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CBS (ended 2014)
Don't get me wrong I love Ted as a character and liked his character development. This post isn't about me disliking Ted over Barney. It's a question I've been wondering about lately. The last few years of the show it's been pretty obvious that Barney has been main the focus. Promos have Barney in them along with Robin and not Ted. Arguably the Barney/Robin relationship is more of what is drawing wider audience in than Ted's relationships and now we have Barney/Robin centric seasons that ends in their wedding, while the mother, the woman that the story has been building up to is having all her important moments with Ted being glimpsed at in flash forwards, until their eventually meeting this season.

The show justified the focus on Barney in the last few seasons by having Barney's development into wanting marriage and marrying the woman he loves as being important to Ted because he will meet his future wife at Barney's wedding (whether they succeeded in this justification or not is up t the viewer). The character arc for Barney that began season 3 or 4 has been rich story arc in its own right and overshadowed Ted's love life in season 4 after Stella and we got a long sting of minor girlfriends before the next major one, Zoey in season 6 (?) I'll be honest I'm not a fan of how Barney and Robin's romance hijacked the plot, but I can't deny their story has probably been a factor in HIMYM's longevity and that people really liked it, along with Barney's antics.

I remember in one of the earlier seasons Future Ted told his kids this story isn't about meeting with mother, but ultimately becoming the person he needed to be to fall in love with her and starting their relationship. Looking back on it Barney's story is about him becoming the person he needed to be to enter a successful relationship with Robin and ultimately marry her. It really mirrors Ted's story. Barney has all the elements to drive a romantic comedy, fun personality, quirks, strong relationships with the rest of the main characters, and his own romantic story that has been popular enough to get so much attention in the first place. Lord knows love triangles sell. Could Barney have been a successful lead for the show? Maybe the premise might have to be changed and certain elements would be altered (like Future Ted telling Barney's story instead of his own) , but I wonder if the writers could have made the show work with Barney as the lead from the start. I would like to hear other people's opinions.
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It would have been too much Barney if he was the lead, they had a nice balance in the beginning but they went over the rails once everyone started loving him and he became the major selling point for the series.

Kind of how every single picture The Walking Dead uses as a promo has Darryl on it just because he's the favorite. They have kept themself in check not letting him take over the series from the other characters, but I'm just waiting for it to happend.
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yes. if he's gonna be the one who ends up with robin.....
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I don't disagree about the relationship Barny/Robin shares(its really beautiful to see them together) But that doesn't mean Ted's needs to be replaced because of Barny's Excellent characteristics...Actually the director gave each of them different characteristics for a reason...Just because Director gave Barny the entertaining and not boring Characteristics doesn't mean he suddenly gets to be the lead...i am not saying i dnt like Barny(I like Barny...He is my fav character on HIMYM)..Furthermore Director/Producer Made Ted main Lead for a reason and we should Respect the decisions director/Producer makes....
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No, usually the main character is the more down to earth, normal guy/girl that we can relate to, thats why its Ted..
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In fairness Ted's hopeless romantic gestures can take him off the earth quite a few times.
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I agree with HanhKim that I think the extreme popularity of Barney wasn't something that the creators counted on in the very beginning. But, while Barney has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few seasons, I think he's still a little too cartoonish to have carried the show himself. Ted, in a lot of ways, is more of an everyman, which makes it a lot easier for the show to have been based around him. I think if we had started the show from the very beginning with Barney as the main character, it wouldn't have lasted more than a couple seasons because it took a long time for him to become someone that more people could relate to.
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I see what your saying, but Barney's depth probably would have been shown a lot faster than the actual show had he been the main character from the start. Cartoonish antics may have been toned down more like in season 1 and 2 when Barney was relatively a regular sleazy guy before he turned full on cartoon character.

Can I ask you your opinions on Ted, Barney, and Robin dynamic? Do you think it's been a good all the way through or that it gotten past the point where it has overstayed its welcome?
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I guess I like having gradual growth and depth. A season 1 or 2 complete turn around would have seemed like a cheap plot ploy or way to pull more viewers in to me. I like having characters gradually grow. It feels more realistic to me in the long run.

As far as the Ted, Barney, Robin dynamic I definitely feel like it's at a place where it's overstayed its welcome. It was interesting in the immediate aftermath of Barney and Robin first getting together but now it seems like the writers keep it as a convenient plot point to use whenever they feel like they need to add some drama or explain why Ted still hasn't met the Mother.
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yes times 20 on overstaying its welcome! I'm really tired of that plot contrivance. Should have been over ages ago. And yet they did it again this season!
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I have always felt that Barney always seemed like the main character. But oh well what is done is done.
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While I love the character of Barney I hate Robin. I have found that since Barney has been engaged to Robin his character annoys me as much as Robin. Most of the episodes that focus on Barney and Robin have been the worse ones this season.

It seems like the only thing that makes an episode enjoyable this season is the presence of the mother. Instead of focusing all of season 9 on the wedding they should have made it about Ted meeting and dating the mother. The wedding has been dragged out and half the epsiodes are filler and crappy episode.
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I agree that season 9 should be about Ted actually moving on from Robin and meeting the mother as well. I feel the wedding season was because the writers wanted to stay true to the title and end it with Ted actually meeting the mother. The show passed that point a long time ago to me. We've seen so much stuff building up to Ted evolving into the person he needed to be to be ready for the mother that ending it with him just meeting her and flash forwards to their life is unsatisfying to an extent. I also don't like they're tying the mother into every storyline with Ted's friends. I liked her interactions with Lily and Marshall, but tying her into Barney's the Robin plan was unnecessary, forced, and made the character seem like a Mary Sue to justify why Ted chose her.
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I understand where you're coming from. I do think that while the writers knew that Neil Patrick Harris was charismatic, they didn't intend on the character of Barney to become so iconic in How I Met Your Mother.

I believe they've always wanted to tell the story of how Ted met the Mother, but screwed up in their telling of it. They dragged it for too long and they didn't show enough developments in Ted to keep us interested.

However, now when they make the spin-off series "How I Met Your Dad", they'll be able to learn from their mistakes and write better seasonal arcs for their protagonist rather than let a supporting character run the show.

For all their shortcomings, I still return to watch How I Met Your Mother if only because I want to see Ted find the love of his life and be happy. I'm a romantic sap that way. And in the meantime, I enjoy Barney and Robin's storyline because they both started off wanting to remain unmarried or childless; yet, they were able to change the other and now both want the same things in life. That's really sweet when it's mutual.
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I see. Do you feel Barney/Robin wedding being essential to Ted actually meeting the mother was a good idea or a bad idea? Personally I felt it was a mistake to tie Ted's life so close to B/R romance that in later seasons it felt like he stalled as a character when you compare him to earlier seasons. My biggest complaints in season 9 is that his character is still stalled and the only way to see it move is through the flash forwards with the mother, which while sweet do feel forced in some places.
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I agree with you. I thought that his last meeting with Victoria was headed toward character growth until he decided to run off with her... Getting over Robin was supposed to be growth until he revealed that he wasn't OK with the wedding. It's like the writers don't know how to write Ted. Each time he takes one step forward, he would take two backwards. I do think his character is stalled. I would rather see him grow to become the man that The Mother loves, rather than watch him in the flashforwards when we don't know how he got there. I feel like he doesn't deserve The Mother yet.
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