Apr. 1st, 2014

fengi: (Tubey)
Holy shit. I thought the finale might be a bit disturbing in tone and execution, but that was over the top.

Conceptually it was a good idea to both plan and shoot the final scene years in advance and it could have worked. In concept, it's a great idea: Ted is talking about how he met his wife because it's too sad to talk about how he lost her and he realizes he should move on with his life and he's reconnected with Robin after his wife's death.

The way they chose to execute it, however, was as badly done as one might expect from show which is all about mothers who are rarely part of the story. [This was true even before the ending - the two biggest stories about parents involved Barney and Marshall's dads. Moms did appear, but were not as central to the show.]

Thus it plays out as: Ted meets his idealized love object who then pretty much dies off screen and serves little purpose besides a birth vessel for his framing devices who provide approval for the notion Ted has earned Robin's love because dead wife equals personal growth.

As other blogs point out, the overarching story is a widower talking himself and his kids into admitting that he wanted to nail his ex the whole time.

A big problem was that in their eagerness to hide the final twist, they made it so Ted's acceptance he and Robin weren't meant to be was part of his growth as a person. That's a pretty big dramatic point to make into a red herring, and needs more one line of dialogue about how Aunt Robin has been around a lot to counter. This ends up giving Ted very little to show he and Robin have changed and grown close in ways which would justify getting together for some reason other than habit.

It became creepier the other elements: after years of character growth, Barney reverts to sexist pig then "transforms" after he has a daughter by a mother who is only identified as #31 in a month of hookups. It's implied he's raising the kid but how? Loveless marriage, sole custody, what? Then there's a scene in which he chastises women for being like the ones he was fucking compulsively before. This guy will be an awful father. Neal Patrick Harris had the skills to pull off a slowly changing creepy Pick Up Artist, but this script gave him nothing.

Lily and Marshall are cute, but it's still creepy how Lily's aspirations beyond kids are never mentioned while Marshall's career is celebrated.

Meanwhile Robin is the only woman with a defined career, and she's repeatedly called "Yeti" cold and ends up divorced, childless, living alone with many dogs and ready for Ted to make her part of his story

By getting so many notes wrong, a clever twist ending becomces an epic reactionary Nice Guy fable. The dude gets friendzoned, gets the manic pixie dream girl, the kids and eventually the friend who's amazing life was empty without him.

Some episodes of this show were very funny, because the cast was pretty awesome and the comedy was tight. As Time put it: "Intellectually, maybe that destination did make sense...People take years to find themselves, people drift apart and come back together, people die too soon. A great series could tell those stories and lay out those complicated, hard truths. The problem is, that is not the series that How I Met Your Mother was for the previous nine years. It was just the series it tried to force itself to be for its last hour." And in doing so, it was creepy.