Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How I Met Your Mother: Does the Identity of the Mother Matter?

Last night How I Met Your Mother broke away from the typical bro humor to deliver one of, if not their most emotional episode ever!  Without giving too much away, the show focused on Robin and used Colbie Smulders (the actress who plays Robin) as the voice over instead of Bob Saget's voice (future Ted).  The episode has divided many fans of the show, but I thought it was a nice departure from the typical direction of the show.  I have also been re-watching all of the rest of the seasons on DVD and came to the realization, I don't know if I care who Ted ends up with.  This can be seen on two levels, incredibly problematic or ingenious.

The show started out focusing mainly on the premise of Ted (Josh Radnor) telling his children the story of how he met their mother.  This show does still come from Ted's vantage point, and the stories are all building to him meeting his future wife, but I have to applaud this show for exploring the concept of friendship well.  The show has had it's ups and downs. Some seasons have been pretty amazing, while other meander as if they have no direction, but this show remains to to have heart, and has brought 5 main characters that viewer connect with.

How I Met Your Mother is not on the level of shows like 30 RockCommunity, or Modern Family, but this show is a unique blend of typical sitcom and a show that takes you outside of that standard realm.  The show is not "smart" humor, but more about relate able humor.  What does that mean?  How I Met Your Mother is about a group of friends, and tells their stories from the triumphs to the failures.  The show uses the day to day scenarios of 20-30 somethings so that people can laugh because they have experience similar situations.

From Barney's (Neil Patrick Harris) man whore mentality to Marshall and Lily's (Jason Segel and Alyson Hanngan) romantic love story this show provides a lot of great laugh out loud moments.  Neil Patrick Harris is brilliant as Barney; he has taken a one dimensional man whore and turned him into a character people root for.  The writers and Harris have given Barney more depth throughout the years proving him with his first relationship, and getting him to meet his birth father.  Colbie Smulder's is one of my favorite funny women on television; she plays robin perfectly.  Robin does not represent the typical portrayal of women in the media; she is a gun toting Canadian, who focuses on her career and for the most part is not always seeking to have children; she is shrewd sarcastic and just plain great.  Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan are play the perfect couple so well, their comedic timing and chemistry add the richness of the show.

Then there's Josh Radnor's Ted, who can be the most annoying of the characters (although re-watching the seasons I have found less annoying).  The ironic part of this is that Ted is the central character and the viewers are supposed to care more about his search for his wife.  But do they?  When I talk about this show I always reference Barney and his playbook or many rules to dating or sleeping with people.  I also talk about Robin, her Canadian ways, and her going to the mall or "Sandcastles in the Sand."

The creators behind this show are brilliant.  They started with a simple presence but realized they had more they could do with their other characters and developed some great stories.  I do want to know who  Ted is going to end up with, but I care more about the characters I know and love than gimmick of actually caring about who the mother may be.  I love that this show has developed into something that I watch because I care about the characters not the plot device.  Below is a video as to why this show makes me smile, and why I do not care as much about the mother!

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