Sad news for How I Met Your Mother fans: they killed dad! Well, CBS' How I Met Your Dad is dead that is; the network has with a heavy heart released their fall line-up that very noticeably does not include HIMYD, and even though it's now up for grabs for other networks to swoop in on, it just doesn't seem likely. And I, for one, AM HAPPY. Not only because HIMYM ended on such a divisive and disappointing note, but because I want better things for my girl, Greta Gerwig, who was cast as the lead in Dad.
Am I heartless? NO. I really do think that Gerwig will bounce back from this disappointment, even though she was so excited about the project and PROMISED us all that it would be different. And maybe it would have been; one reason being that Gerwig is an enormous new talent. But that's exactly why I'm glad that Dad isn't being picked up by CBS: I want to see Gerwig in more films like Frances Ha, not trapped in a laugh-track sitcom for nine unrelenting and ultimately disappointing seasons.
Call me a curmudgeon and a non-believer, fine. It's not that I hate sitcoms — I, too, have a place in my cold, dead heart for Ted Mosby. It's just that Gerwig was so amazing in Frances Ha that I looked forward to seeing the adorable, likable actress in more, similar films of substance. Frances Ha speaks to me on a level that not many recent films do; the wayward Frances, played by Gerwig, is so painfully relatable, and her relationship with her best friend is so universal for young girls right now. Gerwig's ability to be relatable, charming, funny and fallible is rare, and maybe it's their physical resemblance, but she reminds me of young Meryl Streep. I don't want to see her relegated to sitcom-purgatory forever; I want to see her play Future Sally Draper in a Mad Men spinoff series (this is my ultimate, untenable dream, but you get the gist).
And yes, HIMYM stars did not only do the CBS show; Neil Patrick Harris, as we all know, is EVERYWHERE, including on Broadway right now in a production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch that is hailed as phenomenal. Jason Segal is our most revered, awkward funny man of our dreams. But Gerwig has a talent that shone so bright and pure and raw in Frances Ha that my heart honestly fell when I heard she had signed on for the lead in How I Met Your Dad.
In case you feel bad that Gerwig lost a gig, don't. IMDb is very telling; as of now, she has listed several projects that sound strange, complex and downright wonderful, including a film called Eden that is about the rise of French house music in the '90s, and another called Maggie's Plan about a girl trying to make it in New York. Sounds similar to Ha, and Gerwig will undoubtedly bring her same charm and downright human realness to the films.
These are what I want on her roster; indie films that showcase the kinds of experiences that are so often difficult to capture on screen, but which Gerwig brilliantly and seemingly effortlessly did so in Frances Ha. I just want so much more for her than a blue saxaphone.