Ah, here I am, the killjoy, here to point out an issue with the thing everyone uncritically loves!
So, at this point, Ted has basically abandoned his son, yeah? I mean, it’s one thing to temporarily take a job in England when his marriage is ostensibly solid, but it’s another to…stay there indefinitely when he’s going through a divorce and presumably a custody negotiation. It’s hard for me to root for this guy playing father figure to a bunch of grown ass men when his actual child is overseas enduring the dissolution of his family and the collapse of his entire world without his father even being there to help him through it.
The thing that’s so annoying about it is that it would have been so easy to fix this structural problem! Ted does not need to have a child! For example: he and his wife always wanted children but they had fertility issues, and they tried to have children for years before moving onto adoption, and they’ve been waiting for a kid for two years now and have gotten close a couple of times, and it’s been absolutely agonizing and endless, and his wife needed space. And then when she visits Ted she tells him that she can’t even look at him anymore without thinking about how much pain she’s gone through and how she is never going to be a mother, and it’s made her fall out of love with him and she wants a divorce. He’s destroyed by it, having lost both the love of his life and his hopes of fatherhood at once.
Boom. Done. Same complexity of character development, does the same thing to move Ted’s story forward, but I don’t have to think all the time about how he’s spending so much time apart from his son when his child is going through something awful, and how he seems to have completely forgotten he has a child at all, which actually makes him a shithead when the whole point of the character is he couldn’t possibly be more decent.
Go back and fix it, writers.