When How I Met Your Mother’s series finale aired in 2014, it divided critics and viewers alike for its surprisingly morbid ending that, essentially, bailed on the entire show. The sitcom’s five stars haven’t really discussed their personal feelings for the ending much — which culminated in Ted’s wife, the titular Mother, dying and Ted asking Robin out — in the three years that passed, but now Alyson Hannigan is opening up about her dissatisfaction with that final hoorah. In a new interview with Australian outlet News.com.au, Hannigan (who played Lily on the show) was equally critical about the finale’s narrative choices and length, going so far as to say it was a disservice to fans. “I didn’t think Barney should have ever gotten married,” she explained. “I liked Barney and Robin. But in my heart, I always wanted her with Ted. I just feel they [Barney and Robin] shouldn’t have gotten married.”
Hannigan believes the finale would’ve benefited from a longer run-time, as opposed to the standard two-parter the network allotted them with. “I was bummed they didn’t just make it a two-hour season-ender, so they would get to show certain parts [that were cut],” she said. “The table read for the finale was so good, so right, but it was also like 14 hours long. So when I actually saw the final version of the show, I was like ‘they cut out everything!’” In her opinion, that wasn’t fair to the show’s loyal fanbase.
“It just seemed too quick,” she continued, confirming that the editing process removed many scenes. “Obviously it was a tear-jerker, but with all the stuff that got cut out it was too fast … like ‘okay, now we’re going to find out the mom’s dead, then suddenly, okay — he’s with Robin now’, and you’re just like, ‘wait, what happened?! There was a funeral scene [that got cut], and all this stuff that I think the audience needed. They needed that time to process that information, instead of having it slap them in the face.”
As for the show’s other stars, Neil Patrick Harris and Bob Saget have both expressed admiration for the finale in the past, with Harris going so far to say that he “would’ve ended it the exact same way.”