Hey everyone. Remember when we were rewatching How I Met Your Mother to decide if the last season literally ruined everything or if the show as a whole was potentially still good?
Neither do we!
Therefore, this is probably going to be a short post just so we can finally move on and finish this series—both in the show sense and the blog post sense. I mean, we’re watching and blogging about two other shows! (Well, Super Hubs is . . . I have yet to start Dawson’s Creek because I’m just so sure I’m going to hate it lol.)
OK. I’m going to be honest with you guys. We started watching this season fairly soon after posting about season 2, then kept procrastinating on the post, so we decided that we needed to re-rewatch it in order to properly post about it . . . And now another extended period of time that I can’t really remember has passed since THAT viewing . . .
We’re not good at blogging lol
In many ways, this should be the easiest season to blog about. It was our favorite back when we only had access to the first three seasons on DVD, and it felt like the beginning of the show’s peak as the seasons went on—S3 being the strongest, then S4 and S5 being not as good but still much better than the last four. (Goddamn, how were there NINE FUCKING SEASONS of this show?!)
But at the same time . . . I’m not sure what to say! I’ll give it a shot, though.
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This is the season I can best quote. In basically every episode, I could say a lot of the lines as they were happening. One of my favorites happens in the first episode, when Marshall puts his hands all over the chicken breast that he’s going to feed to Enrique Iglesias and says “Haha. Got him.” His delivery is perfect.
Basically, Jason Segel’s performance as Marshall is always perfection. He’s doing the best things with his face and body language. Followed by NPH as Barney. In fact, I think one of the reasons I love this season so much is because everyone seems fully realized, and they’re also really playing off each other. You can see everyone reacting to what’s being said from the background in the exact way that real people react; that kind of half-laugh because you’re on your phone but you still hear what’s going on around you. I feel like that is peak in this season.
Another great thing about it is that the show doesn’t just write off Marshall and Lily now that they’re married. They’re still a big part of the show, still dynamic, still making mistakes. We discover Lily’s insane credit card debt, Marshall struggles with his continued employment in corporate law, and they irresponsibly buy a condo that has fucked-up floors. These are all really interesting life stories, and I’m glad they didn’t just toss Marshall and Lily off to the side now that they’d become The Married Couple(TM).
Will I be able to say the same thing once they become parents? I honestly don’t remember, so I guess we’ll find out!
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Despite the things that are good about the season (which also included the humor; again, because everyone knew their characters really well and had the delivery on point), I realized something unfortunate:
This is the season when Ted starts to be problematic.
I will die on the hill that the speed date he takes Stella on is romantic as fuck. I love that scene. But I also get how it’s a little gross that he was effectively trying to trick her into liking him for 10 weeks. (I do think it makes it a little better that she did say early on that she had a crush on him and that she never told him she was uninterested in him as a person, just that she would say no to a date. These are important distinctions in my mind.)
What’s more, however, is how he’s just super weird with women this entire season. It starts with him feeling like his break-up with Robin is somehow a competition, so he effectively uses Mandy Moore’s character (in episode one) to feel good about himself. Sure, she was probably using him too, but if he’d found just a normal woman, it would’ve played a lot worse. Then, there’s how he backslide-sleeps with Robin and GETS MAD AT HER FOR IT. He actively tries to slut-shame her by saying she forced herself on it, as if he wasn’t into the idea at all.
THEN, the biggest issue to me is how he ends his friendship with Barney over the fact that the latter slept with Robin. That’s so fucking childish. He doesn’t consider at all that Barney might have some latent feelings for Robin (spoiler alert: he does). Instead, he chooses to make the situation about him, ignoring the fact that he himself slept with Robin months before and also currently has a girlfriend that he supposedly serious about (but then decides that he should dump her three episodes later because she invites him to her sister’s wedding…). No, Barney committed an ATROCITY and therefore their years-long friendship is moot. Over some girl they just met two years ago. That’s fucking ridiculous, Ted, and it should’ve been a clue to Ted’s future kids that when it comes to Robin, he will always choose her over everyone else. (SHE WAS JUST LURKING IN THE WINGS WAITING FOR HIS WIFE TO DIE, YOU IDIOTS . . . Sigh. Wait till season nine, Nicole. You can share your rage then.)
I do still think that the way the Stella story ends is fucked up—and the revisit in a later season with The Wedding Bride is just horrible—but also . . . Ted deserves to get fucked over. Plus, he BARELY gets fucked over because he gets a job out of it . . .
I’m getting ahead of myself again.
The point is that even though I love the group dynamic throughout a lot of the season, and I feel like everyone knows the characters well, Ted’s integrity starts to unravel in this season. And it just gets worse as we go along.
Honey, your take?
Super Hubs’s Thoughts
So I’ve said it on this blog before, but it’s more difficult to write about the things you enjoy than the things you don’t enjoy, hence why this post took s’damn long. That being said, I feel like I like HIMYM less and less as the years go by. There’s…a lot of problematic shit in this show. A lot. Like, a lot a lot. Guys, in this season Barney says that he sold a woman. And we’re suppose to laugh about it. Human trafficing ain’t funny. Barney is a legitimate criminal and should be in jail. I don’t care that he’s been gathering dirt on his company for the Feds this whole time (we’ll get to that in season 9), the dude is bad. Real bad. Not funny sitcom bad, but actual should be in jail for his remaining life bad. Just watch the Bracket episode and tell me he’s not the worst person in the world. And yet we’re supposed to give him a pass just because he’s played by NPH, one of the most charming men in the world.
But hey, whatever, he’s just a side character. Maybe we can forgive the show and ignore all that bad shit. But no, Ted is just as bad. Yes. Just as bad. As Barney. I will stand by that for the rest of this recap. Ted treats women as trophies. He does it in a more “romantic” way than Barney, but he is still treating them as conquests. Just look at how he treats Robin for the rest of the show. He gets pissed off at Barney for sleeping with her, despite the fact that they are no longer together, he has another girlfriend, and who Robin sleeps with is NONE OF HIS BUSINESS. He constantly obsesses over her in a very unhealthy way and freaks out whenever anyone else is with her. He gets so petty when she’s dating Enrique Iglesias in this season even though, as Robin puts it, he parades a series of skeezy skanks in front of her all season. (Which, that’s another thing, Robin and Lily are always slut-shaming people in this show). He’s the worst.
And, while I do think the five-minute date is pretty adorable, I can’t help but think how Ted’s penchant for Big Dramatic Gestures is just another form of emotional manipulation. Ted is, at his core, a broken, insecure man and the show doesn’t focus on that nearly enough. He’s trapped in this cycle of abuse and manipulation and we’re supposed to find it charming. Well I don’t and I never have. Ask Nikkie. We used to have arguments about Ted all the time.
Also, Barney sold a woman. I feel like people don’t talk about that enough.
This is also the season where Ted’s absolutely infuriating aggro love for New York first shows up. There’s a whole episode where he and Barney trick a couple of women into thinking they’re tourists (again, Ted is just as bad as Barney and people need to acknowledge that) and then goes on a big rant about how they’re not real New Yorkers cus they live in Jersey. News flash Ted, YOU’RE NOT FROM NEW YORK. Stop acting like you were born and raised in New York and like you’re some authority on what it means to be a New Yorker. You’ve only lived there for like 8 years. Stop being such a damn poser.
Guys. I don’t like Ted.
Marshall and Lily have always been my favorite part of the show and that holds true in this season too. Jason Segel is a supremely talented actor and Alyson Hannigan is always charming, even though the writers don’t give her much to do. Same with Cobie Smulders. I genuinely like Cobie as an actress, it just sucks that her character is so poorly written. But she does what she can.
So yeah. This season makes me laugh more than all the others, but I feel like I’m already exhausted by the show. That’s not a good sign. Can’t wait to see how angry I get about the rest of the seasons!
Look at that. We brought in this recap at under 2,000 words. Go us!
Sooo yeah. This is our favorite season . . . and it’s still got some stuff. Hmm. Last year, when we started this rewatch, I brought it up to a friend at work, and she was convinced that we’d come out of this with a better opinion on the show. But if we’re already picking apart the seasons that we actually like . . . I don’t have high hopes.
I’d say we’ll see you soon but . . . let’s be honest here. The next post will happen when it happens.
May your favorite shows end long before they ruin themselves,
Nikkie and Super Hubs