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I was fascinated this week by all the mail I got when I made a brief Robin Sparkles reference - almost all of them expressing tremendous dissatisfaction with this week's "How I Met Your Mother" finale.

No question that people felt strongly about it. As well they should - after all, this is a program in which a lot of people invested an enormous amount of time. (More than 200 hours over the course of the series run.)

Now, I was never a big "HIMYM" watcher. I'd never turn it on, but if my kids were watching it (and they loved it) and I happened to be nearby, I'd sit down and catch an episode. I probably watched more if this this season than ever before, mostly because I was intrigued by the narrative conceit of having the entire season focus on one weekend.


Maybe because I was not as dedicated a viewer, I wasn't as offended by the finale as many people were. I did think it was sort of a cheat, and I felt bad that the death of The Mother was almost an afterthought … it was what they call deus ex machina, a contrived and arbitrary device used to get characters to where the writers wanted them. On the other hand, I loved moments throughout the finale; the idea that friends, as they get older, tend to drift away seemed very real, and I adored the moment Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) declared his love for the woman of his dreams.

Finales are hard. I hated "The Sopranos" finale for the first five minutes after it was over, but then loved it. There are still people carping about the finale of "The Fugitive," and "Seinfeld," though I think most people would say that the finales of "M*A*S*H," "Mary Tyler Moore" and especially "Cheers" were terrific. This never used to be a problem - there never was a finale for "I Love Lucy" or "The Dick an Dyke Show." Maybe television has become too self-referential. On the other hand, television is better than ever … so maybe the finale fixation is warranted.

I will say this. From the episodes I've seen of "HIMYM," I think the writing was generally first-rate, and the performances excellent. Most of all, I think they did a great job of defining the importance of friendships and the magic of both new and enduring love - within, of course, the context of a sitcom.

That's hard to do over more than 200 episodes, which can be equated to about 50 movies.

I admire the work ethic, and I admire the effort. And if they want a do-over, they can have one … if/when "How I Met Your Dad" makes it onto the airwaves.

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

KC's View: