Monday, May 13, 2013

How I Met Your Mother "Something New" Review

Bays and Thomas are really going to tell the story of a wedding during the entire 9th and final season of the show. HIMYM will attempt to stretch a 56 hour story out to fill 24 episodes. The show has not been good for four seasons now. Any one wearing the HIMYM beer goggles will eventually remove them only to shudder at what they see a la Bart in the Duffland episode of The Simpsons. Carter Bays and Craig Thomas probably want the show to be remembered for its unique storytelling approach to the final season. Roseanne's last season is remembered because Roseanne Barr broke the formula of the previous seasons for a dream season. HIMYM emerged in 2005 as a worthy successor to Friends. The early seasons have allowed the show to get away with horrible story choices, character assassinations, and lazy storytelling for four years. The last season is going to be a gosh darn slog. Of course, it may not be just the wedding. Either way, though, I lose.

I wondered, a few weeks ago, how the series would contrive a way for Lily and Marshall to leave for Italy and return by the 9th season premiere. I hadn't heard the rumors about the 9th season. I forgot about Marshall's judge storyline. I will wonder no more. It'll take another 9 months to resolve the dangling story threads from the 8th season. Let that sink in, friends and well-wishers: nine months to resolve dangling story threads. The worse part about the delayed resolution to any stories from season 8 is the contrivance of it all. Characters will behave like sitcom characters because they are characters in the sitcom. "Something New" had everything old in it. Ted reveals his shocking plan to move to Chicago one day after the wedding; Marshall receives judge offer but won't tell Lily because 'this is face-to-face' news; a flashback shows the audience the time Robin acted like Ted before his marriage to Stella; Ted realizes Robin's locket has been on his desk for the past five years. Ted's epiphany last week disappears as soon as he sees another reason for him and Robin to end up together.

Anyway, "Something New" has a story about Robin and Barney. Robin and Barney went to a restaurant to eat dinner. The couple is excited for their wedding in one week. They feel close to each other. They've been practicing their first dance. Another couple gives them attitude at the bar, though, as they wait to be seated. I turned on the Robin/Barney relationship during season 5. I've disliked their storyline strongly for the entire season. Barney's plan for proposing to Robin was disgusting, and his subsequent stories in which the show domesticated him failed. Barney's a sociopath, and Robin's more unlikable every episode. So, I hated tonight's Robin/Barney story. The other couple, featuring Casey Wilson, are rude, obnoxious, pretentious. The guy's the type of guy who'll correct someone's pronunciation of Camus without reading any of Camus' works. The woman, Krirsten, is a typical terribly written one-off female character. Barney and Robin plot their revenge throughout the dinner, resolving to ruin the couple's relationship for stealing their table at their restaurant. The plan works. The couple breaks up. Barney and Robin celebrate in a park.

Of course, the couple finds Robin/Barney in the park. HIMYM's New York City is the size of Smalltown U.S.A. in Gremlins, apparently. The couple did not break up at all; instead, they really got engaged. Robin looks at Barney with a smug-as-shit look on her face, and Barney meets her look with the same smug-as-shit look, and they congratulate themselves on their awesomeness. Being dicks to strangers led the strangers to profound and prolonged bliss. No, what they did makes them more unbearable and unlikable.

Ted wallows in his nice Westchester home that he just finished restoring. With Marshall in Minnesota, Lily hangs out with Ted and gets to hear about Ted's feelings about Robin. Their conversation recycles old dialogue. The only new thing comes in the way of Lily's memory of the locket. I already addressed the locket situation and Ted's interpretation of it. I've written plenty about Ted/Robin. Until he meets the mother at Farhampton, the character's treading water. I think about Dan Harmon's opinion about romantic comedies when Ted Mosby's speaking words. Harmon hates romantic comedies because the story of whether or not some girl likes some guy isn't a story but a plot point. Ted's arc comes down to which girls like him and don't like him. Bays and Thomas are doing due diligence with Ted/Robin, though. Victoria told him he wouldn't/couldn't be with someone or love someone until he overcame Robin. The wedding should do that for him just in time for Ted to meet his wife.

I could write about Lily/Marshall or I could end this sentence in mid-sentence. Future Ted said the spring of 2013 tied up loose ends. Future Ted doesn't lie. The spring of 2013 will tie up loose ends, but not until spring 2014. I wrote about Revenge's finale last season. Revenge and HIMYM shared a disinterest in telling a story during their respective seasons. Go ahead and remind me all that happened this season, fans. I know; I remember. Barney and Robin got engaged; Ted continued chasing his tail; Lily lived her professional dream. Stuff happens, but that's just plot points. It's not a story.

So, hey, Bays and Thomas, try telling a story in season 9.

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK




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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.