One of the problems with television is that in order to turn profits, writers are often forced to ruin some of the artistic value of their shows. Certain shows start off with incredible premises and interesting characters, but after six seasons their characters and plots seem to tread water. If the writers pursue character and/or plot development, they risk changing the formula that made the show so successful. This occurs notable in the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”
The show revolves around Ted Mosby, whose older self narrates the show as a father in the year 2030 telling his kids the story of how he met their mother. For some inexplicable reason, Bob Saget narrates and not the actor who actually plays Ted. Perhaps the writers planned on Ted hitting a second puberty… at age thirty-five. When the show started in 2005, the writers probably did not think too much about if the show went on for seven seasons with an eighth one in the works. Lucky for them, the show has had a lot of success, despite an annoying laugh track and a formula that bears a striking resemblance to that of “Friends.” This puts them in a somewhat difficult position; they must continue to prolong an already complicated and absurdly long story. The show ends, theoretically, when Ted meets his wife, and so season after season the writers add details to the story. However, the details that actually pertain to meeting Ted’s wife took a backseat in recent seasons. Instead, the writers changed the focus to character development that prepares Ted to meet his future wife.
While the show remains funny, the last two seasons took an unexpectedly dark turn. In order to maintain the attention of viewers, the writers placed their characters in some trying situations. Ted was left at the altar. The father of Ted’s best friend, and one of the main characters, died. Ted’s old flame discovered that she was unable to have children. Her boyfriend proposed to her, and then left her upon learning about her medical issues. This sitcom has covered a lot of depressing material. This results in fewer laughs and more tear jerking scenes.
Fortunately, the writers used different formats for every season, but the current emotional struggle must end soon. At some point, Ted and the gang must come out on the other side of the tunnel. When they do, the end of the show will loom and the writers will know that they must create a suitable ending for the show. Hopefully, they will maintain the integrity of the show and end it before the character arcs become monotonous. The bedrock of the show, the comedic dynamic between the characters, creates a dramatic storyline with a limited timeline. The quality of the show suffered somewhat from an over-extension of the story. If the show does not end within the next two years, viewer interest in “How I Met Your Mother” will decrease as their interest in the characters falls.