When it comes to sitcoms, plot progression is a big issue for me. Six seasons into a show absolutely no one remains a consistently funny writer and gags that brought you to the floor in tears four years ago are now tedious at best. It's because of plot progression that the back half of the sixth season of How I Met Your Mother remains at all watchable, but episodes like this week's "The Exploding Meatball Sub" remind me why I really wasn't a fan of the first half.
"The Exploding Meatball Sub" centers around Marshall quitting his job at GNB and taking a volunteer position at the NRDC. That is it. Whilst the foundations of characters relationships are brought into light throughout the twenty of so minutes of air time, nothing that hasn't already been said a thousand times or that constituted anything funny ever made it to screen.
We mostly get to see Lilly and Ted arguing over whether it is better to be supported by your partner or challenged by them, as they live at either extreme respectively. Now whilst I appreciate any attempt by the writers to get Zoey more involved in the story, it didn't pay off at all in terms of humor and ultimately seems to have just added Zoey to the never ending list of women that aren't the mother. As for the Marshall and Lilly getting on far too well thread of the episode, it really all has been done before.
The titular plot revolves around Barney not coping well with Marshall quitting his job and delivers just another in a series of moments in which the writers avoided any kind of realistic plot for what I'm sure was supposed to be a funny revenge tale. After Marshall humiliated Barney in a Meatball Sub incident some months ago, Barney has been waiting for the moment that he can have a Meatball Sub explode in Marshall's face and equally humiliate him. Really all that need be said is that it just wasn't funny and served nothing in the way of story.
I appreciate that this really is more than a rant that a review, but when you take the talent that made the early seasons of How I Met Your Mother the best sitcom on TV and waste it on this, I can't help but be mad. I think at this juncture I should remind everyone that the entire purpose of the show is supposed to be Ted telling his children how he met their mother. I understand the need for a flat out comic relief episode in the show's run and there were plenty of well done ones throughout earlier seasons, but this show barely creates a single laugh anymore, let alone ten.
Almost all of the episodes these days have so little to do with moving the plot forward and make absolutely no sense in the context of the show that it has become almost entirely pointless. There is at least another season of this coming and I'm sure that it will continue to draw in massive ratings for the least effort humanly possible by a writing staff, but How I Met Your Mother needs to change if it wants to have anything like the legacy that it is capable of.