How I Met Your Mother - The Final Season So Far
Lately, a whole generation of mid-to-late 2000s TV has come to an end. Dexter and Merlin, Being Human and Misfits, Breaking Bad and now How I Met Your Mother. The long-running sitcom about a creepy father telling his kids every hideous detail of his 20s-30s lovelife has run nine years, a Herculean level of stretching it out, but this ninth season will finally be the last.
In a minute, I'll talk about the final run is going so far, but first, here's a surprisingly hilarious original trailer they shot for Comic-Con to plug the final season. Do watch it, and spoilers below as ever.
Will they be there for you?
If sitcoms are the new soaps, then How I Met Your Mother is the new Friends. Much like that show, it's gone on for longer than it probably should've done, although personally I've found the actual comedy more consistent than some of the rougher years of Friends. Still, there were a couple of years in HIMYM, around the sixth and seventh seasons especially, when you started to wish they'd wrap it up. And, one last hope, that finally finishing their story would give them a new energy.
Surprisingly, it kinda has. The latter half of season eight was largely good, as the show began moving towards a climax, and the opening few episodes of season nine had just the right level of silliness and, yes, genuine emotion that this show thrives off. The few appearances of The Mother herself, played by Cristin Milloti, have been carefully pitched to both make us like the character and want to see more.
And meanwhile, knowing that the ending for Ted and The Mother is inevitable, they've turned to the Barney/Robin union for a little tension. Will they get married? Can they live happily ever after? They're very sweet together, but rarely does an episode go by without a hint that the wheels are about to come flying off their wedding wagon. Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders have done a good job making them both perfect and not - Harris in particular turning a former Joey-esque comedy character into a real guy.
Not that the final season has been entirely amazing - the writers have opted to spread the entire run over the one weekend of Barney and Robin's wedding, and that's inevitably led to a couple of efforts in which we see them playing "Can we get a whole episode out of this?" Hopefully the final weeks will be carefully paced and amazing, but I am a little concerned that, after a great start, we might see a rather visible mid-section sag.
Lily and Marshall, meanwhile, are staying involved via Marshall taking a job as a judge, despite having already told Lily he'd move to Rome with her. He's also, weirdly, been landed with a storyline in which he's stuck away from the rest of the cast. It's had a few good comedy moments, but the desire for them to get on with it and reunite the gang is starting to override the amusement. Nonetheless, I will stilll laugh every time Alyson Hannigan says "Thank you, Linus", I think.
Oh, and there might be a spin-off revolving around an entirely different group of twenty-somethings sitting around in McClaren's, possibly a How I Met Your Father type set-up. I imagine it'll go the way of Joey but whatever. For now, I'm just hoping they can end the parent show with the humour and warmth that it's had at its best. The opening episodes of this final season suggest there may still be hope.