Monday's upcoming season premiere of How I Met Your Mother, appropriately titled "Where Were We," picks up from, well, where we last were at the first season finale, with Ted and Robin finally hooking up, and Marshall and Lily sadly breaking up.
That sets us up for an episode revolving around the two most annoyinig stages of a relationship for outsiders to watch - the gooey happy stage and the mopey dumped stage. Of course when they're played for humour, they're a lot more bearable. This pleasant but not stellar show relies as much on character as laughter, but Ted and Robin don't get quite as much focus as I'd expect, given the build-up to their relationship.
Lily, who we see here mostly as a figment of Marshall's imagination, is in San Francisco discovering herself while her ex-fiance sits on the couch until Ted, Barney and Robin take turns trying to cheer him up. Ted and Robin sink comfortably into their new relationship over a summer babysitting their depressed friend.
With the season premiere, How I Met Your Mother is venturing into slightly risky territory. We know that Robin is not The Mother, and we also know that series where the sexual tension is resolved early on can lose their charm.
Audiences, bright as we are, know we're not going to get a quick resolution of the title promise, but it may not be easy for us to stay invested in a romantic relationship that is, presumably, doomed - though that doesn't mean some laughs and some story progression can't happen along the way, and we get that here. But another risky step is in the separation of Marshall and Lily. Combined, we had two of the central relationships altered dramatically in the season finale, which makes the second season premiere feel like a transitional episode.
How I Met Your Mother premieres Monday, Sept. 18 on CBS.