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TV Review: How I Met Your Mother Season Five Premiere

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How I Met Your Mother, CBS's comedy focusing on one man, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), recounting to his children the search he went on to find the love of his life and mother of his children, is now entering its fifth season. Ted, however, often seems no closer to actually finding the woman in question, even if they repeatedly have crossed paths.

The fifth season premiere actually features Ted teaching a class where said mother is a student, but there is no actual indication that the two will ever meet under these circumstances. For the show, however, that's not a real problem; the series is built on the search for the mother, and Ted's finding her may mean the end of what has, for four years now, been one of the most consistently funny shows on television.

Those who do, however, wish to see their comedies feature coupling (but not in a graphic way) do have some options on How I Met Your Mother. The series features Ted and his four best friends, two of whom, Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan), began the show as a couple. Additionally, the finale of the fourth season featured the possible coupling of the other two, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris in a role for which he has been nominated for several Emmys) and Robin (Cobie Smulders). It is with the thread of this last possible relationship that the fifth season of the show begins.

Neither Barney nor Robin however are really the couple type. That is to say, that while they see members of the opposite sex for romantic encounters on a regular or semi-regular basis (Barney is something of a ladies man), neither has ever really been into Sunday brunch, the farmers' market, and antiquing – the well-known couple hotspots. It is clear though that the fifth season will feature the two of them at the very least contemplating some sort of bed and breakfast, weekend in the country at one of those quaint places with ruffles sort of activity. Well, they may not quite go that far, but they are, at the very least, going to be mulling over the possibility that the two are right for one another. It will be a bold experiment for these two whose personalities don't necessarily lend themselves to being in a long-term romantic relationship (even if Robin did date Ted for a while).

What the possible relationship hasn't affected however is the show's sense of humor or the dynamic amongst the characters. The season premiere may not be as riotously funny as other episodes, but it is unquestionably amusing and does feature more than one laugh-out-loud moment.

Both Smulders and Hannigan were pregnant during portions of the previous season of the show which led to not just some episodes missing a key character, but also some semi-creative camera trickery and the strategic placing of very large purses. The show did deal with the pregnancies well, but it will be nice to see both actresses returning to full time duty on a show in which they both play integral roles.

How I Met Your Mother, while it has never been a ratings blockbuster, has maintained a distinctive voice and sense of humor over the course of its first four seasons and it has not lessened in this season's premiere. The show doesn't seem as though it will suffer from the possible creation of a romantic relationship amongst two of its main characters – something that other shows don't deal as well with – particularly as Robin only really joined the group because Ted was interested in her.

While early seasons of the show left some fans feeling distress over whether or not Ted would finally meet the mother, as the show progresses that seems to be less of an issue. The series is far more about Ted's journey than Ted's final success. The audience is already aware that Ted will, eventually, meet a woman and have two kids (at least) with her, so the longer the show can have Ted's journey take, the more episodes there will be, for it is the creation of that last relationship which may signal HIMYM's death knell. After all, once Ted meets the mother, the story Ted is telling his kids (the entire series is a flashback) must end. He may begin a new one that he can stretch out over 100 episodes — our storyteller is quite adept at shaggy dog tales — but it will be a new tale and this reviewer is not ready for the current one to end.

How I Met Your Mother airs Monday nights at 8pm on CBS.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.
  • http://waftingcurtains.wordpress.com Chelsea Doyle

    So jealous you saw it! Can’t wait until tomorrow. Thanks for the head’s up John!