‘HIMYM’: Did Controversial Finale Kill Careers Of Show Creators, Too?

Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have been struggling to follow up on their success


The Cast of 'How I Met Your Mother'
Two years after the controversial series finale of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, fans of the long running sitcom are wondering if show creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas will ever be able to fully recover.

The creative team appeared to be on top of the world in early 2014, with a spinoff series lined up called HOW I MET YOUR DAD.

But not long after fans poo-pooed the way they wrapped up HIMYM, that project died on the vine.

A discussion broke out overnight on the website reddit.com, under the headline:  “Was the HIMYM finale a ‘Franchise Killer?’”

Redditor Domyfranky begins the thread by posing this observation:

I’m not talking only about the fail of the spin-off ‘How I Met Your Dad’ but also about Bays and Thomas’s career after that. More than two years later,they haven’t wrote anything after that giant mess of finale. They had 2 failed pilot (HIMYD and My Time/Your Time) and 2 failed pitch (New York Mithology and Molly and The Moon). They left Twitter after a massive blacklash. They basically disappeared from Hollywood after that ending. Is this another proof that the How I Met Your Mother finale was really the worst finale ever made? What do you think about these consequences?

Judging from the first 300-plus comments, most fans still have not forgiven Carter and Bays for spending the entire last season documenting one long weekend, then dropping the bomb that the mother (Cristin Milioti) had been dead for six years, clearing the way for Ted (Josh Radnor) to pursue a romantic relationship with ex-flame, Robin (Cobie Smulders).

“I really hated how Ted finally developed as a character after so damn long and moved on from Robin, just to have the ending happen.”    – JessieJ577

“‘It’s realistic’ isn’t a defense for any kind of entertainment unless the goal is to invoke realism. It usually isn’t though, the goal is almost always to entertain.  – lecherous_hump

“I hated how abruptly Barney and Robin relationship ended. We just spent an entire season showing how they matured and grew as people, and then they end it in like 1-2 episodes. The way it was handled was really bad, the entire last season is just so pointless.”  – Boobr

“I think HIMYM went bad a long time before the finale. The finale was just a culmination of a couple of years where the writers didn’t know where to take the story. A pity tho, the show had great potential.” – SubutaiBahadur

User Orangeinsight offered this pretty interesting observation, that perhaps few people have ever considered.

How I Met Your Mother was not a historical account of completely factual events from an unbiased source. It was a story being told by someone who was completely invested in the events and who is obviously currently lying to himself and his children. Ted is trying to tell his children the story of how he met their mother because he’s trying to reassure himself how he felt about the mother because he is currently feeling guilty about having feelings again for Robin.

For everyone calling bullshit about how the story was supposed to be about him getting over Robin, no shit. The story was told that way because Ted was trying to convince himself of that. Even the teenage kids can see it’s bullshit because they immediately call him out on it, about how he tries to tell the story of their mother but won’t stop explaining Aunt Robin because that’s who he’s in love with now. And that’s actually okay. Their mother has been dead for years. It’s okay for Ted to move on. I know it was told in a rushed way over the course of the finale, but that haste doesn’t actually invalidate the years he spent with the mother or how he felt about her at the time. And if we had been told this story without the framing device, it would have felt better, but the entire set of events is being told from the perspective of Ted in 2030, which has to be tinted by the way he’s feeling then.

That doesn’t change what a terrible idea setting the last season over the course of a weekend was or that they could have made this point better, but anyone saying that the show “taught us repeatedly why they are a terrible couple that don’t work” was just just getting suckered by an unreliable narrator.

Are you still angry about the way the show ended?  Would you watch another show by Carter and Bays?

Leave us your opinions in the comments section below.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly