Friday, December 12, 2014

"How I Met Tracy"

After considering it for a week or two, I decided to take the plunge and watch How I Met Your Mother on Netflix, after seeing it available on there.

I'd written a post about how TV series tend to create ideals and focuses and expectations in people and used that series as an example. The problem was that I lacked much credit because I'd only seen bit and pieces of episodes. The only episode I'd seen almost all the way through was the second or third episode of the first season nine years ago, where Barney manipulates Ted onto a plane ride to talk to two girls. Until I started watching it a few days ago.

It's become a nice little distraction for me for the holiday in between semesters. I don't laugh out loud constantly through an episode or anything, but they're interesting enough for me to keep coming back. Only the Barney character tends to make me chuckle once or twice, but the plot lines are good and make sense.

I wonder if anyone noticed Tracy's name being given away in the ninth episode. I found it funny then - and continue to now - that fans capitalized "The Mother" and created a moniker of it. Presumably her name hadn't been revealed until the character herself had been, but that isn't true. That ninth episode is a Thanksgiving one. Barney drags Ted and Robin to a strip club at the end of the evening, and after Ted gives a homeless man money for a lap dance, a stripper approaches him and comments on his generosity. She gives him her name, he gives her his, and then she gives her real name - Tracy - and in a voiceover 2030 Ted shocks his children by saying that that was how he met their mother.

Of course he's joking - it cuts to his children reacting in horror - but the simple fact that they react in horror implies they did so because future Ted obviously told them her name as she gave it to him before joking that she was their mother. They wouldn't fall for his joke if he'd used another name. So she'd always been Tracy.

Being only halfway through the first season, the only couple of things for me is a) the disbelief that the future Ted would remember all of that, enough to create entire episodic plotlines (but that's how it works in TV land) and b) it seems to me to be more about a man who has a crush on a woman named Robin more than anything else. I kind of feel in good company when I watch Ted use her name in his contexts and tribulations. He and I have something very much in common. In that manner, I feel I can identify with him quite well. I might as well wrap it up by saying that the girl who came into sharp focus in my mind whenever I heard that B note in 'Year of the Cat' by Al Stewart shares her name with the brunette in that show.

It's still quite early on, and I know that it won't always be about a twenty-something man who has feelings for a twenty-something girl named Robin. Well, not entirely anyway. I smile at the thought of the ending.

Red Cloud
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