As of Monday, April 11th, I officially became an ex-fan of How I Met Your Mother. I simply couldn’t take any more of this show.
Normally someone quitting their viewing habits of a show goes without mention, but considering this is a show I at one time loved, I almost felt an obligation to air my reasons. What had started as a show with a cute concept has slowly morphed over six seasons into something akin to punching yourself in the face; yeah, you know you shouldn’t, but you keep doing it anyway.
The show began with the idea that Ted (Josh Radnor, but voiced by Bob Saget in the future scenes) was telling his two children in 2030 about how he met their mother. What has followed is six seasons of the most long winded (and inappropriate) story ever told to children. We have followed every detail of this man’s life without ever actually meeting the mother, and with the news that the series has been renewed through season 8, my hopes for this story ever reaching a satisfactory conclusion quickly dwindled.
The problem is that the creators painted themselves into a corner early on. Once we meet the mother, would the audience really care what happened? We obviously know the marriage is at least somewhat successful and produces two children, so they had to hide the mother from us. We have been treated to an endless string of girlfriends that we know aren’t the mother because we’ve known since season 1 that a yellow umbrella is involved with her introduction, and we also know that Saget’s voiceovers keep telling us enough info to know we are watching another pointless relationship.
Add in the fact that Radnor is simply not a good actor, and you get a main character you just don’t care about.
I got to the point where I kept watching the series for Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan, but it got to a point where I couldn’t bring myself to keep coming back just for those two. The writing had turned so formulaic that even those two couldn’t elevate it any more. That is no slam on either of them, they aren’t miracle workers, and they do the best job they can.
During the April 11th episode, I did something that I’m not sure I’ve ever done with a series, and that was to not even complete the episode. It was that bad. I turned it off with about 10 minutes left and decided I was done. Come the 18th, there was a new episode, and instead of telling my TiVo to record it, I just sailed on by.
I wrote a similar post back in Sept. when this season started, but I decided to stick it out, thinking that surely the mother would show up this year. There has been some talk of “hints” by the end of the season, but I’m sorry, after six seasons, hints just aren’t going to cut it any more. Either you give some sort of pay off, or the continually weakening writing, and the insufferable acting of Radnor will finally drive people away as it has with me.
Remember folks, I’m not alone in some of my feelings.
Be sure to come back tomorrow when I discuss when I’ve quit The Apprentice, and on Thursday when I discuss what I think has gone horribly wrong with American television in general.