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Are We There Yet?: How I Met Your Mother Decides Which Route to Take Home

August 8, 2012
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Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, the creators of How I Met Your Mother, are currently in negotiations with CBS to decide if the show will be extended to a ninth season.  The show’s eighth season will debut this fall.  According to Entertainment Weekly the co-creators have contingency plans for ending the series in both situations and the head honchos over at CBS are “optimistic” about the show’s future, so chances are high that the series will get a season nine. But should it?

The five main characters of How I Met Your Mother have grown up.  Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall (Jason Segel) have a child.  Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), once the hard partying crazy wildcard, is engaged, but the season seven finale told us he will be marrying former girlfriend Robin (Cobie Smulders) instead.  Robin is becoming a big time news anchor and Ted (Josh Radnor) is still feeling unfulfilled without a significant other, just as he has for almost seven seasons.  Perhaps that is why he chose to run away with old flame Victoria (Ashley Williams) on her wedding day in the season finale, even though the audience knows that she can’t be the mother.

A lot is about to go down.  Broken hearts will likely line the set’s fake New York streets, and if played wrong, many audience members will throw their arms up in frustration and stop caring about how Ted meets that god damn mother of his children.

Last season the show got soapier, bringing up wounds of Robin and Ted’s past relationship that had been assumed to be healed.  It was unnecessary and aggravating. Despite ostensibly being a show  about a man finding his wife, How I Met Your Mother isn’t about relationship drama.  The show’s heart lies in watching this ensemble of characters grow up.  Its greatest episodes have come when the show lets itself be silly and saves vulnerable emotions for one big punch per episode.

But with all this inevitable relationship drama about to unfold, it’s necessary to ask: Is it better to do it all in one or two seasons?  The answer depends on how much you trust Thomas and Bays.  Should they stick to the lighthearted idealistic nature of the show, giving the gang fun adventures in their new, no longer young, adult lives, the show could work well being stretched out over two seasons, especially given all the long running jokes and storylines that need to be wrapped up.  To scrunch everything into one season could end up chaotic. But if they choose to  focus on all the relationship drama for two seasons,it could  forever put How I Met Your Mother on those lists of TV shows that missed their cue to exit.

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