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A lot of shows have been derailed by their finales over the years, and CBS’ long-running comedy How I Met Your Mother was no exception. Some people were less upset about the final episode of How I Met Your Mother than others, of course, and now series lead Josh Radnor, who played Ted on the hit show, has said that it was the media’s fault that people correlate the HIMYM finale with negativity. In a recent interview, Josh Radnor explained why he thinks that the comedy’s last bow was more successful than people think it was… while also intimating that more people hate it than like it. We can’t make this stuff up. Here’s what he had to say:
A lot of [the reaction] was great. I think the narrative the media got ahold of was that everyone was outraged. I don't think that was true… Sometimes it's 50/50. It seems to be about 60/40 -- 60 [percent] disappointed, 40 [percent who liked it]. So I think it's been overstated, people's disappointment with it.
Yeah, you are reading that correctly. Radnor told the HuffPost Live that only 60%--aka a majority—of people who watched the How I Met Your Mother finale absolutely hated it. According to the actor, reports of the finale’s lack of popularity have been greatly exaggerated. What’s pretty strange about this omission is that he himself believes more than half of the people who stuck with the show to the very end didn’t like where How I Met Your Mother took the story during the last few minutes of the final show. If a majority of people dislike something, is that really blowing it out of proportion?
As someone who writes on the internet, I know it’s difficult, nay impossible, to please everyone. Anything that is ever written is going to have its detractors, but if you are part of a TV show that gets the opportunity to end on its own terms without being cancelled, that’s a big deal. The goal should be to create something that makes sense for the characters and ends on a believable note, whatever that may be. Unfortunately, many fans were let down by the How I Met Your Mother finale because it didn't do those things. Maybe it's not as polarizing as the Dexter finale, but I think it would be tough to find a critic or viewer who thought the final episode of HIMYM was among the show’s best.
There were several striking issues to the How I Met Your Mother finale. The series spent all of its final season leading up Ted getting with the titular mother, only to kill her off. That was pretty tragic and was a huge downer during the finale. In addition, the entire final season was about Barney and Robin’s wedding. While people weren’t as happy with that couple’s relationship at the beginning, by the end of the series Barney and Robin were a good couple, so to have them divorce one another in the final moments of the series was also a huge bummer. Most notably, though, How I Met Your Mother spent much of the series proving that Ted and Robin really were better as friends, so to have him reach out to her in the show’s final moments rang false. Even if only one of those things was disappointing to the average viewer, it still means How I Met Your Mother’s finale had some weak points. That doesn't seem to be blowing things out of proportion, at all.
On the bright side, at least there’s an alternate ending that’s less of a downer.