A funeral scene that was filmed but didn’t make it into the How I Met Your Mother series finale might have helped fans process the CBS sitcom’s final, polarizing twist.
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Speaking with TVLine at Friday night’s Taste for a Cure event in Los Angeles, HIMYM vet Alyson Hannigan said that the finale that aired last month was some 18 minute shorters than the script they worked off of at a “perfect” table read. “But [the full script] was also much more heart-wrenching,” she shared, “which maybe people wouldn’t have liked.”
Among the deleted scenes was what Hannigan described as a “one-second” montage of title character Tracy’s funeral. Instead, viewers only learned from Narrator Ted that the kids’ mother had become ill, then passed away — some time before he decided to rekindle things with their “Aunt” Robin.
“Honestly, if you saw [that] cut, it would be even more heart-wrenching than what the finale was,” Hannigan noted. “They were like, ‘No. It’s just too gut-wrenching.’ And I was like, ‘That’s what I want. I want my heart ripped out and slammed on the floor and, like, stomped on!’”
Hannigan also believes that missing moment “would have been better for the audience, so that then they can process, ‘Oh, [Ted] mourned. He got closure’ — and then they’d be happy that [he and Robin] got together. Rather than be like, ‘Oh, wait. She died? What? They’re together, huh?’ And credits. That’s what I think was too fast.”
Hannigan can see a merit to the finale as aired — at least based on a theory she came up with. “Maybe it’s just me trying to make myself feel better about [the fans'] disappointment… but you know how if you’re in a relationship and you get dumped, you’d rather be mad at the person? I feel like maybe they’re just like, ‘Well, that’s all right. You sucked anyway!’ That they just want to be mad at us for leaving them. They want to go out, like, angry, because it’s easier for them.”
While Hannigan is unsure if the funeral montage will ever see the light of day — series cocreator Carter Bays, acknowledging that the finale “didn’t connect” with some viewers, has promised a differently edited, happier alternate ending on the complete series DVD set — the aforementioned “perfect” table read reportedly was caught on camera, and thus could end up on said DVD set. Says Hannigan, “I just wish they were all there, all the people that didn’t like it.”
Next up for the TV vet: the CBS comedy pilot More Time With Family, which resulted in her having less time off than planned. “I was fully prepared to take a break until I read the script, and it was too good to pass up. And I just loved it so much,” Hannigan said. “By page 9, I was like, ‘All right. Well, the break was shorter than I thought.’” (With reporting by Scott Huver)
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