Why the final episode of HIMYM was, in my opinion, disastrously terrible.

Major Problems:

  1. A finale, or just a long episode? For the most part, the entire episode didn’t really have the feel of a finale, but rather just another episode of the show (and not a particularly good one at that). The flash-forward nature of the episode jumped around way too much, the characters were unhappy for most of the episode, and overall they tried to jam way too much into an hour. For a show that was based on the premise of taking an incredibly long time to tell a simple story, it didn’t make sense that they would cram 10 years worth of storylines into a 1-hour episode. The whole thing felt rushed and scattered.
  1. The Barney/Robin marriage. Despite having our doubts about the relationship at the beginning, the writers bombarded us with 2 seasons worth of this drama, including having the final season literally revolve completely around their wedding. With all the investment in their relationship, we were starting to think it would all work out for them. Then comes the series finale….and they are divorced within 15 minutes. So much for that 2-year storyline.
  1. The Barney love-child. This was one of the more ridiculous plotlines of the entire episode. This whole scenario seemed forced and contrived, like the writers were trying to force an emotional moment. Are we really supposed to be emotional over a baby we just found out about 5 minutes ago? More importantly, are we really supposed to believe that Barney, who just seconds before was begging the nurse to tell him that he wasn’t the father, was instantly changed into a kind, responsible parent who respects women? Give me a break.
  1. How I Met Your Mother? No, not really. I think early on we realized that the show wasn’t REALLY about how Ted met the mother. It was really a story about the 5 main characters loosely revolving around the story of Ted meeting the woman he would eventually marry. Still, the writers relied heavily on this theme at times, particularly with season-ending cliffhangers. Thus, it was still a very important theme of the show, and something that we all wanted to see resolved. (For me, personally, it was pretty much the only reason I kept watching over the last 2 seasons. Well, that and the fact that I don’t have much of a life.)

So, how did they resolve this in the finale? They spent about 2 minutes discussing the meeting, mostly going over a few vague plotlines that we already knew. The writers told more of the tale in earlier episodes than they did in the finale.

  1. Oh, yeah, the mother is dead. She died a while ago. Duh. Farewell mom, we hardly knew ye. One of the interesting things about HIMYM is that the writers developed a character that the audience connected to without ever seeing her on the screen. By the time they finally cast the mother’s character for the last season, the audience had already connected to her through a series of missed meetings and almost-encounters. Though she wasn’t cast until late in the show, the mother was actually a very important character, and one that the audience wanted to see more of. Instead, we got to see her with Ted for a few minutes before they reveal that she’s dead, and that she had been dead all along (or at least before Ted started telling his kids the story). And that brings us to:
  1. The final Ted/Robin relationship. My only explanation for this ending is that the writers and actors had more of a connection to the Ted/Robin relationship than we ever saw on screen. There was a time when everyone was rooting for Ted and Robin….4 or 5 seasons ago. After that, the writers did everything they could to squash this out of the show. They put both characters with other partners. They spent 2 seasons building up Barney and Robin as a couple. Heck, they even went so far as to explicitly say that Robin is not the mother, and that the premise of the show is about someone else that Ted marries. They even painted the two characters as completely incompatible: Robin was the world-traveling news anchor who couldn’t be tied down, and Ted was the suburban family man who longed for a wife and kids and a quiet life.It’s true that Ted has some crisis of conscience over Robin, but that was resolved before the finale. Ted’s feelings for her were symbolized by the locket, which we were led to believe he might use to break up the wedding. Instead, he freely gave the locket to Barney to give to Robin, symbolizing that he was letting go of that relationship. Later on, Ted even dismissed Robin’s passes at him and said that she should be marrying Barney. I understand the theme of “true love conquering all” in a TV show, but the writers explicitly slammed the door on the prospect of Ted/Robin by the end of the show.

That’s why the final episode was such a mistake: the writers effectively undid every major plotline of the show and changed everything in the final episode to suddenly revolve around Ted/Robin. As an audience, we had closed the door on that possibility a long time ago, which is why it was so strange that it got opened back up again. In a way, the finale might as well have indicated that everyone was dead the whole time, or that the entire show was a dream, because they certainly didn’t stick to the premise that made the show so popular during the finale. Overall, it was a huge letdown.

Runners up: Minor annoyances.

  1. Ted and the mother didn’t get married until at least 5 years after they got engaged. I realize they had a kid during that time, but that doesn’t mesh with their characters. Ted was a commitment guy who had finally met the woman of his dreams. He would have wanted to get married long, long before that time.
  1. On the Barney love-child note, when/why does he seem to have sole custody of the kid? He didn’t want a child to begin with, and suddenly he’s a sleep-deprived single parent? Most likely the kid would be living with the mother, and at most Barney would be visiting once in a while. And why is it that his character just seems to disappear after that?
  1. Speaking of disappearances, what the heck happens to Lilly in the future? I realize that she and Marshall are still together, but they devote almost no time to her. Presumably, she’s now a typical stay-at-home Mom. But what about her art career, the one that caused her to break up with Marshall, travel to Italy, etc? Did she just give it up? Who knows? Certainly not anyone who watched the finale.

Final review:

HIMYM was getting tired these past few seasons, and the finale was a great reminder why it was time for the show to end. The constant trickery/misdirection/cliffhangers were a major annoyance, and while I was hopeful they would at least clear up the story by the end, the writers failed me again. They abandoned the premise of the show, didn’t resolve what they promised to resolve, and basically made a mess of the entire show. In my opinion, it was a very poor ending to a show that fell well short of its potential in the final seasons.

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Does the thought of your dead brother make you sad?

Last night’s interview was a microcosm for all of NBC’s Olympics coverage. 

“Hey Bodie, how do you feel about your dead brother? And I heard that your parents and grandparents are dead too. Does that make you sad? I’m going to show you a picture of abused puppies that were drowned in a river and set on fire? Do those make you want to cry? No? How about if I just kick you in the balls right now so that we can show some tears on camera? Would that be ok?” 

~Bodie starts crying~

“Well, there you have it. Total raw, unrestrained emotion from Bodie Miller. And now on to the ice for pairs ice dancing!”

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Exercise your rights, lose your children.

I can understand why someone may have called the tip-line. For example, perhaps another parent at the school saw the photo and was concerned. What I take issue with is the way this was investigated (or not investigated, as the case may be) and executed by Child Services and the cops. 

First of all, why was Child Services involved at all? There was no crime committed, nor was there any reason to believe there was. Having access to guns in one’s home is not, to the best of my knowledge, a reason for Child Services to investigate or take a child from their home. If that’s the case, then we have much bigger issues in this country. From what I have read elsewhere, this kid was a registered hunter, and his dad was a registered firearms instructor. 

That leads me to my second point: the total lack of any preliminary investigation or inquiry here. Several cops knew this kid’s dad from the gun range, including knowing that the father was a certified firearms instructor. They have probably shot guns with this kid at their range. Not once did anyone look into that history, the family’s hunting and firearms licenses, etc. They simply showed up at the house with Child Services officers, presumably to take someone’s child into state custody because of their parents’ decision to exercise their Constitutional rights. That’s a major problem.

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Liberal Hero…Nixon?

This is too funny. The liberal media is now holding Nixon up as a role model because he was a Republican that favored outlawing guns. Nixon was one of the most corrupt politicians in history! Can you IMAGINE the outrage if any Republican today mentioned Nixon’s policies in the current debate?

Pretty soon they’re going to be saying, “Well, Hitler’s human rights violations were severe, to be sure, but as far as the gun debate goes he really had some ideas we should get behind.”

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Immigration

There’s a really easy path to solving this problem, but nobody is willing to do it. First, secure the borders. Then, create a “legal immigrant” status that allows people to stay but does not grant them full citizenship. This would allow these folks to work legally, and therefore pay taxes. The following restrictions would apply: 

1. Those who came here illegally and are granted the “legal immigrant” status will not have the right to vote. Ever. 

2. Those who are granted “legal immigrant” status will not receive any direct government assistance, including welfare, food stamps, or medicaid. This includes benefits for their dependents, regardless of whether their dependents are citizens or not. 

3. Those with “legal immigrant” status will pay their taxes in full but will not receive any Medicare or Social Security benefits until they have maintained their “legal immigrant” status for 30 years or more. 

4. Any “legal immigrant” who is convicted of a serious felony will be deported and lose their “legal immigrant” status. Such individuals will not be allowed to apply as “legal immigrants” again. 

5. The children of “legal immigrants,” to the extent they were brought here before they were 18, will be able to choose once they turn 18 whether they want to become “legal immigrants” themselves or apply for citizenship. Citizenship would be dependent on graduating college, military service, or solid job history. 

If people want to live by those rules, they can apply for “legal immigrant” status. If they don’t, they are free to leave. After a registration period, we toughen work requirements and begin deporting people who didn’t become “legal immigrants.” 

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http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/08/opinion/halpern-gun-research/index.html

This article advocates for more objective research on gun violence. I don’t disagree. However, I’m curious as to what makes the author think objective research would do anything to sway the mind of the public? The media and our politicians are much more interested in emotion and shock value than in actual facts.

For example, why do you think it’s not being widely reported that the 10 year ban on ‘assault weapons’ and high-capacity magazines had no measurable effect on crime or gun violence (source: US Justice Department)? Wouldn’t that be an extremely relevant piece of information to put out there, especially as our lawmakers are now talking about reinstating those exact same bans as a way to reduce crime and gun violence?

Or perhaps we could look at the studies that suggest that so-called “mass shootings” are statistically no more prevalent than they were 5 or 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. Maybe that would clear up the misconception that such events are becoming more frequent and causing more deaths every year.

Of course, nobody will ever report these facts. Why? The reasons are twofold. First of all, they aren’t very shocking or emotional. Second, and much more importantly, they don’t fit with the overall narrative that the government can solve all of our problems with the right legislation.

Why is that so important? Because if the government can convince you that they can solve all of our problems, then we won’t have any trouble allowing them to have more and more power. And that’s what our leaders eventually want: more power. Interestingly enough, it’s also what our forefathers fought so hard to prevent the government from becoming. That’s the entire reason for things like the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

That’s my 2 cents, anyway.

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Gun Violence

The ONLY thing that can possibly stop someone who is intent on doing so from shooting up a school/business/public area TODAY is an armed person (either a police officer, security guard, or private citizen). Even assuming gun control worked (which has been proven otherwise), it’s going to be months, if not years, before any laws go into effect. And it will be years more before any laws start to affect gun violence.

So maybe the NRA wasn’t that far off when they said the first thing we should do is look to get police officers in schools. After all, we have armed security at office buildings, courthouses, stadiums, shopping malls, and stores. Our lawmakers work in some of the most secure buildings in the nation behind the most heavily-armed security force we have, and yet they tell us that people with guns have no business protecting our kids? How does that make any sense?

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