Posted by Marisa November 17th, 2009 at 10:14am In How I Met Your Mother
Phew! It was dicey for a while there, but we pulled through it okay. I’m talking about the Barney-Robin romance on How I Met Your Mother.
This relationship played to the worst elements of everybody’s expectations for this show. I was so not into it, I didn’t even look up and see if fans came up with a cutesy, combined name for them. (Brobin?)
First of all, HIMYM has always been prone to Friends comparisons. Which, to be honest, is fair. Just replace HIMYM’s bar with a coffee shop and its New York location for a fictionalized, la-la land named New York City and you’ve got Friends. However, when people talk about liking Friends, no one is talking about the years where they’re all paired off with each other. Who could forget Chandler and Monica’s whirlwind relationship? Everybody can. And did. Because it was boring, and weird, and soapy, and the show was better when they were all just friends.
Second, the Barney-Robin relationship fell victim to the same problems that all will-they-or-won’t-they TV relationships have. You can’t string along fans, who presumably want these things to happen, indefinitely, and yet giving the characters all they could want and desire is totally boring. Characters are much more interesting when they’re lovelorn and longing, and it’s best to keep them entertained with a rotating series of relationship red shirts than another character that fans are invested in. Otherwise, you get caught in a Veronica/Logan situation, where screeching fans howled that Rob Thomas didn’t know what he was doing whenever they were apart just because it made them personally happy to see them together, ignoring the fact that the storylines were more compelling when both characters are single.
Finally, didn’t it seem that, when Barney and Robin were dating, that was the entire focus of the show? What happened to Ted? Or aspects of Barney’s and Robin’s lives that didn’t involve their romantic pairing? Eventually, I just got sick of hearing about it.
Thankfully, it looks like the show did, too. Which frees up room for the parts of HIMYM that I like, such as Marshall’s brilliant rant about frozen waffles. Not only was hilarious, but it was true, too.
Now, if we could only get rid of that meeting-the-mother conceit, the show would be perfect.