The hit comedy’s final season is changing the game completely. How I Met Your Mother is one of CBS’s top performers ratings-wise, and the show has finally revealed the mother (Broadway actress Cristin Milioti) in the eighth season finale. Next year, the show goes into its final season and it’s doing it with a pretty weird-ass gimmick.
TVline has the scoop, in the form of an interview with CBS president Nina Tassler, that the show’s final season of 24 episodes will all take place over the course of one three-day weekend. Prior to now, the show has moved forward chronologically (with the framing sequence of Ted telling his children the insanely long story of how he met their mother). There have been flashbacks and flashforwards to mix things up a bit and tease viewers, but for the most part it’s followed standard sitcom timestream rules.
The ninth season is set entirely at the wedding of Barney and Robin, which is a pretty solid setup for a meeting. Tassler has also stated that every other major character on the show will meet the mother before Ted does. While I admire the chutzpah in trying to make 72 hours of real time stretch out to fill 24 half-hour episodes of TV, this seems like biting off more than they can chew.
Since the show started, the long-running rumor has been that Ted would only meet the mother in the season finale, which makes sense from a show gimmick perspective but it’s harder to sell from a “good storytelling” perspective. Are we just supposed to believe that this girl is “the one” because the show tells us? I dunno. What do you think? Can a concept this crazy work, or will they abandon it before filming starts for something more conventional? And will you watch the last season now that you know who the mother is?