Did 'How I Met Your Mother' Jump the Shark?

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This season of "How I Met Your Mother" is unlike all the other previous ones. While there have been some moments of drama on the show in the past, it always managed to put the comedy first. That was true when Marshall and Lily broke up earlier in the series. It was true when Robin and Barney got together. But this season has been different. Drama has become a major focus, particularly for Barney and Marshall. For fans of "How I Met Your Mother," the question has to be asked. Has this show jumped the shark?

Let's start with Marshall. He dealt with serious drama when his father passed away in the sixth seasons. Serious episodes like the one involving his dad's funeral are okay on occasion, but it seems the drama has lingered on for Marshall. He ultimately quit his job at GNB and is now unemployed. This is the second time on the seres that Marshall has been unemployed. Is the show recycling an old angle? How long will it be before Marshall finds a new job?

The real drama involves Barney. We thought he had a character change when he dated Robin, but it didn't last. That has changed this season. Based on his relationship with Nora and the discovery of his father, Barney has to change now. Otherwise, these storylines meant nothing to the show. This likely means that Barney will have to end his partying ways and at least try to settle down. That means that the seventh season of "How I Met Your Mother" will have a very different look. It seems likely that we will see either Barney or Robin involved in the wedding in the season finale. That would be a sure turning point for "How I Met Your Mother."

Usually, you can point to a single moment when a television show jumps the shark. The most obvious cases involve members of the cast leaving the show, new actors joining the show, or ridiculous storylines. "How I Met Your Mother" has come close to jumping the show before, but it has remained mostly funny. I don't think the show has jumped the shark yet, but the humor has definitely waned in recent episodes. Based on what is going on with Marshall and Barney, the "How I Met Your Mother" creators have to tread lightly. If we see Barney and Robin together in the season finale, that will definitely be the moment the show jumps the shark. Even if we don't, the situation with Barney could still cause that to happen.

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