Dear How I Met Your Mother,

First of all, let me say that I’m a huge fan. You were one of the few shows that I was really into where I watched from the Pilot all the way through to the Finale without getting bored. I hope this doesn’t sound too creepy, but I’m actually kind of lost on Monday nights now without you. That’s something I can’t even say about The X-Files. It’s one of my favorite shows, but I lost interest around Season 8, and I haven’t even seen all of Season 9, but I digress.

HIMYM – may I call you HIMYM? Through nine long years you brought so much to us, the viewers, that I don’t think a mere “Thank You” is enough. When you premiered in 2005, it was not the best time to be a sitcom. Half hour shows were popping up left and right, and getting shot down just as easily. I’m not trying to imply that you are the reason situation comedies have made a comeback, but it is definitely smart, funny, charismatic shows like yourself that gave other young pilots hope.

how-i-met-your-mother-finale

One of the main things you had going for you was that legen-wait-for-it-dary cast you assembled. They brought your characters to life. Even though Ted was technically the main character, there wasn’t one character in the main ensemble that I could care less about. Each individual character was just that, an individual. They weren’t just simple caricatures that fell into well known categories: i.e. the smart one, the slut, the wiseman, etc. Each actor brought such dimension to their character, that we actually cared about them, as if they were real.

Besides introducing us to Josh Radnor and Cobie Smulders, you shone light onto a Judd Aptow favorite, Jason Segel. This is something which I will forever be indebted to you. Had Segel not found mainstream success with you, he may have never been given the chance to bring The Muppets back to the big screen. I love the Muppets. Thank you for giving him that shot. Alyson Hannigan was given another chance to shine in a weekly series. She’s just gold. You also gave Neil Patrick Harris the comeback he deserved. NPH is seen as more than just Doogie Howser now, and he is no longer pigeonholed as a child actor. His popularity has done so much for the LGBT community, and he’s become a public example of a loving homosexual relationship. He also loves Muppets, so he’s got that going for him too.

I think one of my favorite things about you, HIMYM, is the way you understood how dedicated your fanbase could be. You believed in the importance of continuity, not just in the main plot points, but in the minor asides. A great example of this is the goat. Around Ted’s 28th birthday, Future Ted happened to mention his 30th birthday wasn’t bad, except for the goat in his bathroom. Two full season later, Ted’s birthday came around complete with a goat. Future Ted realized he had the year wrong, and it was actually his 31st birthday where the goat makes it’s appearance. The following season when Ted’s birthday returned, so did the goat story. This was not an isolated incident. You were full of callbacks galore – a TV Geek’s wet dream. You even managed to keep the timeline of the yellow umbrella consistent, which was revisited in the finale.

I know you’ve been getting a lot of flack for your series finale, but don’t worry, that’s not why I’m writing. I was left a little unsure after I first watched it, but the more I thought about it, the more I disagreed with the “haters”. I liked that it wasn’t focused on the Mother, Tracy, and Ted’s life together. The kids would know about the family trips to Disney World and such. Instead, it gave each of the characters a closure fitting to them, and didn’t rush through it.

HIMYM, you kept true to wacky, yet semi-realistic lives of the characters. Anyone who watched knew that this was not a fairy tale, and everything wasn’t supposed to be seen through rose colored glasses. (I really wonder how many people called their father’s after the episode where Marshall’s dad died. I know I did.) The finale kept with that running theme. I wasn’t such a fan of Barney and Robin’s break up because I loved them together, but not all marriages work. However, Lily and Marshall’s relationship was not thrown under the bus, and Judge Fudge got a chance to shine. Barney tried his former lifestyle for awhile, but everyone saw how much he truly had changed when he held his baby in his arms, knowing he’d never celebrate another “Not A Father’s Day” and being perfectly fine with that.

That brings us to Tracy’s demise. Her character was sadly short lived, and I’d have loved for her and Ted to have been together forever. Though the title of the show is a little misleading now, the show was never really about her. It seemed like a throwaway line in the first episode, when Ted tells his kids, “…and that’s how I met your Aunt Robin,” but now it seems a little like foreshadowing. Even The Kids could tell you that, and they did. That’s why I’m glad we didn’t see Tracy’s funeral. Ted was honestly heartbroken and the kids lived through that. They didn’t have to hear that story again. Ted was telling a love story, but it wasn’t just one love story. It was meant to have a happy ending.

So now that I’ve rambled on for an appropriate length for one of Ted’s stories, let me once again say thank you. You’ve entertained me and many, many others for nine years, and in syndication, your memory shall live on. On a handful of channels. Sometimes at the exact same time. Repeating for numerous years. Over and over. Eventually becoming “Classic Television.”

Sincerely,

Stefanie

 

P.S. In my eyes, you will always be Legen-wait-for-it…

 

…dary.

About The Author

Contributing Writer

Stefanie cannot remember a time when television was not an important aspect of her life. She has many grand memories of the 9 inch black and white TV on which she used to watch Nick at Nite classics. Stefanie has always fancied herself as a storyteller at heart, no matter which medium she (choo-choo) chooses. Despite her dedication to television, Stefanie actually does have a real flesh and blood husband. They live together outside of Chicago, with their menagerie of animals. Stefanie also classifies herself as a child at heart, with a whimsy only previously found in a Muppet. Stefanie graduated with a degree in Television Production from Columbia College Chicago, and currently works as freelance camera/editor as well as serving as Head Editor at Arlington International. She also believes the solar system has 9 planets and refuses to recognize Pluto’s demotion.