Posted Jan 24, 2012 @ 12:54 PM
I'm sorry to see what appears to be a lot of disgruntled former fans. I personally don't find such a hard line between the early seasons and now, Just the usual tonal shifts most series go through by the 6th-7th seasons. It's also pretty normal at that point to feel a kind of fatigue with a show you've been following for it's whole run. It's certainly happened to me with other shows, but I might be more immune with HIMYM because I only started watching last year with syndication.
Many sitcoms get a bit cartoony by the 7th season. More self-referential, doing wilder things with the characters just to keep an element of surprise. They've got some of that going on here, to be sure, but they've stayed more consistent than many shows do by this point.
For what it's worth, the common cry of "when is he ever going to meet the mother already?" coupled with the common feeling that the series is over when that happens, seems contradictory. I thought the show was more about the road to that event, but a lot of people want to put the pedal to the metal and race to get there. I don't feel like they're padding the story out so much as they started it further back than we might have thought. They don't have some the same problems many shows would have by now - losing key cast members and forcing bigger changes to the formula. Look at how M*A*S*H dragged out a real historical event like a war that took less than 2 years and made it last 11 years, and a few major cast changes along the way.
A movie with this same premise would likely be self-contained and get to the finish within 2 hours, but I thought the idea of this show was to really examine the period leading up to the meeting, not the meeting itself. Frankly, that's bound to disappoint many viewers just with the casting alone. I'm happy just to be taking the ride still.