Big night for us yesterday. The dog ate a “bed buddy” then dumped the trash can it was in (along with some pencil sharpener shavings), #3 had to go to the doctor because of an ear infection (started medicine at once), #1 took #4 to basketball practice, and I won the 5 minute fiction contest. Gosh, this parenting by numbers thing is pretty cool.
Today's Must See TV looks at a show I first encountered while riding on an airplane. Since then, we've watched a handful of episodes here and there. It's hit or miss and there was one entire season that was terrible, but "How I Met Your Mother" is clever enough to keep us coming back -- eventually. Sort of a Sylvester Stallone "I'm so over the top you have to think this is a good movie, Adrian."
We are in the final season (?) and supposedly Ted is going to finally meet the woman of his dreams and we will too. Ted is the character that is always trying to get married, always being left at the altar, always saying, "This is the one" and yet always ends up alone after a very brief and intense love affair. Not like Barney. He's just awful. Lilly and Marshal have been together forever and it's been interesting to see how the characters have changed. Robin is like Barney. But not quite as bad. But worse. It's complicated.
I am not recommending the show. If you've seen 5 minutes of it you know whether or not it's for you. Instead, I want to look at the big reveal promised in the season I'm watching. The mystery woman. Ted has almost met her a few times, actually had a date with her roommate, and passed her on the street the month he made the cover of Architect Magazine. We never see her face, just her umbrella (which Ted also possessed for a time).
This is a huge setup in the show. We know she's the one because the entire series is told as a flashback to a couple of teenagers by their father - Ted - and the name of the show is "How I met your mother." Even the FBI could figure that out. The problem is that Ted is a romantic. He's had many memorable girlfriends and they were written well. How can you possibly have a satisfying payoff?
Ted's been at the altar before, that won't mean anything. He's looked into a girl's eyes and lost himself before. Actually, many times. In short, he's had every happy ending out there at least once. When we do finally meet her, whoever this mystery girl with the yellow umbrella is, it will be a letdown.
Of course this is where my wife and I disagree (but fortunately this is my blog so I get to be right this time). I think that the only way to end the story with any kind of satisfaction is to never, ever, ever show us her face. He's spent years chasing an ideal, not a person. We have to know that "she is the one" because Ted knows it. I can relate to that, I know what it means to find the one, and I can be there with Ted. But if you put a face to it? Bam, the ideal is gone and it becomes about the actress and the audience (and she's not the one for us). Suddenly we're watching just another girlfriend and that's a very unsatisfying payoff.