I have a theory about the How I Met your Mother series finale.
If you loved it, you don’t believe that there is only one soul mate for each person in the world.
If you hated it, you’re a love at first sight, one perfect soul mate for everyone kind of person. (Basically, you’re an early series Ted)
I loved the finale. Because it was so perfectly HIMYM. HIMYM was a sitcom, but it wasn’t a traditional one. And I think that they hid it so well, that people tuned in expecting a happily ever after sitcom kind of finale. And what they got was a HIMYM finale.
HIMYM wasn’t just a silly little sitcom about a dreamy romantic dude and the friends who tried to help him through his often ridiclous romantic issues.
HIMYM was a dramedy sitcom about a group of friends growing up together. But Carter and Craig hid that layer of the show so well that you could watch it as a tradational laugh track sitcom about love.
Think about it with me for a second.
During the course of this series (in no particular order):
1. Everyone cheats or is cheated on (except Lily and Marshall)
2. The most romantic guy ever has his world rocked when his parents tell him they got divorced…like two years ago. Because despite the fact that they loved each other, they were too fundamentally different as people to make it work. (which is a recurring theme of the series)
3. Everyone but Barney quits or gets fired from a job because they weren’t happy, and then have to deal with the fall out.
4. Marshall’s father dies and he falls apart.
4a. Barney finds his father and really falls apart.
5. There are many many “Come to Jesus” talks (For those that don’t know a come to Jesus talk is where you sit someone you love down and say “I love you. You’re being an idiot. Here’s how you fix it.)
This is not Full House or Boy Meets World where there’s always a lesson at the end of the show and tragedy happens off stage. This was not a tradtional sitcom.
This was a show about life. And in life people die. Love isn’t always enough to make a relationship work (RIP Robin and Barney). You can have more than one great love. You can spend your life wondering if the one got away was the one. You make stupid mistakes and play games with people’s hearts on purpose and unintentionally. You realize that dreams are hard. Parenting is tough.
But the beautiful thing–what I loved about HIMYM–is that even when you’re drowning in a storm of sucky life issues, if you have friends–if you have people who love you–you can get through it.
So I guess HIMYM was a love story. But it was a love story of friends.