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Saturday, January 21, 2006
"A Love Story In Reverse"

That's the tag line I recently noticed, in a 4-month-old issue of Entertainment Weekly, on an ad for How I Met Your Mother, whose pilot I enjoyed -- especially its final twist -- as I mentioned back then. Alan Sepinwall of the NJ Star-Ledger can pick up the story [link may require registration]:
"How I Met Your Mother" is narrated by Future Ted (Bob Saget), who in the year 2030 tells his teenage children the story of his young love life. In the show's premiere episode, present-day Ted (Josh Radnor) fell badly for newscaster Robin (Cobie Smulders), but just as viewers were settling in for the story of their courtship, Future Ted threw a huge monkey wrench into the works by telling his kids, "And that's the story of how I met your Aunt Robin."
Combined with the re-discovery of the ad, I realized that the intention had been to tell the story of how Ted fell out of love with Robin. I also decided that if that was their intention, they haven't been hitting their target squarely, since Ted's journey away from Robin has been...wobbly.

It turns out the people behind this show managed to screw up by having their lead "couple" have the one thing they didn't want:
But given the show's focus on relationships, its greatest strength has been the chemistry between Josh Radnor and Cobie Smulders, which is so potent you could bottle and sell it.

But because Future Ted has already decreed Robin isn't the kids' mom, the show is stuck on a course that can't pair them off romantically for very long, if ever.

When Smulders plays a scene opposite Radnor, "magic happens," Smulders says. "Chemistry flows, fireworks get set off. I can't explain it, but it's kind of meant to be -- and obviously not."
"It's heartbreaking" that the two characters are destined to end up apart, says co-creator Carter Bays.

At the same time, there are no plans to quietly do away with Future Ted, or to reveal him to be a pathological liar, or to have Barney claim Ted's biography as his own in the future, or any other means of overturning the "Aunt Robin" proclamation.
What they've come up with right now is the introduction of Ashley Williams as Ted's new love interest, who appeared for a few seconds at the end of the last new episode. No one wants to say much about Monday's show -- even the CBS Web site features no information except for the title, "Drumroll Please." With a title like that, should we assume Williams is the mom-to-be?

"You never know," says Thomas with a cryptic smile.

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