I woke up this morning still upset about the series finale of one of my favorite shows,How I Met Your Mother. I had spent all day, upset about saying good bye to six (yes, six. The Mother, Tracy, counts too) people who felt legitimately felt like friends after nine years of watching. Only the release of the final Harry Potter film made me feel the same impending dread. But last night I felt (and still feel this morning), MAD. And mostof my friends who are fellow fans feel the same way. The same friend that texted me “I’m LOVING this 2 minutes in!” called me during the last few seconds of the show to talk about how emotionally cheated and drained we felt. Even writing this blog post, I’m struggling to put together any post that makes sense, because I have so many feelings.
One lesson that I’ve gotten from the HIMYM finale is that it may not matter whether viewers/readers liked it. The episode set a ratings record, and was the most watched live episode in the show’s nine year run. Hundreds (I wouldn’t be surprised to hear thousands) of articles were written from sites of all genres – from CBS to Thought Catalog, from Huffington Post to Buzzfeed. Tweets expressing applause or disdain for the writers of the show were going on for hours before AND after the end. The show got it’s ratings. It got it’s huge audience. And it’s continuing to get syndication deals. The writers pulled from past shows that have all put the characters who are constantly in an “on-again, off-again” relationship together, like Friends and Sex and the City. What incentive do the writers even have to put together a great “happy ending”? The happiness of Millennials everywhere.
The anger and frustrations that I’ve seen from my fellow Millennials is proof that we still want a “happy ending” for characters and stories that we love. HIMYM isn’t the only example. I won’t spoil anything, but the Hunger Games and Divergent series’ final installments also both end in much tragedy and leave the readers extremely unsatisfied. As ‘real’ as Millennials tend to be these days, we still have an idea of what makes a “happy ending” and we want to see it. It may be becoming more and more common for our generation not to get married, but we still see it as the ideal sign of love and happiness. I learned, by evidence of infuriated Facebook posts and tweets last night, that my generation still believes in that “One True Love,” and we’re dying for our favorite characters to have it. We wanted that girl with the yellow umbrella to be happy forever, and to bring Ted happiness that was unparalleled to anything else.
I may have seen this coming (my friend Stephanie can verify!) I wish that I had been wrong.
Yes, I’ll still love the characters and I’ll still watch the series in syndication. But I feel like I’ve
been cheated out of a happy ending. Not to mention cheated out of an original ending. The writers of Definitely, Maybe should sue.
* I would also like to use this title to testify that ‘Happy Endings’ was a fantastic show. Not that any of my readers watched it (as Nielsen ratings show) but if any TV writers or producers happen to stumble upon this post – I’M BEGGING YOU TO BRING ‘HAPPY ENDINGS’ BACK TO ME.