WE HAVE TO GO BACK: A Twitter exchange between Our Friends Alan Sepinwall and Linda Holmes reminded me that two shows I watch on Mondays--HIMYM and Castle--have a similar problem, but have dealt with it in altogether different ways. In both cases, the "mythology" of the series--in HIMYM's case, not only the Mother story but all the various flashbacks and flashforwards they've set, and in Castle's case, the "conspiracy that killed Beckett's mom" storyline--has become an utter bore. The difference is, the two shows have handled the problem very differently. HIMYM now feels painted in--it's impossible to get invested in any of the relationships we currently have on the show because we know they're going to come to an end. We knew Barney and Quinn were going to breakup, we just didn't know how that'd happen.
In contrast, Castle takes the opposite track, completely ignoring the "mythology" in at least half the episodes, and having much more fun when it does. (Last night's was a great example of that, as well as of how they've managed to handle and overcome the so-called "Moonlighting curse" and keep things funny and spry despite resolving the unresolved sexual tension between Castle and Beckett.)