I don’t usually like sitcoms, ‘Friends’ and ‘Seinfeld’ being the rare exceptions. I only started watching ‘How I Met Your Mother’ after I saw the latest Muppets movie. Jason Segal was fantastic, as he’s been for years, and I figured if he was a main cast member in a long running show it couldn’t be all bad. Well, I just finished the first six seasons of the show in a little over a month. Thanks, Netflix. So far I have a very up and down relationship with the show.
The first two seasons were the strongest in my estimation. We were never sure which of Ted’s love interests could turn out to be the mother. The only clue was that it wasn’t going to be Robin. That gave intrigue to every woman that came after her. By the sixth season that has grown stale. We know three things about the mother; She was in the Econ class Ted mistakenly went to his first day at Columbia, she was Rachel Bilson’s roommate and is somehow tied to Barney’s wedding of the future. Any woman that comes into Ted’s life from now on who doesn’t meet at least one of those requirements becomes inherently uninteresting. Sarah Chalke was great, and Jennifer Morrison is cute as all get out, but they’re just filler. I’m in total agreement with Daniel Fienberg, Ted needs to meet the mother like Deb needs to find out about Dexter’s murderous ways, the writers just have no idea how to make it happen. I know, Deb did find out about Dexter this season, but in the lamest way possible. A very weak move by the writing staff and something I hope doesn’t happen with the HIMYM team.
That’s really my main issue with the show. I really enjoy the characters — even Ted has his moments. Marshall and Barney are the runaway stars, and Jason Segal and Neil Patrick Harris play them beautifully. Marshall can play the crazed, screaming funny man routine well but also has the dramatic chops to pull off the scenes dealing with his father’s death. That’s a lot of range. The same goes for NPH, though with a different type of fatherly issue. Maybe they appeal to me because I’ve gone through things with my father as well, but those two really nail any scene involving that subject matter. The women are fine, Lilly plays a great foil and friend to Barney and Robin’s Canadian past is never not funny.
I’m going to try and catch up on the seventh season somehow. It’s not as frustrating as Dexter, the only show I’ve committed so much time to that I’ve had to stop watching out of pure anger. I want to find out who the mother is, and think they can pull back the curtain without ending the show, but will keep watching regardless because Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segal are too damned good at what they do for me to stop.