Series Finales: Doing it Right

Series finales are tough. They are even tougher when they need to be cobbled together at the last minute. Often plot lines are left hanging. The sense of closure feels stilted, mainly because things were closed to the best of their ability. Worst yet a bad finale can leave a bad taste in ones mouth for a series that was otherwise beloved. It can take a hot and cold show and turn it into a jumbled mess that leaves the audience wanting for more. Those cobbled together finales happen a lot. Shows go out best when the writers and actors are prepared for what is to come. It allows them to create and ending that actually feels like an ending. With the end of the season coming, there are a lot of shows are looking at their impending end. I’m fairly certain not all of them will go out with that heartfelt ending all shows wish to give. But if the first series finale of the season done, if it was anything like that one we are looking at a lot of heart wrenching moments. How I Met Your Mother just ended its nine year run with one of the best finales I’ve ever seen.

Ted and Tracy

Ted and Tracy

What How I Met Your Mother Did Right
From the beginning, How I Met Your Mother had a set of writers and showrunners that had an idea for the show and knew how to execute. It was never afraid to throw in the deep moments in really impactful ways. I can’t remember a season of How I Met Your Mother when I didn’t cry at least once. The comedy part became second nature for the show. And while that humor was lackluster at times, they could rely on them delivering something solid for the finale and they did. We quickly moved from the reception of Barney and Robin’s wedding into the future where we quickly see that same marriage fall apart. There were always doubts between the pair and no one can truly tame the LEGENDARY Barney Stinson (except his future daughter). A daughter was exactly what Barney needed, but he could never have that with Robin, so in many ways their parting was both just an inevitable for the true progression of his character.

The real story was always Ted and the Mother, who we learned her name was Tracy. We’d spent 9 seasons waiting to see the two finally get together. It’s a long time to invest in derails on the journey to meeting Tracy, but it was all worth it. We got to see how genuinely in love he was with Tracy. Their relationship felt both sweet and real. And while we didn’t get to see much of them together, we got to see the love and that was all that we needed. For the brief time they were together it actually felt right, but there was more to the story. Tracy had got sick six years before the story and past away. Ted had never seemed to let that go as he was her love, but there was another great love in his life. One that had been their all along. His kids recognized this. The entire story wasn’t about how Ted met Tracy. It was about how Robin always had a piece of Ted’s heart from the moment that she walked into his life.

What makes the story so great, so impactful is the fact that the showrunners had this in mind for a long time. They’ve been able to go over things and make it clear. If you notice some of the best callbacks in the finale actually originated from early in the show (cockamouse and blue french horn). Heck, the kids reactions to the story were shot years ago. The showrunners were ready to go out on a high and it shows. That sort of preparation is what allows a finale to be great.

Gus and Shawn

Gus and Shawn

Upcoming Finales
How I Met Your Mother is far from the only show ending their series run this year. On USA, Psych came to an end after 9 years ending the ridiculous sleuthing of Shawn and Gus with the Santa Barbra PD. Syfy is ending both Being Human and Warehouse 13. Being Human has been a rollercoaster of a ride this final season and while I’m sad to see it go while it was finally gaining popularity, I’m glad they got to craft the season from the ground up as the final season. HBO’s True Blood is also coming to and end after 7 increasingly crazy seasons. Raising Hope will also air its final episode this spring. While it wasn’t definite if Raising Hope would be coming back or not, the creators designed the episode to serve as a send off.

What did you think of the series finale of How I Met Your Mother? What shows do you like that are ending this year?

2 thoughts on “Series Finales: Doing it Right

  1. On the HIMYM finale. I agree it was good enough, but not great. Personally I think it would have been stronger if we got to spend a bit more time with the mother. But, I guess the whole point of the show was how Ted met her. Not how they dated.

    • I was also hoping that we’d get to see more of Ted and Tracy as a couple. I feel it really would have cemented their relationship and made it feel like it wasn’t just a short blip in his life. Thankfully I wiped much of my hopes from my mind when they said this final season would be all about the wedding weekend.

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