe that this is it. But it’s not. Because as Ted finishes the story, his children tell him he’s in love with Robin, that he should call her, date her, kissy-kissy, whatevs. As noted previously, the show wanted us to think Ted and Robin might be end-game, every step of the way, even when it was past the point of realism. So what is love now? Is Robin Ted’s true love? Was the mother a baby-making machine only? Was Barney an unnecessary blip of a divorce statistic? I used to like the occasional shocking spanners this show threw at our foreheads (Robin’s infertility, the death of Marshall’s father), but it never used to waver on what love is, and the important search for it. But the finale has left me feeling like love isn’t only replaceable but inconsequential. Not at all urgent and amazing like the yellow umbrella had me believing all those years back. In fact, I’m pretty depressed about love right now. Cheers.
Mistake #9: The episode delivered entirely in rhyme
I don’t need to explain this one, do I? For the record, the musical episodes were always pretty great, utilising NPH. Why you thought Jason Segel could play performance poet for the day, I’ll never know. When my kids ask me what hell’s like, I’ll show them this, so thanks, I guess. You utter cunts.
Mistake #10: Ending 9 years THAT WAY
There were so many annoying things that happened this season, I’ve barely touched on it. Honestly, I’ve not only repressed the details, but extinguished them altogether. This isn’t the only sitcom to end in a way which seemed totally untrue to the rest of the series. The Office, also, gave its finale a structure completely unlike a regular episode of the sitcom itself. And that’s a major problem. Because surely, at the very end, you should celebrate all that was great? The flash forwards were super weird and depressing, and although it was sort of interesting to see what happened to the characters, it was shit. The things that happened were shit. And if that’s representative of life, that’s fine. Life is shit. People get sick and die. The people we love don’t live as long as we want them to. But us mere mortals aren’t creating shows with misleading titles like How I Met Your Mother. Call me crazy, but I wanted the ending to be just that: the meeting, the start, the potential, the beginning. I didn’t want to bury her. I’d only just met her. And I certainly didn’t want some stock hook-up between two lonely middle-aged saddos with bad wigs/haircuts. That’s not sexy. It’s not sweet. It’s slightly psychopathic and incredibly weird.
Carter, Craig: All the best with your future endeavours. Maybe next time don’t worry what you thought the end should be at the start. Maybe listen to the fans. Or write a novel where you can play god and the audience doesn’t matter. But here, we mattered. And you fucked us. Goodbye forever. BTW, have you met Ted? Because I got the impression you never had, as this was not Classic Schmosby, crying face emoticon the end of everything.