So how did Ted Mosby meet the mother of his future children? Wouldn’t you like to know! But seriously, if you’re behind on How I Met Your Mother and want to avoid spoilers, I would advise skipping this post.
I’ve been watching How I Met Your Mother off and on since its first season. My initial interest was in Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan, two actors from my TV past, via Freaks and Geeks and Buffy the Vampire Slayer respectively. And while they continue to a powerful reason for viewing, I began to appreciate the show for its premise. Sure, it’s not breaking sitcom tradition in all areas, but it tweaks the formula just enough to stand out. Anyway, not all rules were made to be broken. A coed group of friends in New York City needs somewhere to hang out, whether it be a bar or a coffee shop.
How I Met Your Mother can be one of those shows that you watch for the supporting cast, in spite of the main character. (I’m looking at you, True Blood.) I imagine the popularity of Marshall, Lily, and of course Barney threw the show runners for a loop. They needed to maintain the show’s premise while making use of these other talented actors. Then again, without their popularity, the show probably wouldn’t be starting its seventh season. Still, there was a period of time (most of season three, perhaps) when Ted got downright sleazy, and I couldn’t root for him at all.
Crucial to enjoying the show is accepting the fact that most of the plotlines have nothing to do with the central question. A more accurate title would be Before I Met Your Mother or An In-Depth Account of My Premarital Dating Life. Every once in a while future Ted (hey, Bob Saget!) throws in a plug for how “if this hadn’t happened, I would have never met your mother,” but that excuse can only get you so far. Unless the mother turns out to be Robin, in which case I would feel totally cheated.
Yes, future Ted refers to her as Aunt Robin, yet the show continues to harp on her as an important figure in Ted’s love life. Frankly, I was annoyed that they wasted an entire season on that relationship if she wasn’t the mother. My roommate Lisa and I had a spirited debate about Cobie Smulders and the Robin character. My argument was basically “yeah, she’s pretty, but I don’t get what the big deal is.” Lisa’s counter argument was “are you blind, she’s gorgeous and hilarious.” Who’s to say who’s right? I think what really bothers me is the persistence of the Ted-Robin-Barney love triangle. I like her character with other people, but not either of them. On Friends I wanted nothing more than for Ross and Rachel to end up together, but Marshall and Lily are the only HIMYM inter-group pairing that does it for me.
Since an eighth season is also in the works, it’s safe to say that we won’t know much until next year. As much as I enjoy the show, I think they can only fake out their audience for so long. How many significant romances does Ted need to have? Learn your life lessons and get hitched already!