One more post about How I Met Your Mother.

I’ve spent so much of yesterday and today reading reviews and criticisms from around the web about the How I Met Your Mother finale. Here are some favorite ones I read:

How I Met Your Mother Final Review: Why It Worked

As Ted’s teenage kids point out in the final minutes of the show, if this story was supposed to be all about their mom, then their dad is the world’s worst storyteller. It wasn’t really about the Mother; it was always about Robin. The show’s creators might have had you thinking that this final season revolved around Robin and Barney’s epic love story, but just like the show’s last 22 episodes (with a few exceptions: “How Your Mother Met Me” and “Gary Blauman,” notably), that premise never really rang true.

How I Met Your Mother Series Finale Recap: Not-So-Happy Endings

I hope Bays and Thomas have Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse on speed-dial.


The real crime here is the duration of the series, which inevitably weakened the ending, and Bays and Thomas should cop to this — it’s something that will no doubt be taken into account with the spin-off. They teased us and tested our patience until we had no choice but to fall in line behind the narrative direction, which led us away from Team Robin and Ted. The writers bludgeoned us into surrender, so we couldn’t feel nearly as excited by Ted with the blue French horn in the finale as we did in the pilot.

5 Criticisms of How I Met Your Mother’s Ending (And Why They’re Invalid)

5. If Ted and Robin were going to end up together why did it take nine seasons?

This one’s easy: Because if How I Met Your Mother has taught us anything, it’s that if we want to see something legendary happen, we’re going to have to wait for it.

I love how divisive this is, and that the last finale I was obsessed with reading reactions to (Lost) did the same. I’ll probably be obsessing about the ups and downs for a good while, but I would never take the stand that a finale has the power to ruin or invalidate an entire series run of one of my all-time favorite shows.

You cannot engage with minds like [Maxwell’s]. If he was merely ignorant, that would be one thing. Ignorance can be overcome with education. But when ignorance masquerades as enlightenment, there is no hope for conversation, let alone conversion.

Professor George Turvell

from The Intellectual Tragedy of Al Persona

Life is not a series of gig-lamps symmetrically arranged; but a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end. Is it not the task of the novelist to convey this varying, this unknown and uncircumscribed spirit, whatever aberration or complexity it may display, with as little mixture of the alien and external as possible?
—  Virginia Woolf, in her essay “Modern Fiction”
This surfaced two months ago and I just got around to reading it. What I found most interesting is the point that, can any long-running TV show say it wasn't "made up as it went along"? Of course there are some initial ideas and a broad road map, but things evolve.

On the first day alone, Damon downloaded on us the notion that the island was a nexus of conflict between good and evil: an uncharted and unchartable place with a mysterious force at its core that called humanity to it to play out a primal contest between light and dark.

A door briefly opened, and I saw flashes of color pinned to a wall. (This, Ive later explained, was the conference room where the Apple Watch film was being storyboarded.) Then we stopped in Ive’s office, a twelve-foot square separated from the studio by a glass wall. On shelves, Ive had set his Playmobil likeness and similar gifts, along with dozens of custom sketchbooks that had padded blue covers and silver edging. On the floor, behind a Marc Newson desk, was a rugby ball. Overlapping framed images leaned against the wall: a Banksy print of the Queen with the face of a chimpanzee, and a poster, well known in design circles, that begins, ‘Believe in your fucking self. Stay up all fucking night,’ and ends, many admonitions later, 'Think about all the fucking possibilities.’

Ian Parker on Jony Ive’s office.

The Shape of Things to Come,” a profile of Jony Ive for The New Yorker, 2/23/15
A “Parenthood” Writer Says Good-Bye To “Parenthood”

We’ve certainly covered it all over the course of the show. Joy, pain, marriage, breakups, births, and death. As a writing staff, we’ve experienced all of it. There was writer Monica Henderson-Beletsky’s gorgeous wedding and her father’s speech that was so moving that it caused Jason to purse his lips together, nod, and make the same sharp noise of approval that he always makes in the writers room when you’ve nailed a pitch. But I was also there at his dad’s funeral, when even as my heart broke for him, his dog Jack came over and stuffed his entire head up my skirt.