December 24, 2013

HIMYM Fan Critics in 2013

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.

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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.

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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.

Written with StackEdit.


Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Great post. First off, love that new cast photo that includes the mother, besides her eerie resemblance to Lily, I think that she does really work well with the cast and I would’ve liked to have seen her interact with the cast over the years in the some capacity.

    Yeah, the fan reaction for this season has been really, really harsh. I just think they expected so much out of this last season that they just feel like because it doesn’t live up to their expectations, they have the “moral right” as Jenkins says to complain.

    I’ve enjoyed this season, mostly because of the build up of how Ted actually meets the Mother is there (we don’t know her name yet, do we?), and it’s cool seeing past guest stars such as Wayne Brady, John Lithgow and James Van der Beek (please, another round of Robin Sparkles before the show ends!). The season is very nostalgic, a lot of call backs to the previous can feel the end is near and I’m almost ‘accepting’ the end in many years because of how this season is/was shaped.

    Surprised the show is ending on 3/31..I thought CBS would’ve kept the show on until May, but they probably want to test out that new Friends with Better Lives show + see how 2 Broke Girls does as an anchor lead off (which they’ll probably have to seriously tone down that show if it moves to 8pm permanently geezzz)

    • I totally agree, I think that people are just upset that the show is ending and that the show is acting like it is ending. I feel like some shows and act like the end isn’t coming, but I like it better with the nostalgia and sense of wrapping things up that this season has brought.

      I thought that March 31st seemed a bit early, but I think you are spot on about the other shows. Right now HIMYM is the glue holding CBS’ Monday night together, so they’re definitely not trying to lose those viewers this upcoming fall. However, I really wish we were getting a preview of HIMYD instead…


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About Stef Parker

Just your average millennial who happens to love snowboarding, Pinterest, Nintendo and music with a passion for advertising and social media :-)


fan activity, participatory culture, social media