The past year has been a big one for television. Recently we saw an awful end to Dexter, a triumphantly earth shattering conclusion to Breaking Bad, and some new series with some promise. One thing in the promising category, though, is veteran show How I Met Your Mother, which seemed to have lost almost all of its steam before this season, its ninth and final (supposedly). Although the past couple of seasons have fallen on their faces, Craig Thomas and Carter Bays return with some good stuff.
This season picks up at the beginning of Barney and Robin’s wedding, and apparently the entire season will take place in the three days leading up to, during, and after the occasion. To do this, the show will have to use a hefty pile of flashbacks (rely on them, really). It’s gonna be all kinds of non-linear, which is a challenge to the cast, the writers, and even the audience a little, which I like. It’s a higher stakes way to end a series that’s taken up a whole lot of our time.
But, as Bob Saget’s future Ted (never credited, a smart move for the filth mongering comedian) would say, let’s back this train up. Right before this season, Ted was set on moving to Chicago, Lily was unaware that Marshall had taken a job as a judge, which messes with Italy plans, and Barney and Robin were en route to spend the rest of their lives together. Now, a couple episodes in, it’s clear that a whole bunch of crazy stuff is going to transpire. The set up now is: Ted’s at a romantic hotel alone (the front desk dude is hilarious in his attempts to cheer up the poor bastard). Robin and Barney are actually keeping it together (they saw old folks doing it and know it in their hearts their lust will survive). Lily has established the best running gag so far, receiving a new drink from this Linus guy every time she finishes her old one (“Thank you, Linus”). And Marshall is racing across the country with Angie from 30 Rock.
So, honestly, we have a good beginning on our hands. I’m actually optimistic for a change. Mostly, though, because of Cristin Milioti’s addition to the cast as the Mother. According to Thomas and Bays, she’s going to meet Ted after every other character, which is cool cause she has the chops and charm to butt heads with any of the series regulars. She’s already met Lily (first episode, already?), winning her over with cookies called “Sumbitches”. My guess is she’ll have something intrinsically similar to each of the characters, making her the perfect match for Ted in the end. Any question we’d have, actually, of their chemistry can be put to rest. In the second episode, a future Ted and Milioti have a heartfelt conversation hinting at how they met at the hotel during the wedding. Milioti’s performance here gives me hope for the integrity of television. She’s equal parts attractive, badass (it’s dormant still, but I’m sure we’ll see it), whimsical, and intelligent.
My prediction for the series conclusion of How I Met Your Mother is optimistic indeed, and this time I think there’s some evidence to support my hopeful sentiment.