Creator and executive producer Craig Thomas told 'TV Guide' that the upcoming Season 7 will offer answers and even more changes for the 'HIMYM' gang. He also let slip that there will (probably) be only two more seasons left for the comedy.
"All of our contracts are up after [Season] 8," he said, "So we're preparing for that to possibly be the end. As long as we know that a year from now, that's fine. But if we don't, then that's a problem!"
Continuing in the storied tradition of pop star cameos on the CBS comedy, Katy Perry has signed on to guest star in an episode later this season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she'll play the cousin of Jennifer Morrison's character, Zooey, "a beautiful, naive girl whom the gang resorts to calling 'honey'."
But the most talked about aspect of the episode, aside from the shocking ending, was the cleverly-presented countdown from 50 to 1, telegraphing the 'Bad News' of the episode's title. Many people got caught up in finding the numbers and figuring out what they meant. But as far as executive producer Carter Bays was concerned, he would have been content if people hadn't noticed them so quickly.
"I was surprised that people caught it, actually," he told me earlier this evening. "I thought it would be a thing you notice three viewings in, but I guess it was a little more visible than we intended."
"We do these interviews and we always have to play this cat and mouse game where we don't want to give away all the stories," he told me. "If there's something exciting, you want people to watch it. We want people to know that there's this episode with Glitter, Robin Sparkles' buddy showing up. Stuff like that you do want to tell but at the same time you don't want to say too much about it because you don't want to ruin the joke or anything." As we've seen, news of casting coups are hard to keep quiet.
Indeed, Bays is enthusiastic about this coming season, mainly because the show is getting back to the emotional story arcs it was known for during its early seasons. As he and Thomas mentioned in July at the press tour, they're returning to that style after a season of one-off stories that even they admitted was hit and miss. We talked about that, whether they see a light at the end of the creative tunnel, and if they suffer from "mother fatigue" at all.
(S05E21) By now, it's not much of a stretch to say that most 'How I Met Your Mother' fans have moved on from both the Ted-Robin and the Barney-Robin relationships. They're both over, kaput, donezo. Robin's moved on, and the guys have moved on, and we're all ready to explore how the gang conducts their lives as just friends.
Which is why, despite the fact that this episode had a number of good laughs, I just sat there for the entire 22 minutes thinking, "I don't buy this." I know that a sitcom like this needs romantic tension in order to survive, but what went on this week felt pretty contrived, as if Bays and Thomas couldn't think of another romantic direction for Ted, Robin, and Barney, so they decided to tread on old ground not once, but twice.
But budding signs of one are starting to appear. All season, John Swansburg of Slate has been recapping the show under a column called "The 'How I Met Your Mother' Shame Index," chronicling what was good about an episode and what has made him ashamed to admit he was a fan. Lately, he's been giving more examples under the heading of "Shameful" than "Awesome."
And now there's an article by Tom Jicha, critic from the South Florida Sun Senitnel, bemoaning how the episodes this season have been moving away from Ted's search for the Mother and focusing more and more on Barney's tomcatting antics.
But are they right? Is the show sliding towards a creative abyss? In some respects, yes. But there seems to be a method behind this shift.
(S05E19) Many of the episodes of 'HIMYM' this season have been slapsticky and silly, but mostly in a good way. It's part of the effort of Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and their crew to not get so bogged down in the "mythology" of the Mother story, allowing them to touch on it much less than they used to. It also sets up some nice standalone episodes for syndication.
Sometimes the silliness works, sometimes it doesn't. This time it worked. And because it worked, I won't get the phase "mugged by a monkey" out of my head for quite a while.
More casting news after the jump.
The untitled, multi-camera comedy is set in the Steel City and revolves around unmarried couple Tommy ('Worst Week' star Kyle Bornheimer, who bit the dust as a guest spy on last night's 'Chuck') and Gina, and their group of friends. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Pressly plays a veterinarian who is Tommy's BFF and co-worker at the Pittsburgh Zoo.
Admittedly, the name Jaime Pressly springs more to mind one of the 'Poison Ivy' movies rather than her Emmy-winning role on 'My Name is Earl,' but obviously other people feel differently. She's just been cast in a supporting role in the as-yet-untitled comedy pilot from the creators of 'How I Met Your Mother,' about an unmarried couple that live in Pittsburgh.
It's somewhat understandable why Pressly didn't get the lead role. For one thing, it's about a younger couple and sadly Pressly is only aging upwards. For another, a supporting role would likely allow her to use her terrific comedic acting chops much better than a straight-laced lead role. In the right circumstances, television supporting characters can be more memorable than the leads and make the show more of an ensemble.
After her terrific acting in 'Earl,' it's only surprising it took this long to get another role. Considering that both Jason Lee and Ethan Suplee have already landed other television roles as well, there must be life after 'Earl.'
This episode had both. I wanted the main story of Ted always bringing around his "skanks" to group celebrations to be tied in a little more to his search for the all-exalted mother. And I also wanted to see more about both Barney's and Marshall's relative abilities in front of a camera lens. Both left me dissatisfied.
What struck me about the table read was that, despite the fact that it was the first draft and the cast hadn't fully gotten into how exactly they were going to play the script, the episode was funny. People were genuinely laughing, including the writers, who have lived with the script for some time; they weren't cackling in an effort to sell their funny lines. In fact, it was one of the funniest episodes of the season.
Watching the final version, I noticed that not a whole lot changed from that table read. And, even though I knew most of what was coming, I laughed as hard as I did when I was on the set a month and a half ago. If that's not the sign of a top-notch episode, I don't know what is.
That being said, it's a great place for two of this show's signature "bits" to start: 1) Absurd arguments, and 2) Incessant ball-busting. We saw both of these this week, with Ranjit thrown into the mix to make things more interesting. What really made this episode wasn't just the Rabbit/Duck argument, though; it was the subtle direction shifts that made loyal viewers think Ted was going in one not so good direction, when he was really going in a worse -- but more fun! -- direction.
(S05E14) Wouldn't everyone want to analyze their love lives with Jim Nantz?
Even if you haven't been as lucky in the sack as Barney Stinson, having an accomplished play-by-play guy talk about the ups and downs of your romantic escapades lends things a bit of gravitas and class.
However the 'HIMYM' writing team came up with the idea of how a nervous Barney recounts his perfect week in his own head, it was an inspired move, as it gave the episode the right narrative pull and really did put you in the position of a fan, pulling for him and making sure he didn't get jinxed. Did I just say that word?
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