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This is an Intervention: "How I Met Your Mother" Season 8

By Courtney Enlow | TV Reviews | November 13, 2012 | Comments ()


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Bravo and brava on last night’s episode, writers of “How I Met Your Mother.” Hands down, the best episode thus far this season.

[serious face] That should not have been the best episode of this season.

Guys. My loves. My darlings. My Honeys Boo Boos. What are you doing? This season seems as though it is being written by two distinct camps of writers—those who know it’s the final season and are treating it as their senior year zoology class, and those who are operating as though that mystical ninth season is actually going to happen. And, you guys, it’s not, unless it airs solely in Narnia for Narnia CBS (called CBS Lewis, naturally).

For a show so deeply rooted in the idea of continuity and callbacks, you have spent the last two seasons so wildly inconsistent in terms of characterization and plot development that fans, self included, have genuinely believed you have had a plan in mind and that, some magical day, that plan would be unfolded. Well, it hasn’t. And I’m not talking about Barney and Robin’s wedding day, and I’m not talking about the mother. We’ve spent that nickel, the mother’s not showing up till the end, I’m not worried about that.

I’m talking about the fact that you had Robin date her therapist, had him play upon her guilt and manipulate this clearly distraught character into staying with him, made it very clear that she was not super into him, that he knew about and had issues with her history with two of her male best friends, then had them break up because she couldn’t have kids. I’m talking about the fact that, just last night, you’d spent the season setting up that Robin didn’t like this Nick guy, that he wasn’t right for her, and that she and Barney are in love, then have them break up because he’s suddenly stupid. I’m talking about the fact that you had Barney Stinson get fucking engaged to a stripper who stole from him and just had them calmly decide “maybe we’re not right for each other” after countless public interviews talking about how this character is supposed to give him some kind of karmic comeuppance. I’m talking about the fact that you had Ted break up a wedding, bring back a character from season one just to drop her five episodes in, pulling the Ross and Emily “I don’t want you being friends with your best friend anymore” trope. It’s all over the map and it’s just bananas. BANANAS, I SAY.

I mean, all last year, for no explained reason, you had Cobie Smulders, one of the most beautiful women on the planet, looking like this:

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Did she offend someone? Did her kid puke on the costume designer? Fans theorized all season that she must be dressing like this because she’s so messed up and unhappy with her life, and I’m fairly certain that’s what you were going for, but it was never even implied, and, at the end of the day, this is a CBS sitcom and I should not have to put the kind of speculative guesswork into why Robin is wearing stupid pants as though it’s the goddamn “Lost” hatch.

Finally, and most importantly, this Ted and Robin thing. Has. To. Stop. I hate to break it to you like this, but no one gives a fancy fuck about Ted and Robin anymore. No one has since at least season three. No one. Not one single person, and it is just lazy. Stop it. You had that whole “I’m in love with you” nonsense last season to get Ted over Robin, his last hurdle before he finds the mother, to come to terms with the fact that his fallback person is off the table and he will never have her. I accepted that as plausible. But, if last week’s episode is any indication, which it totally might not be, because, like I said, you people are just drunk sometimes, you’re not done with that story yet, which is bullshit. Let it go.

Guys, I love you. I love this show. I am in it for the long haul. But, it’s become like watching “The Office.” Not totally unwatchable like “The Office” last year, mind you (yet, at least—you guys have really made me cautious) but like watching “The Office” circa season five or six, when things just started going completely off the rails, with just enough hope-filled moments of awesome that you stick around, thinking maybe, just maybe, this show that you’ve loved deeply for years might not hurt you. But those moments are becoming fewer and farther between.

I have to believe that this season nine fuckery is messing up your game. And that’s fine, that’s understandable. But it’s not happening. Like Ted must do to Robin, you’ve got to let it go. Let the show be done. And, like “The Office” is at least attempting, give your fans a final season they can enjoy. Let them love and miss the show when it ends. Don’t make me glad you’re gone. Because I adore this show, have since the beginning, and this season should be making me hysterically happy. But it’s not. So, come on. For us, for the people who’ve loved you and loved the show, go out on a high note.

Because you’ve got to go.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Pat

    I'm more upset that they've somehow ruined Victoria, taking out everything that resembled a personality. If they needed a girl for Ted so he wouldn't be the only single one this season, they should have just made one up. But to turn Victoria into this unfunny and desperate slob is just unforgivable.

  • SHough610

    The only character that hasn't been Flanderized to the point of uselessness is Barney. Maybe it's just the acting chops of NPH but I was moved by his speech to Robin last week.

  • Other Brian

    Show's shit.

  • Alarmjaguar

    I, too, hate that the writers keep falling back on the Robin and Ted thing. And that they teased us by bringing back Victoria--with whom Ted actually has lots of chemistry, and who is wonderful-- only to come up with a series of lame reasons why Ted now has to dump her again. LAME

  • BAM

    Thank you! Yes! This show has been ruined by bad writing. Which is amazing, because the quality of writing in the first few seasons was better than any other sitcom on television.

  • And, you guys, it’s not, unless it airs solely in Narnia for Narnia CBS (called CBS Lewis, naturally).

    Stuff like this is why you continue to be my favorite writer on the site.

  • apsutter

    Oh, also, you are so right about Cobie. They made her look like absolute SHIT last year!!! Every single episode I'm screaming in my brain "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WEARING?!"

  • azreb

    I don't know why everyone's picking on her hot business cazh button-down shirts and tailored pants. I think she looks fucking great. (Admittedly I like it when women know how to rock menswear with a feminine flair...) But I really think she managed to work it, guys. Robin has always played a career-oriented tom-boy. It makes sense that she would wear awesome chiffon button-downs! LEAVE HER ALONE, PATRICE!!!!

  • apsutter

    I do love a woman who wears menswear but everything about that look was weird on her. The pants were always nicely tailored but the shirts were way too god-damned blousy(sp) and big for her. Couple that with the fact that the color combinations and patterns were wrong and the terrible haircut she had and it was a mess. I love how they dressed Robin and Lily starting in the second season. They looked like cool, young, casual city girls and hot damn they wore a lot of fantastic boots!

  • Snath

    Deeeeep.

  • apsutter

    HIMYM used to be my absolute favorite show but it has gone drastically downhill. The writing is just lazy now and they have made Ted so douchey. Lily used to be fun but now I can't take her whining and LAME is not so great anymore. It's been spinning it's wheels for this entire season and most of last season too. It needs a mercy killing and if it gets extended for another season I probably won't be watching. That being said, last night's episode was ok and I didn't hate last weeks either.

  • BWeaves

    Are the kids married off yet? Because they have to be like 10 years older than when the show first started, right?

    The Brits have it right. A season is 6 episodes, and the show ends after season 2.

  • JuB

    Yeah we are. If only Americans would learn from us...
    Although unfortunately no one thought to apply that rule to Shameless (Man, that ship has tanked). Ahh but it would have been nice if the Beed decided to go American on Luther, more episodes and seasons and more Idris elba.

  • Crystal O.

    The Robin/Ted thing is what has me wanting to call it quits. Having Ted take SO MUCH goddamn time to get over her. Victoria's "I hope you get her one day" bullshit. Last season's ep about Marshall and Lily betting to see whether Ted will end up with Robin and Marshall's "not yet" to Lilly when she wants him to pay up. I don't understand why the writers think people still ship those two. Let it die already and move on.

  • John W

    The only reason I'm still watching is Cobie Smulders.

  • BAM

    Cobie Smulders + short shorts = FTW.

  • janetfaust

    I watched the episode last night and just felt like everyone has become a caricature of themselves, and the show is being written by people who have read descriptions of the characters but have never actually watched the show during the good seasons. Patrice & Robin's BFF day made me laugh though.

  • I could have watched a whole episode of Robin and Patrice's BFF Fun Day, and any excuse for Robin to scream in anger is a win. Cobie has been the best part of the last two seasons.

  • I watch out of nostalgic love for the characters. That's it. And I spend the entire half hour yelling at the tv for the lazy-assed writing.

  • Maguita NYC

    I wonder if they are taking a page from the True Blood book of Dumbass Creative Laziness:

    Have (mostly male) blood/soul suckers bitch about the same thing over and over again, while the women folk wait patiently for the men to come around and grow the fuck up. During which time of course, said women folk would offer their blood veins/unlimited friendship with lamb-to-slaughter wide empty eyed faith. No matter how silly the premise is, and how unbelievably gullible the writers take the viewers to be.

  • VK

    My theory is that Ted keeps going back to Robin, because he is telling this story to the kids to explain why he is about to propose to Robin.... Because the mother is dead. And now that Ted got to have his perfect lady and his perfect two kids, he can be with Robin. Even though they have no chemistry. The end.

  • VK

    Oh, and yes to everything you said. Thank you. I'm swimming in a migraine fog of pain so I didn't realize I didn't say that. Maybe the writers all have headaches and that's why they keep forgetting about silly things like motivation and whatnot.

  • Maybe it's just caring for my own grandmother suffering from advanced vascular dementia, but its my new hypothesis about Ted. Those kids we keep seeing him talk to? They're teddy bears, or Pomeranians. There never was a 'mother.' He's 87, in a home, and when he's not busy telling his imaginary children some highly inappropriate stories about about his life, he's terrorizing nurses with his naked old man flesh, and complaining about the green beans with his dinner.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I found your CBS Lewis line far more clever than anything on this show. Cheers, that was seriously good.

  • Kelly

    I agree. I said this last night: "So this guy is stupid now?" because it was so painfully obvious the writers needed an "out" clause for Robin, since we know (or think we know) that she and Barney get married. I've lost faith in the show this season, as well. Yeah, I knew the whole Mother thing would take a while, but I was enjoying the ride. But it just really seems to keep getting more ridiculous with each episode. I read somewhere that they weren't done with Robin and Ted and I do believe my exact words were "FUCK THAT" because, come on, FUCK THAT. I hope to heck that this is the last season, because I don't think I can hate a show anymore that I actually really love.

  • Maguita NYC

    @Courtney Enlow has not gotten to how the show has put all of Ted's unableness to move on, solely on Robin's shoulders. There was obviously too much to bitch about. With absolute reason.

    I believe there was a moment at the end of last season, after his declaration of love, where Ted had stated that he cannot move on as long as his FRIEND Robin is still around. Even if he recanted later on for the umpteenth time, during which she suffered patiently (I sure wouldn't have), until he finally decided that they could resume their friendship after all .

    The show gave Ted a very wide berth for his self-complacency: A clear sign that no matter how long it has been, the characters are not allowed on this show to grow and evolve.

    "... but no one gives a fancy fuck about Ted and Robin anymore".

    There is nothing fancy about that fuck; It has become quite the plain, unfancy Jane.

  • That's an excellent point. Robin has been clear since the beginning that she didn't want Ted, he practically annoyed her into dating him and she's been cool while he EmoTeds all over the place, Mosbying her into submission every other season. Robin has neither courted nor earned that, yet she suffers through the fallout. DAMMIT, TED.

  • Maguita NYC

    Mosbying her into submission...!!!!

    May I please borrow this and make it part of my everyday lexicon??? Pretty please?

  • katy

    Yes. Everything you said, yes. But don't forget Lilly and Marshall and how unwatchable they've become. Look, I know we all become much lamer once we have babies, but most people still retain a good portion of their normal selves. I don't know what's going on with these two. I too will watch this until the end, but my strategy is to now watch it in 2-3 episode blocks. I don't know why exactly, but it makes it a little better.

  • Slim

    Yes, this. I keeping hoping Alyson Hannigan will go all Dark Willow on the writers, cluing them in that no one wants to watch confirmation that becoming a parent makes you stupid and boring. It might be true but we don't need that kind of reality infecting our Lilypad and Marshmallow.

  • Not only that, but that they dedicated an entire episode making them apologize for not being able to hang out at the bar anymore. I mean, sure, they were dickbags about the "8 or higher" thing but NO ONE expects their friends to still go out all the time post-baby.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    sadly, some people *do* expect it. idiots.

  • Salieri2

    I approve of your judicious use of "dickbags." Carry on.

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