Posted by: ritagone | April 2, 2014

Getting Nostalgic


I have not watched “How I Met Your Mother,” the CBS sit com that has been on the air on CBS for the past nine seasons and ended this past week with a two part back-to-back finale.

So it’s strange that I recorded and then watched that finale two days later.

Don’t ask me why I felt compelled to do this.

I guess I like finales on TV series. I like to see how the writers and producers work out the kinks and story arcs and put the show and the characters to rest once and for all. Even if you don’t know the characters and the plots and episodes, you can pretty much figure out what’s been happening by watching the finale, I’ve decided.

And what the finale of “How I Met Your Mother” was filled with was nostalgia, the kind of nostalgia that we all feel when we know that something is slipping away from us, a set of circumstances, people, a way of life. Like when you were in college and your dorm roommates and you sat around and reminisced about the last year or two of school, knowing that it was all coming to an end. And come to an end it did. You said you would all stay in touch. But you didn’t. Life moved you in different directions, and years and then decades slipped away, and before you knew it, you had completely lost touch. You hadn’t even thought of these people you had spent so much of your time and your life with so long ago.

That’s the emotion that was captured over and over again in the finale of “HIMYM”: a sense that, try as you might, there is just no way to prevent the reality that time marches on and things will never be the same in your relationships with certain people. You can’t recapture what you had in the past, no matter how much you want to.

We’ve all felt that kind of nostalgic feeling for the past, wanting to hold onto a moment in time because it is so sweet that we can’t bear to let it go. We promise the people involved that we will be there, we won’t miss the next gathering, but – as happened in the show’s finale – something comes up and someone can’t make it, and it’s just not the same, because you wanted everyone to move heaven and earth, to make it a priority just like it was for you. Remove one person or two from the equation and everything falls apart.

Interesting that you didn’t have to watch “HIMYM” for nine seasons to know exactly what the show consisted of for all that time just by watching the finale. It was as if all the nostalgia and emotion of each season were poured into the ending, and, whether you found the last episode satisfying or not, it seemed to answer some of the major questions which the series raised early on and never got around to solving until it was over. Reviews I’ve subsequently read have told me that it was cleverly done and worthy of the show’s long history, a creative ending to a well-crafted series.

The older I get, the more nostalgic I seem to get about everything: people, places, events. Maybe that’s one of the aspects of getting older, knowing that you won’t see certain places or people again, or that some things will truly never be the same, and so you mourn them and miss them terribly.

Are there things, people, events, places that you’re nostalgic about? How do you deal with that nostalgia? Is it a good or bad thing in your opinion?

At any rate, it was an interesting exercise: to wax nostalgic about a TV show I’ve never watched before and characters I don’t even know. I shudder to think what I’ll be like when “The Good Wife” comes to its last episode and I have to say good-bye to Alicia Florrick!


  1. I am totally nostalgic about living with you and Michael – love you guys!

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