Tonight’s the season finale of “How I Met Your Mother”. It’s always been one of those shows I liked, but wasn’t sure I loved. It didn’t have the “must see” excitement of “Friends” at least not for me. There were moments though that I found myself thinking how good the show was and it became part of my weekly viewing at a time when I watch fewer and fewer sitcoms (once the staple of my tv diet). A few years ago, I realized it really was “must see” tv – a smart (but silly) show that when you least expected it tugged at your heartstrings (Robin’s infertility; Barney’s unspoken (for a while) love for Robin). Besides, how can you not love a show that features a brawl at Tim Horton’s?
Maybe it was the number of soap operas I’ve watched, but one of my favourite parts of the show was that the character’s histories weren’t forgotten. Marshall and Lily’s break up, or Marshall’s father’s death, or Robin’s Canadian citizenship, or Barney’s search for his father weren’t just plot points for an episode, or even two or three. They became as much a part of the show as Ted’s search for the mother. I admit that early on I was rooting for Ted and Robin, even though “father” Ted said it wasn’t her. Now, it makes perfect sense that Robin and Barney are getting married.
When I read recently that the writer’s knew how the series would end from the first season on, it made perfect sense. The bizarre, seemingly random events were connected and have made a difference in how Ted met their mother. I think that’s the ultimate message of the show: what may seem like a small and trivial event in the moment may ultimately be a big moment.