It seems a bit not-current to be reviewing a show that’s already several seasons in, but I’ve seen a lot of hate in the Twitter-verse this season for How I Met Your Mother. On the one hand, yes, the premise of finding “the one” is a little stale after seven years. Also, the show has gotten away from the central story–New York architect Ted Mosby meeting the mother of his children–into some at times strange and not funny plot lines centering around his best friends: girl-who-got-away Robin, slightly-reformed-ladies-man Barney, and all-too-perfect couple Lily and Marshall. And yet, here are some of the reasons why I still love this show:
- While it may be frustrating, it’s totally accurate for a lot of us. Finding true love takes many of us much longer than several years and we do meet lots of losers, get lost in our friends’ lives, have that one person who we go back to over and over again, and we spend a lot of time in promising relationships only to wind up feeling deceived when they end. It may not be great comedy after several years, but it’s life and it’s not neatly wrapped up in a linear story arc.
- Many folks on Twitter (check #HIMYM) accuse the show of not being very funny this year. In truth, it kind of hasn’t been. However there have been great writing moments that weren’t comedy. Recent episodes Tick, Tick, Tick and Symphony of Illumination literally left me in tears from the heart-breaking decisions and life events faced by characters and gave me food for thought long after the show ended. There are weighty issues here: infidelity, infertility, death; yet HIMYM deals with them in ways that are still at times hilarious and that are not as saturated with melodrama as what you’d find in a full-blown drama like the ridiculously awful please-never-come-back Parenthood.
- The guys on the show are adorable and consistently turn in great performances. Josh Radnor (despite playing the main character) is underrated and needs more screen time in coming episodes, Neil Patrick Harris accomplishes the impossible task of making me like him despite the fact that his character has been a total pig for the past six years, and Jason Segel is… well, I’d marry him if I had the chance. OK, I don’t know him in real life, but he is cool on the show, funny in his movies, so damn nice on the Twitter, and he saved the Muppets! Squeee. Nobel Prize for awesome.
The show does need to find its way back to the titular plot line soon, but I think it’s doing that. It also struggles a little bit with likable female characters–Cobie Smulders as Robin has been in a poor light this season and Alyson Hannigan as Lily also comes off at times as self-centered and manipulative. Becki Newton as Quinn is winning me over, though, and I hope she stays around for a while. Overall, any single person should be watching this show, and anyone who is not single should watch this–all seven seasons–and pity those of us who struggle on in the search for true love.