Friday Top 5 (How I Met Your Mother Edition)

A day late and I owe you a dollar, this week’s Top 5 centers around the series finale of How I Met Your Mother that aired Monday. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t explicitly spoil stuff, but, c’mon, it was like 5 days ago. The truth is I didn’t watch How I Met Your Mother regularly for most of its run; I only began watching it on the reg the past two seasons (though one is always able to catch up thanks to its ubiquitous reruns and it was, at least at one point, streaming on Netflix). I, like many people, thought the worst part of the show was the central protagonist, Ted, given his mopey, over sentimental ways that often put a damper on the rest of the characters enjoying their lives. But without further ado, here are five thoughts:

1. The final scene was probably indicative of the writers kicking themselves in the ass after the kids refer to Cobie Smulders as “Aunt Robin?!” in first season (first episode?) which ruined any chance for the big “fairy tale” ending. Maybe it was the plan all along. As my girlfriend pointed out, it stands to reason that Ted was telling his kids how he met their mother because (SPOILER) the mother was dead, though I’d offer it’s just as likely he’s telling them because he decided to tell another long winded, overly sentimental story, which would be a “Ted” thing to do.

The whole “Aunt Robin” thing is why I was never huge on any of the Ted drama, because for all his mopery, you knew all the drama between them rung hollow because she’s not “the mother”. Perhaps, if they hadn’t mentioned “Aunt Robin”, the finale could have been where Robin decides she wants kids, so that’s how he met the “mother”. But that’s all armchair quarterbacking.

2. The mother herself was forcefully quirky, like someone doing a bad Ted impression. Nothing she did over the course of her appearances caused me any sort of enjoyment.

3. Where’d Bob Saget go in all of this? Given that Ted, a grown man “grew up” to be Bob Saget (to steal a line from Family Guy), I was secretly hoping the big reveal would be that HIMYM was some weird, alternate reality time-warped prequel to Full House. I mean, (SPOILER), like Full House, the mother dies, so why not close with Ted, Marshall, and Barney doing their best Danny, Joey, and Jesse (which are oddly parallel…Rebecca Donaldson was a news anchor…so was Robin…and wasn’t the woman Danny might have married in one of the later seasons?) Alas, that was not to be, so let’s just enjoy another Full House alternate reality, Full House with Michelle removed.

4. A lot of it was still funny, and the Marshall/Lily and Barney resolutions were perfectly fine.

5. Has there been a good series finale to a sitcom…ever? Whether it’s because the show’s humor gets muddied by “emotional” events, or it’s all a giant recap (cough, Seinfeld, cough) that lacks punch, or other events that just feel bizarre and out of place, I usually end up disliking the series finales of comedy shows. I’m probably in a very small minority, but I’d like to see a series finale without resolution, one that implies that this universe you’ve been privvy to the past five to ten years will just continue on after you stop watching. That’s why, to me, and others, the real series finale of The Office was the penultimate episode, the last “regular” episode before a finale that felt more like an epilogue that was largely unnecessary. In a series like The Office, there should be a sense that the mundane existence of these people will continue on, long after the cameras stop rolling. So instead of new jobs and moves, weddings and births, I want a series finale that’s just another episode. Are there any recommendations out there?

Dishonorable Mention

George W. Bush, for making us endure his awful paintings like a parent hanging up some scribblings of a toddler on the refrigerator.

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