I’ve been a fan of How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) for several years now, during which I’ve seen every episode. However, I haven’t been a fan of Season 6 (the current season). I think the show strayed too far from its roots, thereby making it less interesting for the fans who were attracted by the original premise.
For example, when was the last time Ted (the main character, the one telling the story of how he met the mother of his future kids to his aforementioned future kids) alluded to the Mother at all? Yes, every episode still starts with Ted saying something like “It was the winter of 2010…” to his kids in the year of 2030, but it is now simply the story of the group with no links whatsoever to the Mother and how Ted meets her. At least for me, one of the most attractive features of the earlier seasons of the show was the unusual manner of the flow of the story: the jumps in time, the clues as to who might be the Mother, how they meet, etc. But all of that was pretty much gone by Season 5. Granted, some of the show’s best episodes never mention the Mother – for example, Season 5’s Playbook, which may well be my most favorite episode to date. And yes, Season 6 has mentioned the Mother – in that episode when Ted sees a former girlfriend – who, as we know, is the Mother’s roommate – at the bar with another girl. The latest real clue was at the end of Season 4, when Ted decides to become a professor and reveals that the Mother was in his class. We haven’t seen any development on that since then.
But what annoys me the most about Season 6 is that it becomes less and less about Ted. Conversely, it is more and more about Lilly and Marshall, their attempts to have a baby, and Marshall’s family – which, as adorable and sympathetic as it is, is not supposed to be the main theme of the show. I don’t have a problem with stories about Robin and Barney – first of all, because they haven’t stolen the focus from Ted and the Mother, and second, because their stories are fun, unlike the Marshall’s family storyline, which made the entire latest episode, Last Words, staged as a funeral (yes, literally). I know death is a part of life, but HIMYM is supposed to be (mostly) fun. Funerals are not.
Another annoying feature – introduction of random characters we are (inexplicably) supposed to care about. Yes, I am primarily talking about Zoe, the blonde activist/trophy wife we’ve seen in about five episodes. She was introduced as an annoying but attractive character who keeps crossing her paths with Ted. The writers never really explained why Zoe is important – or at least interesting – and yet she continued to appear in a number of episodes, even becoming part of the group. Yes, her wealthy older-ish husband, hilariously played by Kyle MacLachlan, was kind of fun to watch, but I hope we’ll never see Zoe again, unless it is sufficiently explained why she is there.
The bottom line is, HIMYM needs to return to its comedy roots and its original premise of the storyline based on the Mother. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy watching The Office, which seems to be on the the very few shows that has been able to maintain its high standard of writing throughout the seasons.