In a way, hindsight being what it is, it was fairly foreseeable that How I Met Your Mother would come to an anticlimactic end.
After all, other gimmicks aside, the central conceit of the show was that it was a shaggy dog story: a comedic form with a deliberately longwinded, convoluted set-up that builds to a calculated anticlimax designed to make you groan.
Of course, a shaggy dog story isn’t supposed to make the audience angry… and the audience was livid with How I Met Your Mother when ‘Last Forever’ aired in 2014.
Showrunners Carter Bays and Craig Thomas had stretched out season nine to cover a single weekend over eight hours of television and brought us the perfect Mother in Cristin Milioti’s luminous, witty Tracy; ‘Last Forever’ offed her by voiceover in seconds. Worse, minutes later future Ted - he of the narrative framing device - was paired with Robin, who the show had spent years telling us was no good for him, as if she was the woman he was predestined for.
Nothing makes fans hate a TV show more than when it insults their intelligence - well, How I Met Your Mother’s series finale managed to insult the intelligence of its creators, too. They’d have to be halfwits, not to mention tone deaf storytellers, to believe that this was the right way to bring nine years of eager expectation to a close.
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