I was not going to write a post on the How I Met Your Mother premiere, but after reading the many, many negative opinions, I had to. There are two things you should know:
1. I started watching HIMYM in June and finished in July. I have marathoned seven seasons twice since then (for those of you doing the math, that is 322 episodes in 60 days, 5 episodes a day). Ergo, I have not had to suffer through seven years of not meeting the mother, nor have I had seven years to build up impatience and frustration.
2. While there is a lot of negativity floating around the HIMYM universe, I am sure there is twice, if not three times the amount of positivity—considering we are now going into the eighth season and the ratings and viewer numbers are some of the highest since the series premiere.
I would like to address the three criticisms which seem to flow through HIMYM’s fan base on a consistent basis.
1. Stop talking and show us the mother!
The show is called How I Met Your Mother. Not How I Met and Started Dating Your Mother, or How I Met Your Mother and Had Many Adventures With Her Before We Got Married. It was never that. It was set up from the very first episode that, if we ever saw the mother it would take a long time. Since the show was built on the not-knowing principle, I am surprised at how many people complain. Somewhere along the line, fans got it into their heads they were going to meet the mother before the end of the show. If someone can tell me why that is, I would love to know.
Some of the strong points of the show are humor, character development, touching moments, true-to-life jokes, and continuity. The writers and producers never cease to amaze me by how accurately they remember the little details. HIMYM is built on these little things, little stories, little pointless events. Ted is a long-winded story teller who insists that every detail is important in setting up the punch line, even when they aren’t. This is the show: why do fans think the model is going to change?
I understand if fans are beginning to dislike the canon or the kind of stories being told—that happens in many shows. I even understand if some people are thinking the humor and plotlines are becoming stale. But I do not see why the story is stale just because we have not met the mother yet.
2. Ted and Robin? AGAIN?
This one I kind of agree with. I thought Robin and Ted had great chemistry while they were dating, but it was set up from the beginning that she is not the mother. I was prepared for the inevitable break-up (besides the fact that I could not wait for Barney to go down that route with Robin).
However, this is a story and these characters are very much the property and product of the writers and producers. I grant them creative license—as long as the characters stay in character. Ted realizing he is still hung up on Robin makes sense if you understand his character. I might not really feel like sitting through more of this re-hashing, but you have to give the writers some creative license in getting to the punchline in their own way. We, the fans, cannot dictate what we want all the time. Where is the fun in that?
3. I hate Barney and Robin.
Again, I can see why people are upset. I understand from Barney’s point of view how and why he is in love with Robin, but I feel that Cobie Smulders could do a better job on her end. Neil Patrick Harris develops his chemistry quite well, but I think Cobie leaves something to be desired. As for the writers, they definitely shorted us on developing Barney and Robin during Season 4, woefully abandoned any kind of romantic expansion between them when they dated in Season 5, and then suddenly reintroduced it in Season 7 with very little for fans to go on.
I am taking a leap of faith on this because I love Barney, I love Robin, and I love the idea of them being together. I am willing to accept the premise that they are, indeed, in love with each other. What the writers need to do is prove it to us. We need more episodes of Barney and Robin together as in “Zip, Zip, Zip” (Season 1), “Sandcastles in the Sand,” (Season 3), and “Disaster Averted” (Season 7).
As for them being together, it is not out of character for either. Robin and Barney are surprisingly perfect for each other—when Robin gets over her fear of commitment and Barney his fear of abandonment. When they do finally reach where they need to be, Barney and Robin will be completely faithful to one another. Barney may be a womanizer, but he never gives less than 100 percent, and Robin needs someone like that—someone who will not give up on her even when she gives up on herself. Barney is that person.
Those are my thoughts. Take ’em or leave ’em. It is always good to look at something from another perspective.
Also, the premiere: I thought it was hilarious. I laughed throughout and so did millions of other fans. We don’t think the jokes were stale.