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Tag Archives: HIMYM Season 6
Season Five of How I Met Your Mother had some bright spots, but overall it did not match the level of quality of prior seasons. The relationship between Barney and Robin showed some promise, but after a year-long build up to the storyline, the payoff underwhelmed. While eventually we might enjoy a happy ending for these two, for the week-in week-out story of their lives, they’re both more interesting characters when they’re apart. Also, while occasionally enjoyable, the numerous celebrity cameos like Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Lopez, Alan Thicke, and Jim Nantz just felt overly gimmicky. Reliance on guest stars was a crutch The Simpsons used all too often in the midst of the show’s decline, and it may be a sign of the times for HIMYM. Similarly, while fun as standalone bits, scenes like Barney’s suit song, his and Ted’s dueling Sexless Inkeeper poems, and the sign at the Superbowl all smacked of the standard sitcom decline into cartoonishness and caricature at the expense of good characterization and storytelling. After five years, the main characters and basic premise of the show cannot, on their own, have the same impact they once did. It feels as though the writers have to resort to more and more outlandish stories and ploys to keep things fresh.
That said, Season 5 did have a number of enjoyable bits and storylines, and the fun of the underlying friendship between the main characters still continues to keep the show moving forward. One of the show’s best qualities is its ability to incorporate the quirky and creative into its episodes. The parallel blind date from “Double Date,” the “but um” drinking game from “Jenkins,” Barney’s inability to take a bad picture in “Say Cheese,” and the skewering take on romantic comedies in “The Wedding Bride” were all highlights. The season also managed to get back to some nice, down-to-earth topics amidst the wackiness. Ted and Marshall attempting to maintain their “bro-ness” despite Marshall’s married life felt like a true to life issue resolved in a entertaining, self-contained manner. Though at times it felt a bit forced, the rise and fall of Robin’s budding relationship with Don generally worked well. Most of all, the doppelgangers were a thread that ran throughout the season and not only provided a number of laughs (stripper Lily) but paid off in a big way in the season finale. Lily’s reaction to the not-quite Barney lookalike was a superb way to resolve the story arc and it started the show down the path to Marshall and Lily trying for a baby.
Note: the rest of this review contains spoilers.