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05 November 2009 @ 12:33 am
Sigh, and I had so much faith ...  
Warning: This is not a Carter Bays-Craig Thomas friendly post. Ie, I am NOT happy with how the Robin/Barney relationship has played out ... AT ALL.

My discontent began with the finale last season. From the finale the season before with Barney's realization that he loved Robin, we saw his feelings explored through every angle imaginable. We saw his feelings. So when the finale came around, all of Barney's actions were the culmination of a season worth of build-up. It was wonderful. What was not wonderful? Robin's end. While we spent all season on Barney's feelings, other than a few episodes -- Robin showing up at Barney's room at Stella and Ted's wedding, and her being hot for him during his "fighting" stage -- we got nothing. There was no indication that Robin had any residual feelings leftover from their night together. There was nothing to let viewers know that Robin was struggling with the same doubts, emotions, highs and lows about Barney that he was for her. So when the finale came, from her end, it fell completely flat. While I could laugh and enjoy in it from Barney's end, from Robin's there was nothing there. No build-up, nothing to explain why she was doing what she was doing, saying what she was saying. I didn't buy it, because Bays and Thomas never even tried to sell it to me.

Which brings us to this season. I didn't have a problem with how Barney and Robin's relationship was shown to take place over the summer, and I *did* love the ending with them holding hands, but I really disliked Lily forcing them to do what SHE wanted them to do. It wasn't her place, she wasn't in the right ... at all. And then every episode afterward has just fallen flatter and flatter. "Robin 101?" Puhleeze! As if Barney would EVER take lessons on a relationship, let alone from Ted unless the only point was to do the opposite of what Ted said to do. Robin having an issue with Barney hanging out at strip joints? Nothing in her character prior to that episode made that even remotely believable. And then this last episode was so depressing because, other than the cutesy nicknames, I loved that version of Barney/Robin. Walking away from fights -- because most of the fights were over silly, little things that would blow over in time and just don't matter -- made sense for them and totally worked. I liked seeing them just crazy in love in their own awesome, dysfunctional, sexually-amped up way. Why COULDN'T that have been how they were written? Why are Bays and Thomas trying so hard to make them something they are not. That IS Robin and Barney, that is who they are and they are awesome like that.

I'm just so very disappointed in the writing of Barney and Robin. I had so much faith in Bays/Thomas and they've let me down completely.
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something holy used to love me: BROTPhyacinthian on November 4th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
While I feel like you make some super valid points that I am inclined to agree with, my reading of the situation gives them a little more credit (bays/thomas, i mean). I think that part of the perceived OOC-ness is just in the idea of Barney and Robin having a relationship (period). They both don't think they're the relationship kind, they've both had issues with commitment, and to be in something committed with someone they know also has the same issues, I feel like neither of them really know where to tread or how to tread. They're both out of their element. Part of the OOC-ness, I think, can then be explained by the fact that maybe they both are trying to be something they're not or trying to fit Lily/Ted/Marshall's definition of a relationship because that's really all they've been inundated with. Ted being super declarations-of-love guy and Lily/Marshall pretty much being the perfect couple period. And aside from Shannon, I don't think Barney or Robin are as well-equipped to handle a relationship where they both feel like they have the same level of intensity or attraction (because as much as Robin knows how to "handle" a relationship, a la Ted/Robin, I think it was clear that Ted had always been more invested in the idea of them than she was). So in a way, both of them sort of have to take the helm of something they've never driven before (to make a flawed metaphor). So I think it might take time for them to get to the point where they're happy in their dysfunction as opposed to making their relationship try and fit traditional definitions of what a "loving relationship" is.

Lengthy answer is lengthy.
Shane: Barney/Robin can't keep my hands off ofhavemy_heart on November 4th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
I agree. Except for Robin's relationship with Ted, which he was definitely more invested in than she was, neither of them has ever been in a real relationship. They know they're crazy about each other, but don't know where to go from there. They just need to find their footing.
A lurking goblin marionette: himym: lets go to the malldanceinacircle on November 4th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I think they'll get there eventually, but it's going to be awkward and strange at first.

(PS: I haven't really been thrilled with this season either, but I think for different reasons.)
Brandy: most awesome person i have ever knownbrandyleigh on November 4th, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
I definitely agree with a lot of what you've written here, as I saw their relationship going much differently than the way they've portrayed it thus far, but I'm going to give them to the end of the season to see how things play out. Here's why - what I think they're doing is showing Barney and Robin trying (and failing) to fit into the mold of a traditional couple. They've got all these expectations of what a relationship should be like and they're relying on their friends for relationship advice. Ted, Marshall and Lily, while well-intentioned, are completely different people who want/need completely different kinds of relationships than the one I would expect Barney and Robin to have.

They've had some scenes this season where they've acted like themselves (I loved this past episode besides the cutesy fake nicknames, the premiere, the Canada episode), but they've also had a lot of scenes where they're clearly not. So, I feel like they're going to break up, largely due to them listening to the advice of their friends and trying too hard to be a kind of couple that they're not. They'll be apart for awhile, and eventually get back together when they realize they can be themselves and have their own kind of committed relationship without being a clone of Marshall and Lily or Ted and whoever he ends up marrying.

Now, I totally will take all this back if the rest of the season goes on and we get nothing from Robin's side. Like you said, they didn't really show anything from her last season, and while I thought that was realistic, since I never expected her to think of Barney that way unless he actually told her that he was open to having a relationship, them jumping from that to now without us seeing how Robin is feeling is a little much. If they explore her feelings on Barney later this season, then I'll be happy with that, I think.
Arabian: Sheldon Cooper01arabian on November 4th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
If this is what happens, then I'll feel better about them, but nothing will take away how messed up the lack of anything real from Robin last season. Still, it would be something.

Thanks for this take.
S.: himym; leg-en-daryartic_fox on November 4th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
Very much agree. You always manage to put things more eloquently than me. While I'm new to the fandom and still basking in the 'glow' of discovery, I can certainly agree with the flaws you have raised. I have a feeling that Barney/Robin are only going to do downhill from here and by the writers choice as well.
eolivet on November 5th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
I was trying to think about this, and I think you really covered most of it. My problem is the only time we've really seen Barney/Robin work as a couple this season is sexually. Everything else is just wrong, wrong, wrong (the strip club, the horrific couple date, the "how to be a good boyfriend" class) This season, the show has chosen to portray Barney/Robin as a "bad" couple, who only seem to be "happy" when they are portrayed as just friends who have sex.

(OMG...did Carter & Bays turn Barney/Robin into Leonard/Penny?! :/ )
Arabian: Sheldon Cooper01arabian on November 5th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
OMG...did Carter & Bays turn Barney/Robin into Leonard/Penny?! :/

Impossible. Neil Patrick Harris and Colbie Smulders have smoking hot chemistry. Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki do not. Therein lies the difference. We WANT Barney and Robin to work; we want Leonard and Penny to just. go. away. NOW!