To the writers of HIMYM: a letter

Dear Mr Bays, Mr Thomas, and the writers of How I Met Your Mother,

Hello! I really hope this letter finds you well. I am a I used to be a big fan of your show: the setting and style - and especially the choice to base the action on the musings of a future version of your main character - combined with a clever, funny script, made HIMYM one of the best comedies on television.

Once upon a time, I thought Josh Radnor might be the next big romantic-comedy film star, and rocked a massive crush on Cobie Smulders (actually, I still have a crush on Cobie ... shh, don't tell my girlfriend). Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan were the couple I'd want to be friends with, and Neil Patrick Harris was born to play Barney Stinson.

And I watched the first seven seasons of your show contentedly, putting up with all the silly side-stories and many pointless girlfriends Ted has been with over the years, rolling my eyes at the on-off relationship between Robin and Barney (and Robin and Ted, and Ted and Barney - okay, I may have imagined that last one) without changing the channel, even as I knew the show was gradually going from bad to worse.

So know that I appreciate your work when I say please, in the name of all that is good and pure in this world, get to the mother already.

Look, I know you have to fill between 20 and 24 episodes every year - and I understand that the temptation to just waste a bunch of episodes, sending the gang on wild goose chases and having Barney try to force a new catchphrase or two, while only hitting a couple of important story points each year, is strong, and easier than moving the story along in a meaningful way.

But, c'mon, we're in the end game now. We all know that this is, barring a miracle, the final season of your show - the final 24 episodes of How I Met Your Mother that will ever be made. This is your legacy, folks.

It's all the more baffling, then, that you would spend the entire first six episodes charting the demise of three utterly meaningless relationships. I feel as though I wasted three hours (combined) of my life over the past couple of months.

It started with Barney and Quinn, who parted ways after a sequence of pathetic misunderstandings and a misguided prenuptial agreement storyline. Then it was Ted and Victoria (first season girlfriend Ashley Williams), who broke up at least three episodes after Ted made it clear they were doomed, leaving a viewer like me wondering what the point was of bringing poor Victoria back.

The real kick in the teeth came last night, though: even though we already knew that Robin would break up with Nick (BSG star Michael Trucco) eventually, and even though we already know that Robin will end up in a wedding dress preparing to marry Barney, you made us spend an entire half hour watching her run through the motions with her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend because ... well, I don't really know why.

Your eighth season of HIMYM just seems directionless. I'm sorry, but it really does. The jokes are few and far between, the stories aren't engaging at all, and the main story - how Ted meets the mother of his children (or, at least, the mother of the two children who appear at the start of the show in old B-roll footage from 2006) - has been reduced to occasional references to a yellow umbrella and odd mentions that a mother actually does exist.

Please just get to the point, people. These stalling tactics are a waste of my time, and I'm damn sure you're not enjoying yourself either. Bring in the mother now, and spend some time exploring that relationship, or risk alienating your fans.

If you don't, I can't promise I'll stick around much longer.

Kind Regards,
A concerned ex-fan.

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