And it all happened inside a snow globe
People are used to being disappointed in the series finale a TV show.
Go ahead and ask somebody what they thought of the last season of “Lost” if you don’t believe me.
In fact “Lost” captured the title of “worst last episode ever” away from “St. Elsewhere,” with “The Sopranos” coming in a close third.
They’re all eating onion rings and then what happens? Is Tony dead? Did they all die? You knew you couldn’t stick the landing and just copped out with a smash cut to black, didn’t you David Chase?
Very few shows get the ending right (“Breaking Bad,” “The Shield”) while most just try and not anger their fans with something so out of character and disrespectful to the rest of the story that you just want to drive to Showtime and ask them why would Dexter become a lumberjack?
Which is why I suffered much consternation upon hearing that CBS, the television network that still manages to pull in ratings like it was the 90s primarily from a spin-off of “Jag” starring the guy who played Shoop from “Summer School,” has started production on a sort-of spinoff to its wildly popular and utterly disappointing “How I Met Your Mother.”
“How I Met Your Mother” was a relatively funny show that went on way too long and used almost a decade’s worth of episodes to tease out one simple question: Who was the mother of these kids?
Then they aired their final episode, where years of storyline pay off with a two minute explanation that the mother was dead and that Ted (the father) was going to try and get with the girl he’d had an off-and-on relationship with throughout the series.
Zero resolution to the story followed by a crass attempt at a twist ending. Pathetic. They should have called M. Night Shyamalan; I much rather would have found out Ted was dead the whole time or he returned to his home planet or whatever garbage that was at the end of “Lady in the Water.”
Now CBS has lassoed rom-com matriarch Meg Ryan to star in the spiritual successor spin-off “How I?Met Your Dad.”
So Meg Ryan gets to be the omniscient narrator for someone who I’m positive will sound nothing like Meg Ryan but the show’s producers will assume if we sat through Bob Saget then we’ll sit through this too.
Fine, go ahead and repeat one of the worst atrocities of the original series … just don’t repeat the second.
The reveal. The reveal of The Mother was such a problem that the show’s writers just killed her off-screen so they wouldn’t have to think of an original story.
Ok, the show is going to be called “How I Met Your Dad,” so how do you reveal the titular Dad?
Yeah, don’t show him. Ever. Not “oh, the Dad isn’t important or she just went to a sperm bank” or any of that nonsense; I mean you never, ever see him.
It’s been far too long since TV has had a good, unseen character.
I’m not sure where the trope started; it might have been the voice on the recordings left for Agent Phelps in “Mission: Impossible” or maybe the voice of Charlie, telling his Angels that there was yet another case to investigate at the beach.
The unseen character may have been conceived in the 60s or 70s, and while the 80s had some notable unknown faces (Dr. Claw from “Inspector Gadget” comes to mind) it didn’t attain perfection until the mid-90s.
You couldn’t see unseen characters everywhere in the 90s. Wilson, the fence-faced neighbor on “Home Improvement,” open window enthusiast Ugly Naked Guy on “Friends,” the disembodied voice of Dr. Kahn on “Salute Your Shorts,” the stark mad rantings of George Steinbrenner on “Seinfeld;” all great characters, all impossible to identify in real life.
“How I Met Your Dad” can overcome the disappointment of the reveal by embracing the unseen character. Just shoot the Dad from the back, or over the shoulder, or with some kind of screen in front of his face; of course all of this comes after eight years of cloying generalities about fate and Jason Segel falling down.
So if CBS wants to save their core audience from having to put the phone on the modem and dial up CBS.com to complain about another lame series finale then they should really should heed my advice.
Or just make the dad a ghost.
Wait a minute.
“How I Met Your Ghost Dad,” starring Bill Cosby and Meg Ryan. Who wouldn’t watch that? It can’t lose! You’re welcome CBS, I’ll be expecting my check shortly.