Today’s Guest-Clacker is Sebastian, a frequent commenter here at CliqueClack who considers himself a “TV nerd from Germany, way too much into comedy and teenage angst shows.”
Remember the whole idea behind this show we love to watch called How I Met Your Mother? It was supposed to be a father telling his two kids, a boy and a girl, how he met their mother. Full of heartwarming anecdotes and tidbits about their uncle Barney and Marshall as well as Aunt Lily and Robin.
What it now ended up to be is a long string of failed relationships and a Lost-like scavenger hunt for who the mother, a woman with a yellow umbrella, will turn out to be. It’s year four of this show, and every time the show starts with a “Kids, remember how…” I cringe. And it’s for a simple reason: the perfect mother has already been on the show, and her name is Victoria.
So to all the fans and non-fans of this wonderful show, I ask you to remember season one, when our storyteller Ted was chasing after the girl he thought would be “The One” — the later-to-be Aunt Robin. He told her he loved her right on the first date. He stole a blue French horn for her from the restaurant they had their first dinner together. He puked on her welcome mat when he came back to her apartment another time just because he liked her that much.
But Robin didn’t want him … then. She had to find out that she liked him while Ted already moved on to greener pastures. And while we first found him with women who meant nothing to him or the viewer, he came across a woman who called herself “Buttercup.” They spent a wonderful evening together during a wedding and promised not to tell their real names, not even share a real kiss, just the “Drumroll, Please” (Season 1, Episode 13) — everything that leads up to the perfect kiss.
That moment was the best I ever saw on How I Met Your Mother. I friggin’ love that moment, and that Buttercup woman, Victoria (Ashley Williams), has had the best chemistry with Ted (Josh Radnor) of all the women that came before and after her, including Robin (Cobie Smulders), and especially Stella (Sarah Chalke), whom Ted tried to marry this season. Let’s just face it, we were given the Elliot on HIMYM that J.D. already ruined (twice!) and turned into a cynic.
Some things just don’t match, including Ted and Stella, and incidentally they already found that out in season one of HIMYM when Barney thought that playing “Battleship” with Robin meant something else than “A7 – Miss.” On a side note: Ted also tried to date a dermatologist in season one — but I digress.
Currently the driving force behind the back story on HIMYM is a friggin’ goat. Sure, seeing people in love might be boring after a while and we all know that all relationships on TV Shows get broken up sooner or later (I still bet Jam — Jim and Pam from The Office — will break up this season and I’m betting money on it!) for the yearning to return, but I think that the awesomeness of Slap-Betting and the BroCode can’t sustain this show much longer. And I don’t have enough faith in Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders to pull the likeness of two seasons of awesome Joey/Rachel weirdness off. While I personally hated those two together, the actors made it work, supported by the fact that Joey was a lovable character.
But Barney is evil and he has to stay that way. To me, making him love Robin is pissing the whole character away, and after that there’s nothing left. They already broke up Marshall and Lily. They already had Robin and Ted break up. Barney and Robin together is ruining the show so just give us the mother already.
And let it be Buttercup, ’cause she was perfect.
I just hope they reveal the pineapple incident before the series ends and that the mother is revealed in the last few episodes, hopefully 4 or 5 years from now. I also wouldn’t put it past Nina Tassler and CBS to cancel this show before mother is revealed if the ratings were to drop. They don’t give a damn about how the viewers feel over there. I’m also hoping we get the rest of the slaps, but they don’t announce when they are coming like Slapsgiving. The one at Barney’s one-man play was the greatest. And I agree about evil Barney. I don’t like him pining for Robin. I like wham bam get out of here mam Barney much better.
I totally agree with you, I think she’s the best girlfriend Ted ever had on the show.
Sadly, I don’t think the writers are gonna go there, though. Not as “suspenseful.”
First, I have to state that I am a HUGE How I Met Your Mother fan… I identify (probably way to much) with Ted, have a best friend not unlike Barney, and another two just like Lily and Marshall. I’ve watched every episode since season one (several times, thanks to DVDs). I do everything I can to get people hooked on it, not unlike what I was doing with BSG not that long ago.
All that being said, to me, this show stopped being “about” finding the mother quite some time ago. Don’t get me wrong, I still am curious as to whom the mother might be (I’m holding out for Trudy from the Pineapple Incident), but its not the reason that I tune in week after week.
To me, the show is about the dynamic between the friends, their trials and tribulations living as young (for the most part) singles in NYC, and, you know… Barney.
He is, quite frankly, the funniest character on television (I can say that now because Scrubs hasn’t come back yet… When it does, its 5 to 6 and pick ‘um). Never met a chauvinist comment he didn’t like, good ole’ Swarly is a character we all love to love. And frankly, its his dynamic with each of the main characters that establishes him as the corner stone of the show.
His secret love for Robin has really allowed us to see him grow in the las… Ok, I can’t even TYPE that with a straight face. But while Barney hasn’t necessarily grown, he has certianly experienced change in our three plus season with him.
He has, unfortunately, ruined my early bet for the mother… I had guessed a certain recurring character would eventually become the mother, but when Barney slept with Wendy the Waitress, I knew my original bet was down the drain :)
Oh how I loved thee, Buttercup. Those were the best three episodes of HIMYM ever.
Agreed! If they wanted to prolong this show for so long (the flashforward says 2030, after all) they shouldn’t have made Ted and Victoria’s chemistry so perfect. Nobody else – not even Robin – has come close.
You guys make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside ^^;
I’m not saying that Buttercup *shouldn’t* come back and be the mother in a surprise twist… but this Guest Clack seems to do a great disservice to the show. The “driving force” is not a goat (it’s a sitcom, it doesn’t need a driving force behind its narrative), and there have been plenty of great moments that aren’t the Slap Bet and aren’t the Bro Code. Those two standout moments are not the foundation on which the show is built.
HIMYM’s ratings have been pretty strong (go over the last few Ratings Clacks), I don’t see why they wouldn’t be renewed.
This column puzzles me.
A few comments about your comment. First I didn’t say that a comedy show needs an overall storyline. But for you to mention that when it comes to HIMYM makes me wonder whether you understand this show. It’s about finding the mother, or better wife of Ted. If that is not the overall theme and a back story, then what is? Did you notice how each episodes begins with Bob Saget talking to two teenage kids? I’m just asking because I think the title “How I met your mother” kind of hints at the shows back story.
Also, story arcs aren’t a necessity in ANY kind of show other than daily soaps. You don’t need them in Sci-Fi, you don’t need them in drama either. But shows like “Babylon 5″ or the later seaons of “Deep Space Nine” with stories spanning multiple episodes show that having a back story can further the quality of a show. Oanother great example is “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, which had seasonal arcs. Carter/Bays chose to have a back story on their comedy show. And to be honest even though we are given hints like pictures, an umbrella, the pinapple incident et cetera, the real “plot” points in the recent couple of episodes weren’t about the mother. They ware about the slap bet and since season one about the goat, which has now even been shifted from Ted’s 30th birthday in 2009. They can’t seem to let that one go at the moment. And to me that was a hint that they run out of options, just like they already, in season four, went through all possible love interest combinations, and I mentioned them all. “Friends” made it last another three years and made a total of ten.
I also didn’t say that there aren’t other things that make this show great, but my focus was on the back story. After four years I am personally close to saying “enough already”. Sure, 50 reasons to have sex are funny, but sooner or later you get to the point where these silly antics become tiresome, because you can hardly believe that a group of five 30somethings have so many ticks and shticks and weird habits. Stories like the one about the Fiero for instance are great story-wise. I demand more of that kind, to be honest.
All in all I guess you are a bit upset that I criticized the show. I understand your sentiment, but honestly your criticism of me is off the mark.
I wrote my opinion down because I love the show, and to be honest I want the romance of those three great episodes in season one back. I want to see Ted in a relationship with the mother and witness how they tackle everyday life, especially because we were shown how great (although not romantically great) Ted and Robin were together. Carter/Bays shot themselved in the foot with that one because they already made it clear that Robin was the aunt of Ted’s kids and therefor there needed to be a breakup. When you listen to the audio commentary on the Season 2 DVDs then you’ll notice that they both mention that they wanted to break those two up in the November sweeps already but then noticed who good they were together, how great the two actors made the relationship look – and in the end it lasted until the very last episode of season two.
My problem really is that they ruined the whole romance angle on the show. They had the best romantic episodes on season one like I mentioned, they lucked out with the actors making the next relationship work and then they added another love intrest with Sarah Chalke which, IMHO, was really really horrible. Chalke is a great actress but compared to Cobie Smulders she had no chemistry with Josh Radnor. Even her on-screen kid had more of a connection to Ted than she did if you ask me. And casting Jason Jones as her former husband? Talk about a trainwreck.
Great I think I should’ve put this into another guest clack…
Great now I made that silly “Carter/Bays” error myself. Bays/Thomas.
My reply was mainly aimed at your assertions of not having enough faith in members of the cast, and the implication that the show is sustained by how awesome it was in the past.
Yes, I do pay enough attention to the show to notice things that are part of it, but I don’t mind when shows digress and evolve, which is something HIMYM has *always* done, I don’t think it should be called out and strung up for it.
If I remember correctly, Victoria was the first “fall-back” mother from when they were still not sure if the show would continue beyond the first order of episodes. That was a scenario in which the final episode would have been “Drumroll, Please” and ending slightly differently than how we saw it.