“How I Met Your Mother” and How I’m Starting to Not Care.

Written by Sarah Townsend November 03, 2011


In 2005 “How I Met Your Mother” began as one of those comedies where you’d think “it’s so funny because it’s true”! Even the scenarios that were a little exaggerated or outlandish had moments that had either happened to you or someone you knew. The episodes were clever and written in such a way that even though the audience could guess that they were in for a long story as they watched Ted (Josh Radnor), Marshall (Jason Segel), Lily (Alyson Hannigan), Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) study, date, work, cry and dance through life, they still cared deeply for the characters. Few can tell me that their hearts didn’t break even a little during the finale of Season 1: Ted has Robin and all is right with the world and then he comes home to find Marshall sitting alone holding Lily’s engagement ring. It was powerful stuff and more importantly it was real storytelling.

So what’s happened since then? “How I Met Your Mother” is now on its 7th Season and I’ve been holding out pretty well up to this point. Sure, the stories have become less inspired within recent years and the actual movement of the plot has come in short bursts but there was always something in the season that kept me watching. Last Season’s finale did it for me this time. Who is Barney marrying? Will it be Robin (please) or will it be Nora (…she doesn’t like Ewoks, ‘nuff said)? Lily and Marshall are finally pregnant and Ted…is still single.

Season 7 started out strongly with Ted reminiscing about various wedding speech disasters, – the video remix of Ted’s failed speeches is hilarious – the gang finding out about Lily’s pregnancy and Barney getting back together with Nora despite Robin’s near attempt at reconciliation. The plot seemed to be going somewhere and at a decent speed too! If only.

It’s probably bad that I had to look up what has happened so far this season because the answer is pretty much nothing. The ducky tie as well as the many Canadian references in the Halloween episode have both been high moments and have made me laugh out loud, which is good because the much built up “Slutty Pumpkin” was one of the biggest let downs yet. We waited 7 years for Katie Holmes to immediately not be the right girl?

Barney and Robin held this episode together with their back and forth Canadian banter.

We’ve also enjoyed an entire episode spent with the actors who play the character’s parents in promiscuous positions whilst freaking out the other spouse. Really? Lily has also become an absolute idiot in a very unflattering portrayal of pregnancy. You have a baby growing inside you; he’s not eating your brain! I won’t even get into how irresponsible it was to broadcast to millions that it’s okay to drink “just a little bit” while pregnant.

Then we have Ted. Poor, poor Ted. A whole episode was dedicated to the idea of how social media has changed the way we date now which is a clever point, ruined by Barney and Robin becoming far too involved in Ted’s life and creeping every date he has. Mind your own business! It isn’t cute anymore, if it ever was, it’s filmed with a certain manic activity that is unrealistic and disrespectful to their friend and it doesn’t advance the plot. Kal Penn’s role as Robin’s new boyfriend has been a turn toward the positive, possibly because he seems to be the only character who realizes how ridiculously stupid everyone else is acting – though he hasn’t left yet so maybe he’s not as smart as I thought. In saying that, I realize that I’m still watching too…Well, never mind.

Painting, snooping unnecessarily, and going insane during pregnancy.

I haven’t laughed much this season which is perhaps the most disappointing part. Even fillers could be funny rather than stupid but they just aren’t, and they are all filler. I’m going to continue to watch because the writers did something right several years ago when they first wrote these characters. They’ve hooked me in enough that I truly do care about seeing the baby, who Barney marries and who the hell Ted’s wife is, but damn could they please hurry up?

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About Sarah Townsend

Sarah Townsend

Sarah Townsend: Senior Television Editor of We Eat Films and writer of the Brit Picks column. A fourth year English and History student at UWO, future plans include travelling with the Doctor in his TARDIS whenever he finds me. I'm still waiting...

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