Over seven years ago I heard about a sitcom pilot airing soon and Alyson Hannigan was going to be in it. I am a huge Joss Whedon fan so I try to follow most of what his people do. I didn’t know much about the rest of the cast outside of Neil Patrick Harris, who I knew was on Broadway and used to be Doogie Howser. I saw the pilot when it aired and I was completely hooked by the last line of the episode. Like most people I was faked out into thinking that Robin was going to end up the Mother, but when Ted said “And that’s how I met your Aunt Robin” I was intrigued. I haven’t missed an episode yet, so this is my mid-season recap/thoughts on season 7 so far. There are spoilers ahead and a lot of rambling.

How I Met Your Mother is a CBS sitcom about five best friends in modern day New York City. The main character Ted (Josh Radnor) is a pretentious but sweet architect who really wants to find true love and be married. He wants the family and the white picket fence. He fell in love with Robin (Cobie Smulders) on their first date, although she did not share his feelings for awhile on the show. They tried out their relationship and it didn’t work out because she doesn’t want the traditional family and picket fence. She’s a broadcast journalist who always wanted to be a real on-air news personality,  but she hasn’t gotten a break. She also used to be a popstar in Canada called Robin Sparkles. Ted’s oldest friend and college roommate Marshall (Jason Segel) got engaged to his long term girlfriend Lily (Alyson Hannigan) in the very first episode, but they did have a rocky road to finally getting married and starting a family of their own. Marshall’s an environmental lawyer and Lily is a kindergarten teacher. Rounding out the team is the scene stealer Barney (Neil Patrick Harris). No one knows what his job is exactly, but it earns him enough money to always have plenty of suits, expensive scotch, and gives him enough time to constantly womanize and come up with ways to seduce a new woman every night. The show is about this group of friends as they navigate their lives on a personal, financial, and professional basis. It’s funny, silly, loves to make callbacks to earlier episodes and mess with time jumps, and highly quotable. We still haven’t met the Mother of Ted’s kids. He has been telling them this story for seven years now, every episode leading to who he was when he met their mother.

So season seven! They promised to inch closer to meeting the Mother by Ted mentioning he met her at a wedding. They made us think it was Ted’s future wedding we were looking at, when in fact it was Barney getting married all along. This surprised many people since Barney’s always been the anti-marriage person, but of course this is Hollywood so he’d always find the error of his ways and settle down. I’ll get to that later, because I have things to say about that. Anyway, this season starts right out at Barney’s wedding with him telling Ted he’s not certain if this is the only “tie” he wants to be with for the rest of his life. Ted manages to calm him down. Two major storylines started from the premiere through the half-season: Robin’s resurfaced feelings for Barney, and Lily getting pregnant. The first one is hardly a surprise. It’s an old sitcom cliche to do the will-they-won’t-they for couples in a show until it’s dragged out to death. I was a huge BrOTP fan (Robin/Barney shippers) until they actually got together and lost all the things that made them interesting. I think that was a deliberate choice by the writers. But Barney’s trying to seriously date this woman Nora, and now Robin’s jealous and struggling with her feelings over it.

Lily and Marshall getting pregnant only really leads to jokes about pregnancy, but it did get them to a point where they were offered an entire house by Lily’s relatives. At first they refused, but after some consideration they decided it might be a good idea since they were starting a family. Ted finally meets the Slutty Pumpkin from season one, and it turns out they’re completely wrong for each other. He’d been dreaming of this girl forever, and she was an ideal that just couldn’t be met. They both felt this way. But it did put him in that depressed place again where he was certain he’d never find the right woman. Back to Robin and Barney, Robin ends up being forced into counseling and she ends up falling for her shrink Kevin (Kal Penn). They start dating, but after reminiscing about Hurricane Irene, Barney and Robin have sex. They try to resist telling their significant others, but they decide maybe they should give it a second try. Except Robin doesn’t; she chooses to stay with Kevin and Barney dumps Nora, leaving him heartbroken again. That is until Robin says she’s pregnant. They’re both psyched when she’s not pregnant, and then Robin finds out she can’t have kids. While she’s never wanted kids, she feels bittersweet about the revelation since it takes an option for her off the table.

Here’s my thoughts on the characters so far:

Ted

Aren’t we all getting a little sick of the looking for the Mother thing? Yes of course, but I’m of the mind they probably won’t introduce the mother until the end. The reason for this is how dangerous it could be if the fandom hates who they choose to play her. We know they get married, so it’s a foregone conclusion and we don’t necessarily need to see them date and get to that point. Maybe if it’s well done that would be great, but I don’t think it’s vital to the show. In my opinion the show has always been about Ted growing up and becoming the man who would be a father and a husband. It’s his coming of age story. That being said they did mention Barney’s wedding and it’s probably going to happen this year, so he’ll have to meet the mother. They’re inclined to have one more season after this, so maybe that’ll be it. He’ll meet her, we’ll see some of their courtship, and then the show will bow out gracefully.

Marshall and Lily

Obviously they’re always together. I liked that they were mature enough to decide to move out of the city. I know families can be raised in New York City, of course they can, but for what Marshall wanted out of a family, they really did need to go to the suburbs. We get a lot out of Marshall’s job from time to time, but not much out of Lily. I guess her job is pretty boring, but it could be interesting to see how she interacts with children at school now that she’s pregnant. Otherwise they’re a good stable part of the show, but not really the most interesting.

Barney and Robin

I’m putting them together here because they both fall under a category of meeeeh I feel here. I said I’m a big shipper of them and I am. What I liked about them was how non-traditional they were. They didn’t want to get married or have kids, and they wanted to travel the world and put their careers first. This is atypical in Hollywood. Usually with a woman like Robin she’s a hard working career gal until she meets the right man and settles down and wants all the same things as everyone else. I am a firm believer people can change their mind. You can think you want a different life than the one you end up with, and that probably happens more often than not. Maybe it is meeting the right one. Maybe your view on the world changes or the things you thought were important before turned out not to be important as the years went on. I think people can change. I just wish that the two atypical characters on this show wouldn’t end up falling into the traditional categories. We have tooooons of people on television and movies and whatever else doing that. We don’t often have people who genuinely don’t want to get married or have children and stay that way. That’s rare.

So Barney now wants to get married (and will get married) and have kids. Alright. They did show in the past that Barney was at one time very into love and relationships. He was hurt by a woman and that changed him. I was a little disappointed by Robin’s storyline because I wanted her to be a woman who voluntarily chooses not to have children. Not that the option was taken away from her, but rather that she was capable of having children and said nope, I just don’t want them. Now obviously she could’ve adopted or had a surrogate or tried other means of having children if she changed her mind, and these are all awesome options I’m sure she would consider if she wanted them. I felt it cheapened that atypical point of view of hers for her to be incapable of having kids rather than choosing not to have any. But that’s just a personal problem.

Final Thoughts

I’m all right with this season so far. I think the show is wearing. It’s fun and I still laugh at it regularly, but I think it’s starting to get to the point where it might want to wrap up. It doesn’t want to overstay its welcome. Eight seasons would be great. They are renewed through eight, and it’s entirely possible they plan to end it next season on their own terms. I’d be very happy with that. Like I said before, I think we don’t need to meet the mother. I always assumed she’d be introduced in the very last episode of the show, because she’s a symbol more than a real entity. Still, if they introduce her now and have her around for the next season, I’m fine with that, just be careful with the casting! I still love this show and there’s not much that can keep me from watching it. Unless it goes on for like ten more years, because it’ll probably get really old by then.

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