Friday, September 23, 2011

My "How I Met Your Mother" Summer

Last summer was "Battlestar Galactica" and "Firefly" but the summer of 2011 will be forever remembered as the Summer when I watched every episode from season 1-5 of the show, "How I Met Your Mother."

What a great show! AMAZING writing drives this show. This is definitely a case of the sum of the whole being greater than the parts. This show features actors you recognize - Neil Patrick Harris from Doogie Howser and Dr. Horrible, Jason Segel from Knocked Up, and Alyson Lee Hannigan from Buffy and America Pie. This cast makes magic together. What's odd is that Ted, the main character, is actually the most boring of all of them. Harris, playing the womanizing Barney, often steals the show. It's nice that the writers aren't afraid of letting the characters grow and change.

What seems like a very simple, limited concept is brilliantly drawn out over 6 seasons (and counting - two more seasons coming!). The narrative is primarily linear, being told as a story to Ted's kids in 2030. I like the fact that episodes and events are firmly linked to time periods. Each season represents one year of Ted's life. The writers have fun with Ted as the storyteller, sometimes causing him to tell stories unreliably (once he tells the story of his birthday with a goat, only to realize that it was his NEXT birthday that had the goat). Hints and clues about future events are sprinkled all over the show. As you watch the show, you see glimpses of the future that tease you. Part of the interest in the show is guessing who "The Mother" is but that isn't really even possible since she hasn't been introduced as a character. My guess? "The Mother" is the woman who Robin is talking to in the first episode when Ted narrates, "And there she was."If I'm right, remember I wrote it down on 9/22/11!

It's also nice that the show has very tight continuity. Jokes continue from episode to episode (Have you met Ted? or "Major Pain." References are often made to events that took place in other episodes. And things that are hinted at are ALWAYS delivered on later. It's touches like this that make the show more enjoyable for the fans. I don't know if I would have picked up on all of these little details if I had watched the show over six years instead of one summer, but it is nice to know the show's creators care so much about the integrity of the show.

The show is very consistent. There are no bad episodes or seasons (except the intro to season 4 - that's a little rough). I am constantly intrigued by how this story will unfold. Because, really, it's no the story of how Ted meets his children's mother - it's the story of how he matures and grows as a person so he can be the right person for his future wife.

1LR Review: 19 out of 20 - A Solid Hit!

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