I’m not sure why, exactly, I started watching “How I Met Your Mother”. The show began its nine-season run in 2005, back when going out to bars and getting shitfaced with zero impunity was still a thing I did. That was a big part of the draw, I suppose. Idiots love nothing more than looking at their own reflection in a mirror. How else do you explain “Jersey Shore”?
Anyway, nine years was about six too many, and mercifully “HIMYM” will be put out to pasture next Monday night (even though we’ve already met the fucking mother, but I’ll get to that). Despite the fact that the show waned on me, I’m too stubborn to just cut my losses, so I’ve managed to keep up with it all the way through. Plus, part of me has always been curious to see how this one played out. And, like I said, I’m an idiot.
Since I’m the type of guy who gets emotionally invested in TV shows, come finale time things tend to get a little dusty at Chateau Old James. I blame “Full House” for this. And don’t even get me started on “Friday Night Lights,” which, for me at least, was the emotional equivalent to a longform ASPCA commercial. So knowing my history with TV shows, there’s a decent chance I get worked up when “HIMYM” comes to an end. Only this time it won’t be because I’ll miss the show when it’s over, but because it didn’t end with the titular character being strapped to an asteroid careening toward the sun.
I’m looking at you, Ted Mosby. Whole. E. Shit. Has a more annoying character ever appeared on TV? He’s the Steve Urkel of the Sundance crowd, and somehow that’s 1000x worse. For the uninitiated — and I’m completely jealous of you and the 200+ Monday nights you haven’t wasted, for the record — Ted is your prototypical suburban sad-sack, liberal arts educated, faux poet laureate douchebag who made Wilco a thing, and who’ll ensure the New Yorker stays in print on recycled Whole Foods bags long after all the trees have been harvested, because you just don’t understand the feel of the written word, you pleb.*
*What? That was a run-on sentence? GET OUT OF HERE NOW YOU MOSBY APOLOGIST!
The show has followed Ted, who I’m convinced sleeps in sweater over button-downed shirt patterned PJs, as he’s pointed his Chuck Taylor’s all over New York City in search of “the one”. Simple premise, and one that’s been done a million times before — only this time the story is being told from the future, letting the audience know from the get-go that the guy ends up getting the (or some) girl. The showrunners also decided on Bob Sagat to narrate the part of future Ted, because why wouldn’t they? Hey, who’s that guy who played the lovable dad in that one show? Then went full heel and did a movie where he claimed to enjoy himself a flesh-pop in exchange for something he could smoke out of a spoon? He’s free, right?
So Sagat Mosby starts telling the Mosby’s Jr. about his formative years growing up in the city. His best friend from college, Marshall, is in a long-term relationship with Lilly, another college friend, and they spend an inordinate amount of time at their favorite bar with yet another friend, Barney. Standard ratings fodder (see: advertising gold mine) and it’s all good and well. The first two or three seasons were actually pretty funny. The gang manages to get into enough goofy, entertaining shit, and the premise was clever enough to keep things fresh for a while. Ted started fawning over Robin, a character we’re made good and clear to understand ISN’T the mother, and they date, then break up, but it’s OK, because she ISN’T the mother, and they’re still friends. Robin moves on, Ted moves on, we all moved on.
Then, somewhere around the end of season three, we learned that you don’t throw shit into a fan because the mess it makes is horrendous.
See, Ted’s dating another girl, but Robin and Barney’s genitals have become more than friends, and Ted, naturally, is PERTURBED. The incident throws a wrench into the group’s dynamic, and in the season three finale — I shit you not, this is pulled straight from Wikipedia — this happens:
Ted gets into a car accident and ends up in hospital, Subsequently Barney gets hit by a bus on the way to visit him and ends up receiving treatment in the same hospital. Ted realizes Barney really cares about him and they renew their friendship. It is revealed Barney has true feelings for Robin, while Ted proposes to Stella in an arcade.
That screeching sound you hear is full-bore axel-on-pavement, for the wheels are now shrapnel, and this bus is headed straight for a circus tent.
The arcade proposal didn’t work out. Shocking, I know. Stella left Ted at the altar, so he did the only logical thing and moved in with Robin, and of course they started sleeping together, but Barney still had feelings for Robin, but she didn’t want anything serious, and oh Christ just dump it in a blender with an ad for Dewar’s and four thousand shitty “bro” puns, pulse, and you have what amounts to five seasons of garbage television. It could have been over last season. It should have been over last season.
It wasn’t over last season. Ever had a tapeworm? Me neither. But imagine a doctor removing one from your digestive tract, only he forgot the head, and it started to regenerate. That’s the ninth season of “HIMYM”.
I thought the most egregious act “HIMYM” would inflict upon the world was the bro-culture epidemic. (Fun fact: Barney Stinson has published four books. How’dya like them apples, MFA students?) No, instead of fading away after eight painstaking seasons, CBS awarded the show a victory lap. And like that final, painful sequence of a kidney stone entering the world, the showrunners decided to stretch a 48-hour Barney-Robin wedding weekend into an entire season of television. Fuck me with a yellow umbrella.
Several insanely annoying nuances have reared their head this season (like how Marshall, the 30-something apathetic dunce of a lawyer with seemingly no courtroom experience is suddenly a candidate to become a judge; or the 783 Karate Kid references), but it’s been Mr. Mosby who’s managed to steal all the meds and run naked through the asylum. Remember how Ted got left at the altar? Well, somewhere in season seven Ted convinced an ex-flame to leave her fiance at the altar. How has season nine Ted grown? By trying to hatch a scheme he hopes will convince Robin, the oft-ex who, in case you forgot, is marrying his friend, to LEAVE HIM AT THE FUCKING ALTAR. HE’S STILL HOLDING ON TO THIS SHIT! AND WE KNOW SHE ISN’T THE FUCKING MOTHER! THAT’S SOME GRADE-A SOCIOPATHIC SHIT! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and WHY IS THIS BANANA REPUBLIC MANNEQUIN STILL RUNNING HEADFIRST INTO THE FUCKING ANVIL?!?!
Barney and Robin got married this Monday night. So by all accounts, Ted’s pining for Robin has finally ceased, since at the wedding he met the woman who will mother those poor, poor kids listening to the worst story ever. With that out of the way, something tells me they’ll try to wrap this all up in some neat little sympathetic, tear-inducing little package on Monday (especially if this SPOILER ALERT is to be believed). BUT WHAT IF TED AND BARNEY BECOME POLYANDRISTS THEY COULD BOTH STILL HAVE ROBIN HOLY FUCK IT’S NEVER GOING TO END IS IT?!?!