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‘How I Met Your Mother’: Would an alternate ending have made a difference?

Despite the mixed emotions following the 'HIMYM' series finale, it's a show that will continue to live on in a number of ways.
Despite the mixed emotions following the 'HIMYM' series finale, it's a show that will continue to live on in a number of ways.
Photo courtesy of FOX Television, used with permission

How I Met Your Mother

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How I Met Your Mother” may have ended it’s nine year run at the end of March, but it’s a show that will live on in other ways -- and not just because there will be a spin-off titled “How I Met Your Dad” starting this Fall. Or, because it’ll live on through reruns on a variety of TV stations. It’ll also live on through the boxed set, which will feature a alternate endings and deleted scenes, according to news released on April 27.

One such alternate ending features a scene that takes place at Tracy’s funeral. That brief montage scene was cut because it was, supposedly, too gut-wrenching. But according to actress Alyson Hannigan, who played Lily, “I was like, ‘That’s what I want. I want my heart ripped out and slammed on the floor and, like, stomped on!’”

Hannigan has a point. The ending of the “How I Met Your Mother” finale zoomed by as Ted quickly narrated the passing of years with his wife and then suddenly he was about to ask “Aunt Robin” out on a date, just after his wife’s death was revealed. After nine seasons of waiting and pining for the mother, it just happened too fast.

But alternate endings be damned.

HIMYM” ended the way it did, and it’s time for fans of the show to simply get over it. Whatever you thought of the CBS comedy finale, it was a show that had enormous merits and entertainment value over its nine wonderful seasons. It’s a show that will live on not just because of the above reasons, but also because it drew more viewers in season after season. Sure, some people online said they gave up on the CBS comedy when the titular mother wasn’t revealed as soon as they’d hoped, but they still took to the Internet to read about the latest plot on “How I Met Your Mother.”

Yes, the ending felt almost rushed, which seemed like an impossible feat after a wedding weekend that lasts nearly 24 episodes, but it needed an ending that made sense for the show. And, really, when it comes down to it, from the beginning of the sitcom, it was all about Ted’s love for Robin. As much as this Examiner even hates to admit it -- because truly, Barney and Robin were pretty great together too -- throughout all nine seasons, Ted refused to give up on the girl he first saw at MacLaren’s, the girl he stole a blue French horn for.

Fans fell for the "Mother," Tracy, over the course of “HIMYM” season nine, just as they should have. She seemed like a perfect fit for Ted in so many ways, but let’s also not forget she had another love in her life before she met Ted too. If Tracy had to die, a decision the creators of the show continue to stand by, then it’s only right that Ted had the chance to move on too. And, as much as the show was a comedy, it was also a heartfelt portrayal of friendship and of life. Some of the best episodes of the show, in fact, seamlessly intertwined the absurd with the emotion; just look at the episode in which Marshall’s dad died. The ending was unexpected, but it was honest and it felt real.

“How I Met Your Mother” was the kind of comedy that thrived not just on the absurd (from the cockamouse to the pineapple incident) but also on the sentimentality of friendship, of love gained and love lost, and searching for the “one.” The show’s characters, every single one of them -- even the dramatic Ted Mosby -- was memorable in their own right, not just the “legen -- wait for it -- dary” Barney Stinson. They were the kind of characters that you wanted to befriend, that you wanted to grab a drink with at MacLaren’s before heading out to lick the Liberty Bell. And that’s why, no matter what the finale ending to the show, this Examiner plans on rewatching the comedy again, if only to revisit with old friends.

© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2014