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'How I Met Your Mother': All about Robin, after all

From left, Cobie Smulders (Robin), Alyson Hannigan (Lily),

(Credit: Fox / Ron P. Jaffe)

Robin Scherbatsky, take a bow: The whole darn show, "How I Met Your Mother," was really just about . . . you. How many saw last night's ending coming? All of you? OK, fine. Good for you.

I didn't (entirely). But all the clues were there, for all to see over nine seasons. That this ride should end with the blue French horn and Robin looking out her window (with dogs) was in one sense the perfect wrap -- tying back to the very beginning, and really what this whole story was about in the first place: How love sometimes -- if one is very, very lucky, or not named Barney Stinson --- endures.

In another sense, too, it was an elaborate con job, the ultimate TV April Fool's joke that didn't "pay off" so much as just play one more trick on viewers by now reasonably used to them. "HIMYM" was one continuous head-fake -- false turns, dead-ends, MacGuffins, red herrings . . . you  name it, they did it here. That was certainly the show's prerogative, just as it was fans' prerogative to complain about it. But the final "twist" also felt a bit too convenient -- a bit, well, like just another bit.

It was certainly bittersweet, too -- considering that "mother," as fans had long suspected, would not survive, and had in fact not even been alive during the telling of this. That was obvious for many seasons, by the way, and a fan suspicion for many of those seasons, too. After all, where was mom? Why didn't she come in to interrupt the tale, to tell everyone it was time for dinner, or school, or that "dad" got that detail wrong, etc.?

Plus, fans never really got a chance to emotionally connect with "The Girl in the Yellow Umbrella." They didn't even learn her name until the final seconds from last night (Tracy McDonnell). Cristin Milioti was also perfect in her brief starring role, in glimpses over the last season.  

But they had connected with Robin. The whole story, therefore, was a pretext for dad to ask the kids permission to ask out "Aunt Robin . . ."

The finale was flawed: Too long, padded with extraneous material, bloated . . . Just like the final season, leading one to assume the finale/final season were an instance of money trumping the natural life of a TV series. (Happens all the time, by the way.)

Plus, Robin and Ted never aged . . . 15, maybe even 20 years had passed and nothing had changed -- Ted (Josh Radnor) and Robin had been cryogenically preserved, apparently.

Meanwhile, Cobie Smulders -- already a huge fanboy star, thanks to her "Avengers" movie role -- is about to get bigger, with "Captain America" and the next "Avengers." Here she is on "Late Show with David Letterman" last night.


'How I Met Your Mother': Wait for it ... an appreciation

Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel and Neil Patrick Harris

(Credit: CBS / Monty Brinton)

After this day ... wait for it ... no more "wait for it" jokes here. Promise. Meanwhile, here's my appreciation of "How I Met Your Mother," ending Monday after nine seasons.

"How I Met Your Mother" series finale, WCBS/2, Monday, 8 p.m.

What it's about: That long -- very long -- weekend on Long Island finally wraps Monday night, along with one of TV's beloved comedies, ending after nine...

Read more »

'How I Met Your Mother' finale clip; Cobie Smulders on 'CBS Sunday Morning'

Actress Cobie Smulders attends the 2011 CBS Upfront

(Credit: Getty Images)

"How I Met Your Mother" ends Monday, and in anticipation of that event, look at a.) My series appreciation, below; and b.) two video clips.

First, a quick glance at the last show, and the second, of Cobie Smulders, on "CBS Sunday Morning" this weekend to talk about you-know-what. Anthony Mason does the honors here:




Cast of 'How I Met Your Mother' do Top Ten on 'Late Show with David Letterman'

From left, Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders, Josh Radnor,

(Credit: AP)

With (most) everyone talking about the new guy at "Tonight," we almost — almost — neglected to make the salient and quite pleasing observation that "Late Show with David Letterman" had some standout moments Monday night too — including this one: The cast of "How I Met Your Mother" did the "Top Ten."  Worth a look if you haven't seen already...By the way, the "mother" — Cristin  Milioti —  is missing and here's some interesting/useless information that you may also find salient and quite pleasing: Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas used to work at "Late Show."

Meanwhile, interesting guests the rest of this week...but you'll likely wanna see tonight, if you are a "House of Cards" fan: Kate Mara is on to talk about...well, can we say what she will talk about? I guess not - maybe not everyone knows just yet what happened to Zoe... Also: US. Olympic gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg - Men’s Slopestyle snowboarding - tonight; Kaitlyn Farrington, the U.S. women’s halfpipe snowboarding gold medalist, tomorrow; U.S. Men’s Ski Slopestyle medal trio of Joss Christensen (gold), Gus Kenworthy (silver) and Nick Goepper (bronze) Thursday...

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Greta Gerwig headlines CBS' 'How I Met Your Father'

Greta Gerwig attends the premiere of Warner Bros.

(Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison)

"How I Met Your Father," the spinoff of you-know-what, has its mother: Greta Gerwig, who will also write and produce (sort of the same thing). CBS announced late Tuesday. (Emily Spivey, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas of "HIMYM" are the show-runners.) 

To call this is a "unique" and "interesting" cast announcement diminishes the impact of both words -- maybe put "highly" in front of them and that helps. Gerwig is barely known to the greater world at large (the CBS audience) -- but is a highly esteemed "indie prod" actress whose roots go back to "mumblecore" and Joe Swanberg's breakout film that launched that movement back in '07 ("Hannah Takes the Stairs," with mumblecore master, Mark Duplass, another indie prod star.) Since then, she's been in a handful of films -- "To Rome with Love," and "Lola Versus," and most recently "Frances Ha" -- that all further established her as a fine actress in a small pond. Now...CBS. What does this mean for a spinoff of a show that's passionately beloved by a relatively small and devoted audience? Probably all good because this audience wasn't looking for a big commercial name anyway, and Gerwig's has plenty of pop already.

She was also a voice in Adult Swim's "China, IL" and has a couple of TV credits to her name, but of more significant note, she was going to do a series for HBO based on the novel "The Corrections" (with her companion Noah Baumbach), but HBO ultimately passed.  

MORE: Greatest TV characters | Reality TV | TV Zone blog | TV Listings

Some clips: Gerwig on "Late Show with David Letterman," recently, and a clip with her and Baumbach at the New Yorker festival.

(Newsday app readers, watch here: Unfortunately, this content is unavailable on mobile phones.)

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