HIMYM, Shark-Jumping, and the Lonely End of All Sitcoms

This means another season!
This means another season!

Every week I get at least a few hits from the phrase “how I met your mother jumped the shark.” This occurs because a year ago I penned a post entitled “I Met Your Mother While Jumping a Shark.” and while it doesn’t bring in quite as much traffic as “Why Family Guy Sucks at Political Humor,” it is a reliable bringer of eyeballs to the blog. Slow and steady and all of that.

Nothing that’s happened in the year since has made me change the opinion offered then:

Let’s get Barney married, let’s give Robin her suprise real pregnancy (you know they’re going to do that, right?), and let’s bring Ted and The Mother® together already. The fans are bored. The writers are clearly bored. This woman’s introduction has gone on long enough.

So I’d just as soon not write about it any further. But I have a partner/underling at Riposte Publishing, one Thomas Fitz, and he keeps a desultorily-updated blog, Puritanical Screeds. In one of his less deeply cynical posts, “Why All Shows With Amazing Ensemble Casts Should Be Shot in the Head After Six Seasons, and Barney Stinson is Not Funny Anymore,” he discusses the problems that successful sitcoms have:

Every TV show eventually hits its limits, achieves its goals, tells its story. When this happens, the best thing for the show is to bow out gracefully, which is usually the last thing that the economics of TV shows will permit to happen. Successful TV shows are cash-cows, and they will be milked until dry. There’s a reason that the networks staged reunions of The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, and it involved the writers’ yearning for artistic closure and some network executive needing to pay off his coke dealer, but mostly the second thing. And if you’re a writer or actor attached to a successful TV show, your need for steady income to spend on Southern California real estate and adopting Vietnamese children might not trump your devotion to story integrity, but not everyone is going to move from The Office to The Mindy Project.

He has some harsh words for The Office and How I Met Your Mother in particular.

I’m more into Bob’s Burgers now anyway. That’s still in its third season, so I can still enjoy it.

2 thoughts on “HIMYM, Shark-Jumping, and the Lonely End of All Sitcoms


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