Give Ted Mosby a Break

The Cast of HIMYM  (Publicity Photo CBS and Carter/Bays Productions)
The Cast of HIMYM
(Publicity Photo CBS and Carter/Bays Productions)

Our Story Begins:
Give Ted Mosby a Break!

There’s been a bit of a divided reaction to the end of Ted Mosby’s story.  Some are okay with how he ended the story of how he met his wife.  Others have started a backlash against the way his story ended.  Vitriol has spewed throughout the Twitterverse while the show ended.

I am going to admit a very important thing here: I didn’t watch every episode of every season of the show, so don’t jump all over me on that.  I did, however, watch it enough to get to know the characters and how they interacted and found the writing and premise very clever.

My first reaction to everyone’s backlash is, of course, it’s just a television show, folks.  Ted, Barney, Robin…none of these people exist outside the celluloid universe.

But what I do like about the show’s finale is how they handled the whole tale.

If you didn’t watch the finale, for the love of God don’t keep reading from here on, it’s a major plot spoiler!

Some are upset because, after an entire season based around the wedding of two main characters, Barney and Robin, they end up divorced not long after the first half-hour.  I’ve known my share of Barney-esque people.  Believe it or not, the only thing that did change their misogynistic ways was when their first child was born.  When they have a girl, in particular, the last thing they want is someone like them to date their daughter.  I was freaked out and worried and stressed right before the birth of every one of my kids.  When I picked those babies up for the first time the rest of the world fell into the background.  Add to that the fact that Robin was a journalist working for a national network . . . guess what?  That’s a hard life and relationships are nigh impossible for people in that world.  It just doesn’t breed stability and commitment when you’re off to the next hurricane or school shooting.

Then there’s Ted.  I saw the absolutely adorable woman they chose to be his wife and she was perfect in the role.  She was the ideal Mom.  She was sarcastic, loving, cute, all the things they’d set up for the character.

Then in the last 5 minutes, as he’s talking about walking up and talking to his future bride it’s revealed that she got sick and died.

That’s where people got mad.  Never mind that the internet blew up a few weeks back about an episode where they foreshadowed this.

Then Ted talked with his kids who rolled their eyes and informed Ted that he just was telling the story so he could “go out with Aunt Robin.”

That’s where the vitriol came in.

I’m here to defend Carter Bays, the show’s creator…and defend Ted.

The more eye-rolling and funny comments stemmed around the fact that some invested in the show either “hated Robin and Ted together” or the “wanted Robin and Barney”.  Most these ended with some sort of statement that either the show or Carter Bays sucked.

First, how did you expect the show to end?  After almost a decade of telling this story was it really just a feel-good, lovey-dovey discussion with his kids?  Cut to a yellow umbrella and end?!  I can’t get my kids to sit down long enough to listen to what happened at school today let alone a 9-year tale of how I met their mother.

I’m not saying my wife was like the mother in How I Met Your Mother.  She wasn’t.  But I have lived the years between Ted’s wife’s death and the show finale.

People die in real life.  In fact, people who you love and never expect to leave pass away.  The reason the show works is because so many people were angry this is how it ended.  What I like about it is that they didn’t descend into the maudlin.  He tells the kids that he continued to love their mom through the days she got sick and after.  That’s reality.  You don’t sit with your kids and describe those last moments, you’ve lived them, over and over and over again.  They found humor in the situation of Ted telling the tale.  You laugh so you don’t cry.  That’s reality, too.

And I have to say, just from my own perspective: give Ted a break!  The guy stumbled through the most inane set of adventures and found a wonderful woman and had great years with her.  He suffered a loss and is still standing and raising his kids.  Let the fake person have a life, for God’s sake!

The anger over the ending, where Ted ends up at Robin’s apartment and the show fades to black is misplaced.  While critics say they were sick of the Robin/Ted back and forth and that it wouldn’t work didn’t look at how Bays wrote this.  It wasn’t a few months, it was a number of years that passed.  Robin went through a divorce.  Ted is a widower.  She knows his kids.  Life dealt them both major changes and they themselves have changed in how they look at their lives.  It wasn’t convenient or comfortable or easy.  It just…made…sense.

I have said before, when I met my wife, Andrea, she was the person I needed.  She helped me to be a better person, the person I wanted to be all along.  She didn’t change me, I just felt comfortable being myself thanks to her.  But now that she’s gone, I cannot imagine dating or falling in love with someone like her again.  I changed.  Life has changed.  Things are totally different.  What made the relationship between Ted and Robin fall apart years before is likely gone now.  It’s not that she’s familiar…it’s that she’s the right person now.

Give Ted, hell, give Carter Bays a break.  I watched it and felt that it was the perfect ending for a tale that took too long to tell.

But I have to admit…I can relate to Ted Mosby.  I can relate to the sadness, loss and depression that you didn’t get to see in that last half hour of the show.

This was a great way to end the show – you get to think about what happens after he looks up at Robin in her window…and it fades to black.

So give Ted a break.

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