Archive for March 1st, 2011


How I Met Your Mother: Imminent Revelations?

As I’ve mentioned here before, the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother is one of my favorite shows these days. It’s a wonderfully written show, with a long-term storyline, funny characters, and an engaging premise — the quest of a young man to find the woman of his dreams, as told by that man in the future, after it’s already over. Over the past several seasons we’ve been teased several times as Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) has met and dated one girl after another, sometimes teasing us with the possibility that she could be The Mother, sometimes cluing us in early that she is not, but she may still be a factor in how he eventually finds the titular Her.

One of the things I like about this show is how much it has in common with my favorite  dramas — the way story elements are brought in early and give you a surprise pay off later on down the road. As the current season moves towards its end, we’re coming towards another such payoff. Earlier this season, Future Ted revealed that he met The Mother at a wedding. Coincidentally, Present Ted was asked shortly thereafter to be the best man at the wedding of an old buddy from high school. Most fans of the show, myself included, don’t think this is a coincidence. It seems very likely that, as the show prepares to enter its seventh season, the writers are finally ready to bring in Mom.

But this puts them in a bit of danger. For years now, Ted has dated a ridiculous number of women. Some of them, though, have been much more special than one-episode wonders. Season One’s Victoria (played by Ashley Williams) and Season Three’s Stella (Sarah Chalke) both were written in such a way that they could have been The Mother had the show not been renewed for another season, and thus, the audience got attached to them. Currently, Ted is dating Zoey (Jennifer Morrison), whom we know will not be The Mother, but nonetheless, the chemistry between the characters is engaging. If, in fact, we meet The Mother at the end of this season (or the beginning of next season) the show will have quite a challenge. They have to create a story and cast an actress capable of making us forget all of these other characters we’ve latched on to over the years. We have to believe and accept that this one, and not any of the others, is in fact the love of Ted Mosby’s life. And that isn’t going to be easy.

Possible, to be sure. If any writing staff and cast on television has proven themselves capable of manufacturing a satisfying romance, it’s the people on this show. And the way they’ve been going, I rather doubt that even the wedding episode will settle the matter for good. I can easily imagine a scenario where Ted meets more than one girl at the wedding, leading to a storyline (possibly a season-long storyline) where either we don’t know which one will turn out to be The Mother or, perhaps in a nice reversal of the reveal at the end of the pilot episode, we learn who The Mother is, but Ted winds up dating someone else, making the story from that point onward how Ted and the Revealed Mother will wind up together.

The show is entering a danger zone, but this is one of the few shows I think can head into it and come out stronger.

March 2011

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