Sitcom finale’s always disappoint. Always. They either go full maudlin and forget to be funny, or they work too hard to provide finality and so screw up the chemistry, or they don’t do anything at all (hi, Seinfeld!). This happens because sitcoms are built on the idea “these people, in this scene, are funny.” Ending that arbitrarily is delicate work.
But HIMYM had a point! A purpose! A climax, built into the title. This was an easy lay-up. Instead, they spiked the ball in our face and ran off.
But don’t take my word for it. Savor the sweet, sweet, fan rage from around WordPress: (Obviously, SPOILERS!)
FESTINOVERINI: How I Made Your Mother a Back-Up Plan Until I Have The Chance To Pursue The (What I Delusionally Think) Love Of My Life: “Maybe, just maybe, somewhere along the way the creators thought that they want to create one of the most unforgettable unexpected season finales in the history of TV series. So they decided to ruin it, big time.“
daniellepc: How I Was Disappointed By a Finale: “Look, maybe we could have handled old widow Ted having another crack at love with Robin, if it wasn’t for a few things.“
muchsports: How I Met Your Mother – Why I am Actually Mad: “The idea would have worked if the show had been 4 to 5 seasons, but it wasn’t. It was 9.“
acoupleofyears: Why HIMYM’s Finale Let Us Down: “it felt like they were telling a story that started with ‘ Oh I had this friend, who was so funny, and….legen….wait for it…dary….Playbook…..HAHAHA!’
And when we ask: ‘ Oh, what happened to him in the end?’
Their answer was ‘ Oh…you know, he got a girl pregnant and became a father.’”
themedia10.com: Is The How I Met Your Mother Ending Inexcusable?: “The entire ending was believeable, it was just executed in a way that didn’t allow the audience to breathe.”
Obligatory Apologetics - Jon Negroni: Why You Hated the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Finale: “You hated the way the show ended because you thought it was “How I Met Your Mother,” not “How I Got Permission From My Kids To Marry Aunt Robin.””
This last one makes some decent points. Yes, there’s an internal logic to this story being told this way. Yes, this was really the plan all along, with has the benefit of making the last two seasons of BarneyRobinBarneyRobin at least a clever Rube Goldberg device.
But Blackmailers Don’t Shoot nailed it. How I Met Your Mother Dies a Screaming Death, Covered In It’s Own Blood: “At the end of the day, those of us who stayed with this show to the end are Girl 31. We knew that we were being used. It wasn’t going to end well and they wouldn’t respect us in the morning. It was fun, but not worth it.“