‘How I Met Your Mother’ strives for increasingly thought−provoking plots
Show moves beyond tired premise to examine relationships
Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 01:03
It’s been a whirlwind of romance and drama in the latest season of “How I Met Your Mother,” although unsurprisingly, none of that excitement brings us much closer to the answer to the question posed by the title of the show. At this point, does the identity of the mysterious mother even matter? The audience has sat through seven seasons of tantalizing and ultimately empty promises of her reveal, with glimpses of her foot, her umbrella and her roommate, rabidly questioning each new female character that is introduced to the show. Will the last few episodes of the season finally give some answers?
“How I Met Your Mother” follows the tales of a core group of friends: romantic and often annoyingly esoteric professor of architecture Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), easygoing lawyer Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel), morally inclined kindergarten teacher Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan), highly competitive womanizer Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) and individualistic news anchor Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders). The gang’s stories are told in a series of flashbacks of the future Ted telling his children how he met their mother.
This season has been a collection of the making and breaking of romantic relationships. They range from rekindled love with old flames like Ted and his love from the first season Victoria (Ashley Williams) to trust issues between Barney and just about anyone who loves him. It also covers everything from Marshall and Lily trying to raise their firstborn child to the decisions that everyone has to make in the face of love. Season eight has been a critical success by making the audience examine their own lives, to see that the most meaningful relationships oftentimes come with the most obstacles.
As most critics would agree, the person holding up the show is Barney Stinson, the lovable and some might argue, insane character who creates a harem of ridiculous ideas to bring color to the otherwise easily dulled rhythm of life. In this season, Barney’s innovative ways to get girls feed the humor of the episodes. Whether it is Barney’s legendary relationship playbook or his dilemma in deciding which strip club to frequent, Barney’s jokes and tomfooleries are still the heart of “How I Met Your Mother.”
The highlight of the season has to be the storyline surrounding the relationship between Barney and Robin, who have been on and off over the years. They’ve both been engaged to other people, have loved and have lost. But over the years, the one thing that has never changed is the connection that Barney and Robin have and, underlying that, their love for each other. When Barney decides to go all out and win the love of his life, he pulls a series of shenanigans to get Robin to go crazy for him. What really pulls at the audience’s heartstrings, however, is Ted’s love for Robin. He has loved her unconditionally throughout all the years and despite dating several women in−between, that love has never wavered. When he is faced with the ultimate predicament of all — letting Robin go or keeping her for himself — Ted has to reconcile his feelings with his desire to let Robin find the happiness he thinks she deserves. These trials and tribulations bring about fresh perspectives for the audience on what this thing they call “love” really is.
Despite the tired who−is−the−mother plotline that the show continues to drag along, “How I Met Your Mother” continues to keep things entertaining with previous characters like Marshall’s old brunch buddy Brad, the intimidating and creepy Captain and Robin’s beloved alter−ego Robin Sparkles.
This season of “How I Met Your Mother” doesn’t promise more answers, more excitement or more laughter than ever before, but its added substance does make us thinking a little longer about our own choices in life, love and everything else.