November 29, 2012

How I Met Your Mother: What Makes a Badass?

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Kids, I’m going to tell you an incredible story: the story of how Ted Mosby takes over seven years to tell us how he met his children’s mother.

After spending most of last semester watching the first seven seasons of How I Met Your Mother (don’t judge), I was nothing short of excited to begin the eighth season, which might be its last. While there are aspects of this season that I have loved, season 8 of HIMYM has been somewhat disappointing.

The writers typically reveal how larger story arcs end — they show us glimpses of the future before backtracking to how they all ended up there. At this point, however, the in-between has become boring, predictable and repetitive. While I love the show’s continuity, some key character developments have been ignored over the course of this season. For instance, Robin — who has developed into a character who does not want to be a mother and cannot even have children — was competing against Ted and Barney to be Marshall and Lily’s baby’s godparent. It upset me that her friends would do such an outlandish and cruel thing to her. Also, I used to be so invested in Ted’s quest to find “the mother,” and now, since they have given us so many clues and he has gotten so close, I am just ready for him to meet her and be done with it. Seven years is long enough!

In the most recent episode, “Twelve Horny Women,” Marshall recounts the story of the most important court case in his career to the New York State Judiciary Committee. In a pretty absurd case against his old friend Brad, Marshall succeeds in suing a pharmaceutical company for polluting a lake and is inspired to apply for judgeship. Barney and Robin dance around their sexual tension, again, and do not actually get anywhere by the end of the episode, again. I’m impatient; let’s get to the wedding already.

The other silly subplot involved the rest of the gang recalling stories of how they were “badasses” when they were younger, since Barney seems to know the bailiff of the courthouse. They debate over who was the most delinquent youth, and flashback to goth teenage Lily breaking the law, Canadian pop star Robin disrupting the peace and Ted taking a mugshot.

Turns out, all of their “badass” stories turn out to be exaggerations, and the most badass thing that happens in the episode is Marshall turning his case around. It makes the gang question what it truly means to be a badass. Is it really just being able to defy the law and do something awesome, or can one be a badass by beating their old friend/now nemesis in a court trial?

So, Cornellians, as you’re studying hard for your finals, take a second to think about this. What is your definition of badass? Is it breaking the law, or just doing something you’re proud of? In the midst of cramming, take a quick break and go do something badass (…but don’t get too crazy). Go out, throw a flaming pumpkin off a gorge with your friends or spend some time working on a creative project you’ve been putting off. Or, if you’re a HIMYM writer, let Ted meet the mother!

And after your break, come back and do the most badass thing us Cornellians dream about: not getting too stressed and acing your finals.

And it’s going to be legen— wait for it…

— dary.

Samantha Weisman is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She can be reached at scw68@cornell.edu. Her blog appears alternate Thursdays this semester.

Original Author: Samantha Weisman