Way to bum me out, How I Met Your Mother

UPDATE: James Van Der Beek gave me a handy way to sum up the experience of watching last night's episode:

James is happy and sad

Spoilers from last night's How I Met Your Mother follow.

Marshall and his dad

"I found an amazing viking lamp that fits right on the coffee table as long as we don't mind stepping on the cord!" "That's what I'm talking about!"

As part of the wedding preparations, the fiancée and I are going through a book called 1001 Questions To Ask Before You Get Married.

Question #51 asks, "Do you want your marriage to resemble a relationship portrayed on TV or in the movies?"

My suspicion is that you're not supposed to answer "yes" at all; instead you should focus on real-world relationships. Screw that: I've always loved the relationship between Marshall and Lily on How I Met Your Mother. It seems like they really, truly enjoy each other's company, and they support each other when times get rough.

But mostly, Marshall is one of my favorite characters on television.

While Ted struggles with absurd romantic idealism and Barney has his tail-chasing hijinks, when the writers need to tackle a regular-guy problem, they usually dump it on Marshall. When Ted throws a party every night to woo Robin, Marshall is the one that can't study for his law school exam. While Lily goes to art school, Marshall is the lonely wreck left behind. Marshall is the one stuck with firing a desperate fellow employee. Marshall is the one that has to put aside his dreams of becoming an environmental lawyer to support his family. Marshall has to play peacemaker after Lily throws her father out of their house.

But through it all, he deals with humor, grace, goofy charm, devotion to family, and an unwavering belief in the Loch Ness monster. No other character on the show is more straight-up likable and real.

Which made it all the more devastating that they closed out last night's episode, "Bad News," with the death of his father, a knife twist of an ending for an otherwise breezy episode.

I'm curious where the writers are going to take this. That's a really dark place to go just as the show was starting to move again. On the other hand, I guess that's life.

Regardless, I hope they're nice to Marshall. I suppose over six seasons, you get attached to fictional characters. I guess I don't want to see Marshall hurt. And watching him cry out to the gods that he wasn't ready to lose his father? That stung. A lot.

I like the guy. I hope he gets some good news.

By the way, Marshall is Kristin's favorite too. I don't think I need the book.

Am I doing it wrong?

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