'How I Met Your Mother's Darren & The Case for Contemptible Characters
I can't help it, I adore shitty people on TV. I love their devil-may-care attitude, their inability to give any of the cares about the feelings of others (less it be for personal gain), and their general prowess at shaking things up at the most inopportune of moments. It's different, it's unpredictable, and it's usually audacious to watch. Just like Andrew Rannells' Darren, who singlehandedly saved Season 9 of How I Met Your Mother during the fall finale episode.
Thank you, Darren: for finally righting the wrongs of an entire season's worth of reflection, car rides, and unspoken truths; for being the thorn in everyone's side for no reason other than it course-corrected a few long-overdue problems. Often shitty people are considered such because their unconventional ways of looking out for number one lead to emotional turmoil and scores of dormant drama, which is why they're sometimes completely necessary in life and also on television.
Certainly, this season was guaranteed to be a challenge from the get-go. Many of the writers and staffers (including creator Craig Thomas) had stated as much prior to, when it was all-but-confirmed that Season 8 would be its last. "We're writing this season like it's the end," explained Thomas "Wrapping it up in Season 8 would be amazing ... There’s a part of us as writers that [is] drawn to that."
The season's curvy-wurvy road to mother-meeting bliss has been filled with what many fans of the series have called "filler." And though that sort of thing is always up to interpretation, let's be real about one thing: creating 22 episodes about the goings-on of one single wedding weekend is no small challenge. That's a lot of time to fill with not a heck of a lot of time to cover. Naturally, things were going to feel a bit superfluous — especially with the anticipation for a known meeting we've been waiting actual years for.
Which is why — like him or not — Rannells' appearance was literally the best thing that could've happened. Finally — finally! — we can confront Ted's alleged move to Chicago. Lily can stop talking about Marshall's judge gig and actually see him, face to face, to talk about it. And Robin can get mad about the fact that (in the effort to fill time) her happy weekend of wedded bliss has turned into the Everyone Else Show.
Besides, Darren's out-of-line behavior made way for a lot of gooey-good sweetness and charm — the lynchpin in the series' success — as well as the impetuous for an adorable Marshall-and-Mother meeting, and the first drink Ted ever received from his future-lady.
So keep on shitting on other people's lives, Darren and others of his ilk. If that's what gets them to confront their own problems, I am so game.