4.02.2014

How I Met Your Mother, A Review

Ugh, the finale...well I'll get to that at the end, hold tight (yes, this post will contain spoilers!).

I came to How I Met Your Mother late in the game, breezing through each season by way of Netflix marathons. I saw the evolution of the show quite clearly, and so I offer my humble thoughts...

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HIMYM is especially talented at both succeeding and sucking. There were moments where the show had such insightful epiphanies that I actually felt inspired, and then other moments where the plot was so ridiculous I had to roll my eyes. And that's the main issue I've always had with HIMYM: the characters easily teeter between charming and relatable to completely unbelievable.

But here's where HIMYM wins:

  • The characters are awkwardly funny, and I love that. Ted's nerd jokes are cute, and the use of colloquial phrases like "just...just...okay!" is so darn clever I wonder why other shows never figured to do the same. 
  • The past was frequently brought up. Other shows seem to treat life events as moments later forgotten, barely mentioning them as the seasons go on. HIMYM is more realistic in this realm. The characters bring up the past OFTEN, even ruminating at times. This is life, this is how we are. 
  • The long-running inside jokes make the show. The slap joke (lest we forget Slapsgiving) is genius. Lily's fascination with kissing Robin is mentioned throughout. Ted's architecture factoids are frequently added and laughed at. Oh, and the interventions are my favorite!

So, the finale. The series finale was a major letdown (MAJOR LETDOWN! *salutes*). The reason is three-fold:

1. We spent a lot of time growing attached to the mom in the last season, and explaining that she dies in a matter of 5 seconds--in between a mish-mosh of milestones and major events--was insensitive and infuriating.

2. Speaking of, the finale was so overplotted it sucked any emotional power out of said milestones (except for Barney's daughter's birth, since Neil Patrick Harris is a compelling actor).

3. It's hard to accept Robin and Ted ending up in the end because, honestly, the love connection there is weak. We already fully accepted that Robin and Ted were not meant to be...A LONG TIME AGO. To have all this build up to the mom (who is so freaking cute, and we don't get enough of), only to return to the tired Robin/Ted dynamic is ultimately a poor choice. Or at least, it was done poorly. Overall, there was too much focus on Barney and Robin, the wedding, and Ted moving on that I had a hard time being content with a blue french horn ending.

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Ultimately, the show went on for two many seasons. Had the series been shortened, the episodes fine-tuned, and some of the ridiculousness taken out, I would have thought more highly of HIMYM. Even still, it succeeds somehow in its imperfection. There's something adorable about this cast (who look real and not like supermodels, THANK GOD), and most notably, the iconic bar scene that kept the show plugging along. I'll cheers to that (with a glass of scotch, of course).

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6 comments:

  1. YEP. Completely agree. What upset me was how the entire last season was leading up to a wedding that dissolved in a matter of 19 minutes into the last eps. They made us care for Barney and Robin as a couple. I loved them and thought they were great together (the eps where Barney proposed is still one of my favorites!). Although this season, I could see they started focusing on Robin finding faults in Barney, which I didn't care for and it made me dislike Robin.

    Another thing that annoyed me was how Barney went back to his old ways after the divorce. It's like a complete reversion! Yes, for the majority of the show he was a player, but it seemed he grew and moved past that a long time ago. It felt unnatural to me.

    The show should have ended a long time ago. That said, I still enjoyed it but I watched it only because I was already invested in the characters and wanted to see it all play out.

    Because this is all negative, I feel like I should say something positive. What the show did right was in the storytelling, the recurring jokes and plot twists. The earlier seasons were definitely laugh-out-loud funny.

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    1. Right??? I mean, I get what they were trying to do at the end (be clever and surprising), but it just failed. It wasn't executed properly!! And "but I watched it only because I was already invested in the characters and wanted to see it all play out." You hit the nail on the head!!
      --Ash

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  2. Wait, you wrote a review of HIMYM without calling attention to the obvious … homage is a nice word … to Friends. I'm still around season 5, because every time I watch a few, it makes me think "I should be watching Friends again" and do. Ha. But Ted and Robin ending up together is no more unbelievable than Ross and Rachel ending up together in the end. ;-) It is a funny show, though, but thank God for Neil Patrick Harris. And my other criticism, Alyson Hannigan is not an actress with broad range. I totally could see Willow Rosenberg in every episode.

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    1. Okay, yes, Friends does come to mind.

      But I have to disagree about the R & R part--I always believed Ross and Rachel should be together. I didn't feel that way about Ted and Robin!

      Big laugh to the Willow mention, you are so right. But I will say, Jason Segel was perfect (or am I blinded by love for Freaks & Geeks?) --Ashley

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    2. I think its blind love. I'll watch pretty much anything with JS *because* of F&G.

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