In 2013, two major changes happened on HIMYM that had the potential to cause a major fan uproar if they were received negatively. The long awaited reveal of The Mother took place at the end of last season, and it was decided that the final season would all take place during Barney and Robin’s wedding weekend.
Both of these decisions had a major effect on the show and consequently the fans. With the various forms of social media available to express their opinion, many fans did just that…
@JGewurz: For anyone upset that #HIMYM has been dragging out the story for 8+ seasons, note that the ENTIRE ninth season will comprise this wedding.
@bhagarty13: RT @GatorNicole: #HIMYM makes me really sad. They could have done everything so far in two or three episodes. Get the mother in there stat.
@christinapolo: I love How I Met Your Mother, but it’s killing me not seeing more of the mother now that we know who she is! #HIMYM.
A reason for the anger towards the wedding weekend final season can be found in Henry Jenkins’ explanation of critical fan thinking,
“Individual episodes are evaluated against an idealized conception of the series, according to their conformity with the hopes and expectations the reader has for the series’ potential development” (96)
Jenkins also explains that fan critics, specifically American media fans, exude a cultural authority, “claiming a moral right to complain about producer actions challenging their own interest in the series” (87).
Compared to the first eight seasons, this season has a totally different setting without the familiar things the fans have come to love and expect from the show. Also, they are intentionally dragging everything out, which fans that have waited patiently for this moment kind of resent at this point.
So, we see frustration about the wedding, but I haven’t seen any tweets expressing frustration about the choice of actress for the Mother. Instead, most people are expressing their anger at not seeing enough of her this season or expressing hope that she could be the thing to save this season in their eyes.
Only time will tell if the Mother will save the season for these hopeful fans, although there isn’t much time left with the series finale being announced last week as March 31, 2014. But there is still plenty of time for anything to happen…
Jenkins, Henry. Textual Poachers: Television Fans & Participatory Culture. New York: Routledge, 1992. Print.
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About Stef ParkerJust your average millennial who happens to love snowboarding, Pinterest, Nintendo and music with a passion for advertising and social media :-)
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