Variety has just reported that CBS is bringing back ratings-challenged comedy How I Met Your Mother. Unlike other on-the-bubble shows like Friday Night Lights (renewed!), One Tree Hill (renewed!), and Veronica Mars (not lookin' great!), there hasn't been much noise about How I Met Your Mother. But last night's season finale was yet another good example of why it's one of the best sitcoms on TV, and why giving it another season is a smart idea for CBS.
No other show replicates so accurately what it's like to hang out with a group of funny, nice friends. Even at their own wedding reception, Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall (Jason Segal) never stop joking, but not sitcommy jokes that make the laugh-track roar and normal human viewers scowl — actual jokes, the kind actual people tell each other every day. Bemoaning for a moment their decision to keep their own last names, they suggest alternate last names they could adopt. Marshall hits on one: "I got it. You ready? You ready? Lily and Marshall Awesome. 'Do you know the Awesomes? Marshall and Lily, and their son Totally and their daughter Friggin'?"
The show is consistently funny, remarkably true to life, unafraid of honest emotion, and the No. 1 employer of former Buffy and Freaks and Geeks cast members in Hollywood. Plus, Doogie Howser! Plus, a Bob Saget voice-over from the future! At the end of the season finale, Ted (Josh Radnor) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) have broken up, peaceably, the way actual people often do, and we know that we haven't yet seen the conclusion of the story. It's a testament to the show's good writing that we don't just hope for more jokes from How I Met Your Mother; we hope to meet her, too.