This past week's How I Met Your Mother, or HIMYM to many fans, was somewhat typical fare for the program. Once again, too much of the plot revolved around Ted and Zoey's extremely boring relationship, and the conflict they face in their differing opinions on whether or not to tear down the fictional Arcadian building.
Hence the title "Landmarks", as the episode highlights said conflict over whether or not the building would classify as such, though it also refers to the moments in a lifetime or a relationship that are particularly noteworthy, and the process whose purpose it is to come to an agreement in both cases on when a moment or a location is such. The writers attempt to employ this conflict in order to create a sense of tension and anticipation throughout the episode regarding Ted's appraisal of the status of the building and its ensuing effect on his relationship with the one-dimensional, hollow Zoey. The enormous problem with this plan, however, is that there is no concern on the part of the viewer as to the outcome of the events, due to the inherent, core fallacy that Ted and Zoey's relationship is poorly written and uninteresting; it is boring, monotonous and therefore meaningless. Nobody cares.
Now when I state that Ted and Zoey's relationship is boring and monotonous, I mean this in the sense that it seems to revolve entirely around this insignificant building. Its effect has influenced their entire history together: their initial enmity, their very swift turn to lovers, and the even swifter return to enmity. The seemingly minute, insignificant plot point that is the Arcadian has atrociously spanned the ENTIRE season and has brought the viewer along through an even more pointless experience: namely, this relationship. I question the writers in their consideration of the payoff for the viewer. All of this activity surrounding the Arcadian may have been worthwhile if it had lead to Zoey being the mother, or if it had even led to them having a relationship with some depth. This couple literally has no dimension to their relationship other than this godforsaken building, and we are thus given no reason to like them, be interested in them, or even care when they decide to break up. Good riddance.
Now, I could be wrong, as the series still has one last episode to tie up all of the loose ends it has so pointlessly created this season. However, it doesn't appear as though Ted and Zoey could fix their broken relationship in any sort of realistic or feasible way without some sort of absurd and unnatural contrivance. Even if possible, the relationship, from a viewer's standpoint, is not worth the saving. The numbers reflect this sentiment; HIMYM's ratings have dropped by almost half since the halfway point of the season in January. Viewership was at its highest by episode 14, at 10.54 million, but was down to 6.41 million for this 23rd episode, the lowest ratings for any episode in the show's history. In fact, viewership has on average, compared with earlier seasons, been on a steady decline, starting with last year's disappointing 5th season, one in which many viewers and critics wondered whether the show was losing its touch. One more statistic for you: the show had only once before received viewership less than 7 million for an episode -- this year it has fallen short of 7 million four times, they were all consecutive, and they are all the most recent four episodes.
It may be time for this show to finally pull out all of the stops and introduce the titular Mother by next season. The show has had a good run and has milked this idea for a very reasonable period of time, but it is now finally beginning to run out of steam. In order to preserve the legacy of the show and to go out on top, the 7th season should perhaps be the series' final. The show is now in syndication in numerous countries, and 7 seasons is a respectable number by any means; in fact, it is rather impressive and exceptional. Here's hoping we, the viewer, are not subjected to much more of these dry, dull storylines, but instead are soon rewarded with the the introduction of the Mother, which will likely energize the writing team by giving them mounds of content and the satisfaction that the finish line is in sight.
See you next week.
Love this show and now waiting for it's season 7 telecast.