Has 'How I Met Your Mother' Lost its Way?

> bahr_april13_mother_post.jpg

CBS

On this week's How I Met Your Mother, Marshall has to explain to the group that he can't pay for pizza because he was mugged and forced to give up his wallet at gunpoint. In a bout of protective fury, Lily becomes a gun fanatic, prompting Marshall to change his story. So instead of being held at gunpoint, Marshall tells everyone that he was pick-pocketed by a monkey—or, as the group says, "mugged by a monkey." (If you're wondering whether or not the delivery of this phrase made it worth 26 repetitions in 15 minutes, it didn't. And yes, I counted.) In the end, we don't find out what really happened to Marshall, and everything pretty much stays the same for the group.

Episodes like "Zoo or False" make me wonder if the creators of How I Met Your Mother regret having such a singular purpose to the show. In other words, nothing in this episode got us even remotely closer to Ted meeting his future wife. So, are they just killing time? Was this a feeble attempt to give Marshall depth? And at this rate, how old are Ted's kids going to be by the time they figure out how their dad met their mother?

At one point in the series, it seemed like every episode found at least a tiny way to relate to the title of the show. Had this episode been funnier, it would have been worth the diversion. But it wasn't, and it left me contemplating big "what is the point of it all" questions, which is something a sitcom should never, ever, provoke its audience to do.

Presented by

Lindsey Bahr is a writer based in Chicago.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Entertainment

Just In