The divisive television series finale has become a favorite trope for critics, bloggers, and academics alike. The final episode of How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) was no exception. After nine seasons, we bid farewell to Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lily on March 31. To the novice observer, the episode seemed to provoke vehement dislike* at worst and ambivalence at best. Our social TV insights platform, Canvs tells a different story. As reported in The Atlantic, most people actually liked the HIMYM finale. In fact, the goodwill toward the show built up over the past nine seasons trumped any negative feelings fans had about the events in the finale. About 22% (41,000-some tweets) of total emotional reactions to the show expressed sadness that HIMYM was ending. As The Atlantic reports, only about 20% of reactions to the show were outright negative.
Here's what Canvs found, based on Twitter reaction from about 117,000 viewers: More than half of reactions to the show were positive, while about one-fifth of them were clearly negative.
Sure, the HIMYM finale didn’t prompt Newhart level adulation or even Sopranos-esque existential debate. But it did get a lot of people talking and tweeting. With more fan favorites like Mad Men and Glee slated to bow out at the end of their respective seasons, not to mention the resurgence of mini series/anthology programs like True Detective on HBO and FX’s American Horror Story and Fargo, the cultural significance of the television series finale seems to only be growing. Here at Mashwork, we promise we’ll be paying attention.
*Warning: Links may contain spoilers. Proceed with caution!