How I Met Your Mother Comes to an EndCategory: Television
The hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother is ending its long run on March 31, 2014 with an hour-long finale. The cast recently gathered together with members of the Television Critics Association on the set of the show to talk about their success and their feelings.
“Once season 4 started,” Neil Patrick Harris (Barney) explained, “then the syndication wheels started turning and it seemed like [we had] a longer story to tell. The first two seasons seemed very ‘on the bubble’ the entire time, which actually I thought was good for us and for the show. It gave us the opportunity to come up with our own sense of humor, and sometimes when a show is thrust into success right away, then there’s high expectations for them to come up with terrific stuff super fast, [but] we got to develop a great vocabulary and weird little inside jokes so that by the time fans started watching it, it had found its own voice. So I liked the slow-burn elements to our show.”
Alyson Hannigan (Lily) said that the year they were picked up for two seasons at once was when she realized they were “out of the bubble” and were staying on the air for a while. And the success of the show was a surprise for Jason Segal (Marshall) who explained, “I had been part of a couple shows that I loved being on and that I really liked and they got cancelled within the first season. So I really felt like there was no way you could equate quality with whether or not it lasted, so I was always ready for the show to be cancelled, and then the fact that we got along so well made it almost a sure thing to be cancelled. It’s just the best gift ever that it stuck around for so long. We lucked out.” They lucked out for nine years!
“We really did have an eight‑year plan from the pilot,” Craig Thomas, executive producer and co-creator, acknowledged. “We kind of knew how we wanted to end it, which turns out to be nine years, which is great, but we were so naive that it would just keep going. The beginning of season 2, we shot part of what is going to air in the series finale with those kids who are now 53 and 62.” So, that being said, the viewers will not be disappointed with the way the writers finish the show. They have had a plan all along and have been given the chance to follow it through.
The cast and showrunners have become very close over the years. “Every Monday for a large part of the first season we met at a place nearby for breakfast, and it was really sweet,” Josh Radnor told the gathered journalists. “At the beginning of this year, I thought that we should meet before the first table read for breakfast at this place, and I sent out an email, and within 20 minutes everyone had responded, so we met and had some food. How is that for a story?”
Over the past nine years the group has gone through a lot of things on and off screen. Jason Segal was emotional when he said, “We watched each other go through, like, some really serious life stuff. People have gotten married and have children. That’s a really special thing. As the characters evolved, all of our lives did as well, and some of it paralleled what we’ve kind of gone through as people. It’s been like ‑‑ this is the longest I’ve known any group of people besides my family. You have friends from way back, but you know, high school is [only] four years.” This group has been together over twice as long as high school lasts.
Neil Patrick Harris was contemplative when discussing how their lives will change once the series ends. “I find that our friendships, since we’re working in such close quarters together for half of the year, our friendships are kind of based around that a little bit. We spend a lot of time together, so when we do break off and it’s hiatus and we have a couple months off, we tend to go into our own little worlds, and then we all reconvene. So I think the yearning and the loss and the friendship stuff, at least speaking personally, will probably be felt more when that doesn’t happen again.” As he spoke the other cast members nodded in agreement. “You know, like when we see each other, we catch up and we fill each other in on everything, everything, like I tell them things – arguments with David (his partner) that I probably shouldn’t tell – because they’re my close work friends that we have this great bond, but then I don’t see Jason for three months during the off time. Then we see each other where we’re immediately sort of fast friends [again].
So, how will the show end? You’ll have to tune in on March 30 to find out. The journalists were not even privy to the ending story, although Craig Thomas did say, “The show deserves the best possible ending that it could get, and the fans who stuck with us deserve that, and that’s what we intend to give.”
Viewers were first introduced to How I Met Your Mother in 2005, and on March 30, 2014 they will say goodbye.
About the Author
Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.
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