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The 5 Worst Parts of 'How I Met Your Mother' Season 9

How I Met Your Mother is off this week, the first Monday the show's skipped since its ninth and final season began back in September. The show has raced through the first half of this season, leaving us with just 12 episodes of HIMYM left before the show wraps things up forever. (Well, not forever — there's that How I Met Your Dad spinoff ...)

HIMYM's final season has been a mixed bag for fans. We've gotten to spend time with The Mother and enjoy some final time with the gang we've been hanging out with for over eight years. At the same time, though, the show has wasted episodes on plotlines that fans just don't care about.

With no new HIMYM episode on tonight, Popculturology has put together The 5 Worst Parts of How I Met Your Mother Season 9. Check them out, and come back here next week to see if things got better when HIMYM returned.

5. A focus on characters we just don't care about
For eight seasons, we've followed the journey of Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall and Lily. Beyond the fact that the show itself is supposed to be about Ted's search for his future wife, we've grown very close with the rest of his friends. It's hard to spend almost a decade with a bunch of characters and not become attached to them. We've seen these guys go through pain (Marshall's dad passing away) and joy (Barney and Robin becoming engaged).

Why then, has HIMYM insisted on focusing on characters we don't care about during its final season? With precious few episodes left, the show could spend its time in better ways than devoting an entire episode to a love triangle between Barney's dad, James' dad and the brothers' mom. Or Billy Zabka. Look, having the Karate Kid villain have a cameo last season was a genius move, but now we're supposed to care about him as an actual character?

Oh, there's one more character that falls in this category, but we'll get to her in a second ...

4. The season has taken place away from MacLaren's and the apartment
HIMYM's settings are a huge part of the show. We know how much MacLaren's and the gang's shared apartment above the bar mean to their history. After spending roughly two dozen Mondays a year for eight years at that bar booth, watching Barney run plays on girls or witnessing an epic dance fight between Robin and Marshall over who gets naming rights to a drink, these locations are as much characters on HIMYM as Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall and Lily.

Thanks to HIMYM's Season 9 format, almost the entire season has taken place at the Farhampton Inn, the location of Barney and Robin's approaching wedding. While the Inn has offered a few interesting storylines — the front desk clerk's concern for a single Ted, the possibility of a ghost haunting Lily's room — this place isn't our home. It means nothing to us. Because the season is taking place over a single weekend, episodes have played out like some warped version of Groundhog Day, forcing the gang to move through the Farhampton Inn over and over again, unable to escape back to their actual lives in their actual homes.

Some of the best moments of Season 9 have come through flashbacks, which allowed the gang to return to the apartment or MacLaren's. In those familiar settings, Ted and his friends are able to slip out of the bonds of the wedding weekend.

3. The show continues to test Barney and Robin's relationship
When HIMYM first paired up Barney and Robin, the show seemed to realize that they had moved too quickly. Even if the show's writers wanted Barney and Robin to wind up together, it happened too soon. To break the duo up, HIMYM established that they weren't right for each other and would never work as a couple. A will-they-or-won't-they game continued for a few seasons, with both Barney and Robin fighting feelings for the other, almost connecting on several occasions. Robin dating Kevin and Barney dating Nora and getting engaged to Quinn, but HIMYM still brought the two together.

Even as an engaged couple, HIMYM couldn't let Barney and Robin move on peacefully. In order to propose to Robin, Barney executed one final play, an elaborate game that convinced Robin he was over her and crushed her heart, all just to surprise her with a proposal. Robin got Barney back with his bachelor party, a rouse of her own which tricked Barney into thinking that he lost thousands of dollars, that Marshall had lost his hand and that Robin was leaving Barney.

Upon getting to the Farhampton Inn for their wedding, you'd think that HIMYM would drop the tension between Barney and Robin. You'd be wrong. Even in its final season, HIMYM has continued this ridiculous game. Barney once again reverted to his childish ways, originally siding with his mother over Robin when it came to a game of poker. Oh, let's not forget the fact that at one point Barney and Robin feared that they were actually related to each other through a random Canadian relative.

2. The Mother has remained elusive
By showing The Mother in last season's finale, HIMYM led us to believe that the show's final season would feature her heavily. A big deal was made over the fact that Cristin Milioti was elevated to regular castmember status, the first time the show had ever done that beyond Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan. Based on this, it looked like Season 9 would be a legendary time with The Mother.

Sadly, we're still waiting for it. Milioti has appeared in a handful of episodes as The Mother, often showing up in an episode's closing moments. She's damn good when she's in an episode, having instant chemistry with Radnor, Hannigan and Harris. Of course, knowing how well Milioti meshes with HIMYM's veteran cast makes her absence even worse. This is it — the final shot to tell the story of Ted Mosby and how he met the one. Why HIMYM has repeatedly chosen to fill its final episodes with storylines that don't matter instead of giving us more time with The Mother baffles me.

1. Marshall has been stuck on a road trip with Daphne
What could possibly be worse than HIMYM not showing The Mother enough? While Ted, Barney, Robin and Lily have been at the Farhampton Inn, Marshall and Marvin have been separated from the group, stuck on planes, in airports, in cars or on buses. Worst of all is the fact that HIMYM paired Marshall up with Daphne, a loud-mouth, inconsiderate woman who constantly battled Marshall, tried to trick him out of a rental car and insulted his livelihood. And let's not forget that she had the audacity to call Lily to tell her that Marshall had accepted a judgeship without talking with his wife first.

But wait, Daphne has a daughter who doesn't like her. She almost missed that daughter's Model UN conference. See, Daphne's not so bad after all!


No, HIMYM, that's not how this works. You introduced an unlikeable character. Then you paired her with Marshall, one of the nicest guys in the entire world. Then you had her do something astoundingly destructive to Marshall and Lily's marriage. And you expect us to have sympathy for Daphne?

No. Never.

— Tim Kuchman and Jacob Kuchman contributed to this story.
The 5 Worst Parts of 'How I Met Your Mother' Season 9 Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 12/09/2013 Rating: 5

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