Midseason report card: Is ‘How I Met Your Mother’ telling the final act as it should be?

How I Met Your Mother -How I Met Your Mother” has always been an interesting comedy series, mostly in that even though there are constantly a ton of people watching the show, a good percentage of them find a way to routinely complain about it at the same time. Season 9 has seen a number of complaints, and at times for good reason. Marshall spent almost the entire first half of the season away from the other characters, we went weeks without seeing The Mother after her much-hyped arrival, and Ted is still hung up on Robin.

The biggest reason for the criticism? From our vantage point, it comes back to the sole fact that this has always been such a great show. Even when there are complaints, it’s rarely about the percentage of laughs so much as it is story changes. This still is a very entertaining show, even when it is not firing on all cylinders.

What worked – The reason why everyone wants so much of The Mother is because Cristin Milioti is so endearing in the role. She makes you want to root for this woman who is still so unknown that we don’t even know her name yet. She’s funny, and a great addition to a cast that has already featured many welcome returns this year. We’ve had the return of John Lithgow, Frances Conroy, Wayne Brady, and many more within the first 13 episodes, and there are many more along the way.

Also, we personally really like the way that the Ted / Robin story is being handled, with him trying to hide everything that he can from Barney. The latter has seemed to accept that his best past has a hard time letting go of past feelings, but is he really going to feel the same when it comes to finding out about Ted’s cross-country trip? That is the show’s emotional cliffhanger right now.

What didn’t – The Marshal story with Sherri Shepherd (great as she is) felt just like the show was doing “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” and there wasn’t enough about it that felt either distinct or interesting. Meanwhile, this left Lily at times floundering, and her “thank you, Linus” shtick got old a few episodes into the season. But our biggest problem was that there were a couple of episodes where it felt like nothing happened, and the writers were just trying to stretch this into a 24-episode final season using whatever they could in order to make it happen.

Overall – We laughed a ton during the first half of the final season, and it was far better than the majority of the people in the at-times cruel place known as the internet have given it credit for. While it didn’t really hit us with the emotional punch or the originality that we sometimes crave, “How I Met Your Mother” is still a very good show. The negativity is only brought on at times by how passionate the fans are. Grade: B.

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Photo: CBS

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