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How I Met Your Mother: Ted Lets Go, and the Most Interesting Tidbits from the Creators' Reddit AMA (Jennifer Love Hewitt as Robin? Gross)

By Courtney Enlow | TV Reviews | February 4, 2014 | Comments ()


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First and foremost, this will be happening every Tuesday after a new episode until the finale. I don’t care if the show has been on and off the rails for the past few years. I don’t care about Zoe and her dumb hats. This show has been an important part of the last nine years, of my last nine years, and I’m giving it the goodbye it deserves. So get your snarky complaints and “How I Met Your Mother? More like How Are You Still Watching This?”es out of the way now. Sniffle. Because I’m going to miss this show. I’m going to miss my TV friends when they’re gone.

Last night, we finally got what we’ve been so desperately needing for a long time: Ted finally let Robin go. I know people probably found it terribly cheesy, but I loved it.

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This was a hard goodbye for Ted, leaving behind Robin as an option. And it has been insufferable that he hasn’t been able to so far. But, we can take comfort in the knowledge that his love for Robin wasn’t as real as he thought, that, as strong as it was, it really was, as he pledged to Jeannette, “disposable.” We’ve all known a Ted. Hell, some of us have been that Robin. And the Teds might love the Robins, but mostly they love the idea of this relationship that only isn’t happening because they didn’t get the girl, not understanding that if they ever got her, it wouldn’t (and didn’t) work out anyway. As annoying as it’s been at times, it is actually one of the realest, truest things the show has given us. That said, we were ready to let it go.

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Besides, think about how much worse it would have all been if Robin hadn’t been played by the flawless and sublime Cobie Smulders, but by nether-jewel enthusiast Jennifer Love Hewitt.

That was one of the things we learned in the Reddit AMA of Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, that serial engagement ring purchaser Sparkles McSnatchenstein was originally slated to play Robin Scherbatsky. Gah-ross. How different things could have been. No Canada. No falling asleep while eating ribs. NO ROBIN SPARKLES. The mere thought is too tragic to consider.

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Here are the choicest quotes from the AMA:

“Lots of shows and movies have influenced us. The one that comes to mind first and foremost is that “The Robin” is almost certainly an unconscious romantic comedy rewrite of (BREAKING BAD SPOILER) the Lily of the Valley moment from Breaking Bad. I don’t know if it was conscious on our parts, but the idea of seeing someone so awesomely stick the landing on a long con like that was too good not to rip off for our own purposes.”
“I know Ted bounces back and forth between being grounded and ungrounded. It’s always been how we do our show — we go high and low, tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight, et cetera. For better or for worse, that’s how we do it. But I will say this: Josh Radnor, starting with tonight’s episode, is TREMENDOUS in the final episodes of this series. There’s still two left to shoot, but in this last stretch there’s some stuff that he plays so gutwrenchingly beautifully… I’m in awe of him as an actor!”

I must comment on this, because Ted gets so much flack. Everyone hates him. And that really is a testament to Radnor’s performance. The character is hugely grating at times, and he plays it so well. He gives Ted heart where another lesser actor might make him basically a murder-stalkerface.

“Yes, we always knew what the last episode would be. We always hoped it would take a while to get there, but it was always there as a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency kind of thing. The joy in knowing this would be our final season has been the chance to arrange the telling of the story so that it leads gracefully into that final hour, setting everything up for the grand finale.”
“The initial plan was to never meet her, or only meet her in one scene. Which looking back on it was probably a really bad idea. It’s been a huge relief seeing how good Cristin is in this role.”

We all thought that is how things would end, and I’m glad we’ve gone this way. If for no other reason than the amazing 200th episode we got last week. I fell in love with that character, and I think we needed to in order to fully grasp the importance of this story, of this whole series arc.

“If the show had ended in season 1, it would have been Victoria.”

I mean, I’m glad it went the way it did and all, but it would have been nice for Victoria, the No. 1 on Ted’s list of exes, to be more than a plot device (though she was serviced well last night).

“We like the laugh track. I don’t know how else to say it. It feels right. I get a little tired of the dusty old equation that single cam = daring and original and multicam = lazy and uninspired. I find that facile. I look at the White Stripes as an inspiration. Yes, they played old songs… but they found exciting new ways to play them. On our best days that’s what we’ve tried to be.”
“We got a call a few weeks after the writers strike ended saying that Britney Spears wanted to be on our show. And she specifically wanted to be in the episode “Ten Sessions,” which sent a chill down our spines, because that’s the one where we meet Stella. I immediately imagined Britney playing Stella and had a minor panic attack, because it’s such a big role and needed an proven, experienced actress like Sarah Chalke. But to her credit, Britney liked the character of Abby, and wanted to play that part. So we said sure! And by golly she put our show on the map. It can’t be overstated. Britney Spears rescued us from ever being on the bubble again. Thanks Britney!”

YEAH BRIT!

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“You might find out what happened with the pineapple eventually. We had always said we’d never reveal it, but now I’d say it’s fifty fifty. It’s always been an appealing idea to us artistically to leave it as the one mystery that never gets solved. But on the other hand, we do have an explanation for it that we like so it may make its way into these last few episodes.”

I think we’re better not knowing. Sorry, Mosby Boys.

“(On the mother is dead theory): We like all theories. It’s really cool knowing people are invested enough to have theories about the show. Obviously we’re not going to comment on it, but we very much appreciate and are grateful for the fact that our show is meriting so much discussion.”

I can’t emphasize this enough: I NEED HER TO BE NOT DEAD. IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT HOW NOT DEAD SHE ENDS UP BEING. My eyes need it, my heart needs it. I won’t handle it well, tear-wise. It will feel like a cheat. DON’T DO IT, GUYS. We all need to pray about this.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • mcat_05

    Loved the Marshall/Lilly storyline, and even enjoyed ted and robin until the very end - I've been hoping since last season that red would let robin go by giving the locket to Barney.

  • Cree83

    I'm not really the type of person that says things like "screw the haterz," but for this show, I totally will. Screw the haterz. The actors are killing it this season. The writers are mostly killing it. I think this show is for this decade what Frasier was for me in the 90s/early aughts. Had some low points (seasons 8 and 10 for Frasier), sure. But I still watch every season out of love for the characters and luckily, I am rewarded with a very strong finish.

  • It's not the mother who is dead, it's Ted. That's why the kids are sitting together like that on the couch, and why those scenes are shot from Ted's POV. They're watching a series of DVDs he's made for them after his untimely demise and it's like he's talking to them from the TV.

  • gdobbs

    Interesting theory, but in the early seasons, before they got too old - they responded and interacted with Ted the Narrator. Their responses are not those of kids watching a DVD.

  • Somehow that makes the fact that he's telling them, in great detail, about all the randos he's screwed over the years slightly less awkward.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Dark. I like it.

  • Arran

    Yes, how gallant of Ted to "let go" of his friend's fiancee, who wasn't interested in him anyway. What a guy.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    It's not about whether it makes Ted good or bad, it's about the pretty unfortunate truth of that kind of story. Does it make Ted, in a few ways, kind of a crappy friend? You can argue for it but I can't quite get there. It makes him a complicated, difficult friend, but not necessarily crappy. And again, however unfortunate it is, I think it's a pretty honest storyline they did; its biggest issue was that it went on a little too long (like, at nine years realistically he's probably just a stalker but TV time is different)..

  • Arran

    It mostly bugged me that they KEPT. GOING. BACK. TO. IT. If they'd dropped it when Barney proposed to Robin, at which point it was actually kind of touching that Ted wanted to move on, it would've been fine. Narratively speaking, "Ted still loves Robin" has been the flogging of a dead horse for quite some time.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Fair, though that's the kind of thing I view as more of a quirk/drawback of network television series. Certain elements tend to get harped on because they need to make sure even more casual viewers are aware of it and also because around 11 hours is a lot of story to write and filler kind of happens.

    Which totally sounds like excusing, I get it. But I'll admit that I do use slightly different scales for traditional long form broadcast seasons versus shorter cable runs.

  • Arran

    I do get that. This show has been hamstrung for quite some time by the need to advance the master plot. I don't think ANYONE expected it to last as long as it has. Still. This particular thread went past "diminishing returns" and hit "no returns whatsoever" for me a while ago, and I couldn't be gladder that it's finally done with.

    (Maybe. I wouldn't put it past them to go back one more time.)

  • Three_nineteen

    If it's a choice between Dead Mother and Robin and Barney Don't Get Married, I will pick Dead Mother every time.

  • Bob Genghis Khan

    Christ. You mean to tell me people have watched this for nine seasons to find out this fuckface marries? Condolences.

  • dorothyeverytimesmurf

    "I can’t emphasize this enough: I NEED HER TO BE NOT DEAD. IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT HOW NOT DEAD SHE ENDS UP BEING. My eyes need it, my heart needs it. I won’t handle it well, tear-wise. It will feel like a cheat. DON’T DO IT, GUYS. We all need to pray about this."

    that's how i feel about ted letting robin go. if this is the actual last time, fine, whatever, i can live with it. if it is revisited, and he has to "let her go" ONE. MORE. TIME. i will be livid.

  • NateMan

    I agree with everything you said. Well, except for the praying bit. I save that for things I really need, like sick relatives or scratch tickets.

  • Buellie413

    I watch because for all of its current flaws, it still features characters that I deeply care about. Even Ted, though to be honest I've never had a problem with Ted. I think because I enjoy Radnor's performance so much-only he can make me laugh hysterically over a silly little line like "MY SPECTACLES!"

    Last night's was pretty good-I'm on the Robin floating away was cheesy camp, I thought the parallel between her and the balloon was sweet enough without having to resort to such obvious imagery.

    Now I'm off to watch How Your Mother Met Me again.

  • Erin S

    Man. Until I remember JLH's penchant for vajazzling, "nether-jewel enthusiast" had me wondering if there was a news item about her outspoken love of testicles. Now it makes sense.

  • narfna

    Oh, I'm so excited you're doing this! I have stuck with the show, and I still enjoy it. I think it deserves a proper sendoff, even if it's not as good as it used to be.

  • Guest

    Except for balloon Robin it was great episode...

    *This from a die hard Ted / Robin hater.

  • mzbitca

    They've been nailing the Marshall and Lily Story line the last few episodes. I get that there are a lot of Lily haters but this is now the third time Marshall has made a really big life decision without telling Lily and just expected her to be on board. I get it, Lily had credit card debt and ran off to San Fran but seriously...quitting after buying a house, and then again while planning to have a baby and both times Lily was all about supporting him. I also really liked the fact that of course they were going to stay in New York and really the point was that he took that decision away from them as a family and pitting them against each other.

  • Three_nineteen

    Can we be best friends?

  • Modernlove

    I'm over the Ted/Robin thing. I have been for awhile and I think he comes off as selfish, arrogant, and basically a jackbag. Radnor plays that beautifully.

    For me the show has always been about Marshall and Lily. This show premier a year after I got married and that relationship has mirror so much my own. Mr. Moderlove and I met freshman year of college and had our own ups and downs and seeing that on television played out so realistically, watching them grow together and seeing how it evolved has always amazed me. The writers, Jason, and Alyson have done this beautiful job of capturing what a marriage really is, all the struggle and the joy, and it's something I will always thank this show for.

  • lillie

    I gave up on this show over a year ago (I tried, I just couldn't anymore...it had gotten so bad....BUT, Marshall and Lily were the reason I stuck with it as long as I did. They were amazing. Sadly they just weren't enough to keep me watching...

  • NateMan

    Ted's stupid speech about how the word for holding on to someone who clearly wants you to let go, and continuing with this big, guilt-inducing gesture to the woman who's marrying your best friend is "LOVE." I quite literally shouted at the TV "No, it's called STALKING" and my wife told me to shush before I woke up the offspring.

  • Modernlove

    YES. I text a good friend of mine as we watch (my husband could care less, he just thinks Robin is hot) and that's it. You can't hold on to someone who you never had to begin with. She is not a possession and she never belonged to him. End.

  • And that's the thing--it was clearly wrong. That's why they added the part about "if I could just find someone else" because Ted is clearly cray and inaccurate. I'm glad the necklace went overboard so he couldn't.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I genuinely believe a lot of the hatred of Ted comes from that fact that just because he's written and played sympathetically, it doesn't mean anyone's saying he's in the right. He's clearly, drastically, in-any-other-story-would-probably-be-a-serial-murderer wrong, but it's also a fairly honest look at that emotion. No one's endorsing the Ted Mosby approach to relationships, they're just admitting that his approach is one that exists.

    And will make you suffer for nine years before paying off in any way, and then only because you didn't go back to Rachel Bilson's apartment to meet her roommate three damn years ago, you idiot.

    ...Seriously, I think that's the one thing I understand least.

  • JLH as Robin made sense back then. You need a big name star in this. After all, NPH had just done Harold & Kumar but was still thought of as "Doogie Howser" and Alyson Hannigan was still the "flute girl from American Pie". And who the fuck were Josh Radnor or Jason Segel? Love Hewitt was a name.

    That said, Cobie >> JLH all the way. Mall, muthafuckas. Mall.

  • Michelle

    Yeah, no one would ever recognize Alyson Hannigan from the 7 years of a critically acclaimed show that had ended in 2003. :-P

  • Missing the point. Of course Alyson would have been followed by all the Buffy fans.

    But guess what? Buffy, for as much love as it gets online, didn't have the penetration of American Pie. It's why we still recognize Jason Biggs.

  • ***Throws flag, whistle***
    Personal Foul. Flagrant use of punny innuendo. Fifteen yard penalty and loss of down.

  • Penetration. Hee.

  • NateMan

    The Ted/Robin storyline was laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame. I mean, it was mostly okay until we got to the stupid 'Robin floating up into the air' bit, but that was so, so bad. As my wife has put it twice now:

    "It's like they have 2 sets of writers for this season. They gave the good ones the 'Mother" storyline and told them they had about 7 episodes to make it work. And then they gave the rest of it to some hacks to pad it out."

    Much better was the side story with Barney teaching the Britanick guys to live. Now that was pretty funny. Especially with Tim Gunn (I got that name right, right?).

    Also: "I mean, I’m glad it went the way it did and all, but it would have been nice for Victoria, the No. 1 on Ted’s list of exes, to be more than a plot device (though she was serviced well last night)"

    Yeah, I bet she was serviced well last night. Hehehehe.

    Sorry.

  • Donna - John

    my classmate's step-aunt Μ­­­­­­а­­­­­­K­­­­­­е­­­­­­ѕ $68/hr on the l­­­­­­а­­­­­­ρ­­­­­­τ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ρ. She has been out of W­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­K for five Μ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ but last Μ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ her ρ­­­­­­а­­­­­­У check was $18823 just W­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­King on the l­­­­­­а­­­­­­ρ­­­­­­τ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ρ for a Ϝ­­­­­­е­­­­­­W հ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­rs. հ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r­­­­­­е's the ѕ­­­­­­і­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е to read more,... WWW.Googleprofitfalls2014topfo...

    ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉𝂓 ▉ ▉ ▉ 𝁪▉ ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉I get it, Lily had credit card debt and ran off to San Fran but seriously...quitting after buying a house, and then again

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