How Ted Met “The One” and Why You Will Too
Issue   |   Wed, 02/15/2012 - 02:56
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Despite seven seasons of pitfalls and disappointments, the show “How I Met Your Mother” upholds the power of romance and friendship.

In most cases, the story a father tells his children about how he met their mother is fairly brief, consisting of an explanation of where and when he met her, how he managed to win her over and how long it took before they were married. Played by Josh Radnor, Ted Mosby — protagonist of CBS’s hit sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother” — has something very different in mind, however, when he sits his teenaged son and daughter down in the year 2030 to tell them the story of how he met their mother.

The show begins, in season one, with a view of Ted’s children from his perspective as they sit on their couch at home, waiting to hear the story. He takes them back to the year 2005, and they fade from view as the show is produced in a series of flashbacks of Ted’s life 25 years prior, narrated by Ted’s aged, disembodied voice, spoken by Bob Saget. The majority of the show is spent covering Ted’s various adventures in or near a New York City bar called MacLaren’s (he lives a few floors above). He and his friends Barney, played by Neil Patrick Harris; Marshall, played by Jason Segel; Lily, played by Alyson Hannigan; and Robin, played by Cobie Smulders, all fight with and support each other in their constant struggle to find and maintain love as they get older. Their wildly different personalities and goals in life often clash as they navigate their way though various ridiculous romance-ridden situations. As the show is currently halfway through its seventh season, the characters remain strong in their support for each other, if a little worse for the wear.

Throughout the show’s seven-year run, Ted, a die-hard and hopeless romantic, remains adamant that he will some day find “the one” (a.k.a., his children’s mother) and marry her, even in the face of his friends’ cynicism. Day after day, month after month and year after year, Ted tries and fails to find “the one,” while breaking hearts and having his own heart broken several times along the way. His grand romantic gestures are copious and include but are not limited to: stealing a blue French horn from the wall of a restaurant and later assembling an entire string quartet of blue instruments, filling rooms with bouquets of roses, learning how to and passionately doing a rain dance on the roof of a building, wearing the same costume on Halloween five years in a row and proposing in an arcade. He does these things with different girls, and all in the name of the deep-seeded hope that his current girlfriend will prove to be “the one.”

Every few episodes, the show cuts back to footage of Ted’s children, still seated on the couch throughout the entirety of the show’s seven seasons, complaining when they ask if this or that woman in his stories is their mother, and he unfailingly responds with a no. Hilariously, he also responds with a no to their requests to get up and go to the bathroom, and during the season one finale, his son complains that it feels like his father has been telling this story for “like, a year.”

The show’s extremely inspirational, yet hilariously funny and witty nature has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. “How I Met Your Mother” and its cast members have won several Emmy, People’s Choice and Critics’ Choice Television awards, and they have been nominated for Golden Globe awards. Although “How I Met Your Mother” revolves around the lives of 20- and 30-something year-olds, the show speaks to people of all ages about the extreme power of hope and friendship, not only in the realm of romance, but also in the realms of education, career and basic everyday life. It sends out the message, loud and clear, that we are all headed towards something and that we will get there as long as we remember to never give up and to keep the faith. As Ted says to his kids in season four, “You see, the universe has a plan, kids, and that plan is always in motion. A butterfly flaps its wings, and it starts to rain. It’s a scary thought, but it’s also kind of wonderful. All these little parts of the machine constantly working, making sure that you end up exactly where you’re supposed to be, exactly when you’re supposed to be there. The right place ... at the right time.” And on Valentine’s Day, whether you are alone or not, that’s not such a bad thing to remember.