6.5/10 In reviewing a series that has as many seasons as this show has (9), there is bound to be some consistent pros and cons that I assume will continue throughout the entire series. For example, I will always count the canned laughter as a con as well as some of the extremely unrealistic, over the top moments. On the other end of the spectrum, I assume that these characters will stay totally entertaining and fun to watch and there will be some emotional heart to each season. Season 3 keeps both those pros and cons going so even though I am still taking them into account with my overall rating, I am more focused on the actual plot thread of this season and individual character arcs. That being said, this season isn’t quite as good as the last season and this season finale definitely doesn’t live up to the first or second season’s finale. Every season ends on somewhat of a cliff hanger or epic event (Lily and Marshall break up at the end of season 1, Lily and Marshall get married/Ted and Robin break up at the end of season 2) and the last few episodes of this season focus on Ted’s relationship with Stella. However, since we have only known Stella for a few episodes, there isn’t nearly as much emotional weight to their relationship yet as there was in the latter half of the first two seasons. I did enjoy plots involving Marshall’s job situation, a mystery woman trying to sabotage Barney and the origins of how he became such a player, Lily confronting her debt, Robin’s love life early in the season and seeing Ted with someone other than Robin in a serious manner is new and exciting. There are also some great cameos from famous actors/musicians and episodes like “Slapsgiving” and “Sandcastles in the Sand” provide more laughter than the first couple seasons had. Overall, I found this season to be a little funnier and did appreciate some of the character arcs but the overarching plot wasn’t as strong as the first couple of seasons and the finale was particularly lacking in comparison. This is still a very fun show to watch with memorable characters and situations but I am hoping for something more in future seasons.

#MarshallMatters / #AmericanWry / #StellaEnchanted / #BetterOffTed / #ScaredLily / #ApartmentOfLabor

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