Sunday, November 03, 2013

#624. Seven ways to enjoy How I Met Your Mother

CBS is in the midst of broadcasting the ninth and final season of How I Met Your Mother, a sitcom I ended up loving in an instant after randomly watching one of the earliest episodes ("Okay Awesome"), but which has never really translated into a big hit despite being plenty recognizable and delivering reasonable ratings throughout its run.  I suspect it's because most people either don't understand why it's taken so long to accomplish the titular goal, or long ago dismissed it as a Friends knockoff.  Regardless, HIMYM easily solidified its position as one of my all-time favorite TV shows.  Here are some of the ways I love it:


  1. Like Prison Break.  Prison Break was a series about a singular event that somehow was accomplished after its first season but still managed to last for another three, which endlessly baffled some people but eternally fascinated me.  The strength of the premise, and extrapolation of storytelling from the basic arc (for the record, they ended up breaking out of another prison in the third season), not to mention a strong cast of compelling characters, kept me interested and continually devoted.  Which for me made the whole point of whether or not it was strictly accurate to its title entirely moot in a heartbeat.
  2. Like Red Green.  Chances are you don't even know what the heck Red Green is.  Basically it's the Canadian Home Improvement, a PBS staple about a couple of knuckleheads who believe they're the perfect males.  The point is, they're also extremely identified with their home region, a trait shared by both Marshall (who's very much from Minnesota) and Robin (who's very much from Canada, and would probably right in with Red Green).
  3. Like NewsRadio.  NewsRadio was a favorite of mine throughout its run (the show Phil Hartman was doing when he died, it also featured Maura Tierney, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, Joe Rogen, and Dave Foley), and although a critical darling and featuring all the earmarks of a beloved classic never quite reached the status of a popular darling.  HIMYM reminds me so much of it, even though they're not hugely similar otherwise.
  4. Like Seinfeld.  More than NewsRadio or Friends, HIMYM is reminiscent of the gang from the show about nothing, who randomly visited each other for the slightest reasons and regularly gathered at a diner.  Barney is about as close to a new Kramer that I've been able to find on TV, Marshall similar to George (less loud about it, though), Lily like a pint-sized Elaine.  Although Ted is not so much a Jerry.
  5. Like (500) Days of Summer.  He's far more like the hapless romantic Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays in this delightful little gem, stumbling toward love and absolutely convinced he's found it every time, just because it's his fondest desire.  HIMYM, like Days, is about as close to a male chick flick as you're ever likely to find.
  6. Like Lost.  I'll admit, one of the reasons I initially grew to enjoy HIMYM so much was because of the broadcast proximity to Lost, debuting a season later.  I'd already watched the castaways on their island of mystery for a whole year, and watched riveted as their backstories began to be revealed in flashback.  Flashbacks were an early staple of HIMYM, sometimes merely from rewound moments of Ted's narration, sometimes to far earlier points in the gang's lives, like how they all met each other.
  7. Like Pulp Fiction.  The structure of the series is so intricate, I could either reference Arrested Development, which is famous for dropping continuity Easter eggs, or this classic Quentin Tarantino film, whose labyrinthine plot is as much a signature element as its notable performances.  And as a long-time viewer, for me that's the best thing about the series, that it's so continually rewarding.

2 comments:

Pat Dilloway said...

I enjoy not watching it. Red Green is pretty funny. All those hidden uses for duct tape!

Tony Laplume said...

Glad you enjoy Red Green!

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