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How I Met the Show about Meeting Your Mother

Third Place in Guilty Pleasure Binge ChallengeThird Place in Guilty Pleasure Binge Challenge

How I Met Your Mother is by far my favourite TV series out there. I have rewatched it so much that my partner cannot stand the sight of it. It is my guilty pleasure that I would happily binge over and over. Let me explain.

I will be the first to admit that I am the worst person to begin watching anything longer than twenty minutes. I tend to stay away from long films and series with lots of seasons as I am not particularly eager e one place for too long at any given time. When I begin watching something with my partner, I begin to get restless, and my attention soon diverts to something else. A couple of minutes later, I have entirely lost the storyline's plot, and before I know it, I have lost all interest in the show.

There are only a handful of series that have gripped my attention and only a couple that I would happily say I would rewatch again. These may be due to their filming location as I love to immerse myself into storylines which revolve in an environment, I find interesting; or because it includes an actor that I love to watch. However, none have ever come close to replacing the love I have for the infamous American Sitcom, How I Met Your Mother.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have rewatched the series. It has gotten to the point where I know the storyline so well that I play it in the background while I sort through my daily tasks. It has gotten so out of hand that my partner cannot take another second of hearing it, forcing me to watch it when she is not around secretly. We are incredibly compatible with each other’s interest; however, How I Met Your Mother is the single addiction that she cannot stand. I cannot even get a coffee mug quoting the show; it is that serious. How I Met Your Mother is my only secret shame that nobody seems to understand.

How I Met Your Mother holds a charm that I cannot seem to find in any other series, and trust me, I have searched far and wide for another outlet with no luck. The closest I have come to replicating this charm was with The Big Bang Theory, yet something seemed to lack. I think this has got to do with the characters How I Met Your Mother has created. I see a small part of me in all the characters.

Lily

We see Lily struggling to find her path in the art world while supporting herself on a Kindergarten teacher salary before landing her dream job as an art consultant to an extremely wealthy art collector called The Captain. Subconsciously telling us that things do not always go your way in life, but you will reach your goal in the end if you stick through the struggle. If it were not for Lily, I would probably expect to be far ahead in life than I currently am, leading to a quarter-life crisis. Life takes time, and dreams only die when we stop pursuing them. If Lily can do it, so can I!

Marshall

If you ever watched the series, you know that it is impossible to feel any negative emotions towards the cuddly giant that is Marshall. His story, coming from a small town called St. Cloud in Minnesota, is one that many will hold close to heart. Pursuing his career path of becoming an Environmental Lawyer by moving to New York City portrays the classic storyline of the small-town girl moving to the big city chasing their dreams. We are that small-town girl. As I have moved around quite a bit in my life, bouncing between small towns and villages to some of the UK’s biggest cities, like York, Manchester and London, Marshall reminds me that I should never forget my roots and call my parents once in a while. Marshall and I have changed drastically in our travels, and the series comforts us through his storyline. Arguably, Marshall goes through some of the most challenging moments, such as the heart-breaking scene when Lily informs him of his Fathers' death. We see that life is unexpected and ruthless, and even a kind soul like Marshall is not spared from the hardship that lies ahead. Yet somehow, through Marshall simply being Marshall, we learn a vital life lesson. Life is going to happen no matter what, so love the people around you and be yourself. Also, seriously, call your mum and dad. Just do it.

Robin

Robin is a character that we realise, from quite an early stage in the series, is the actual reason Ted begins telling his kids the story of how he met Robin, not their mother. This Canadian-born journalist is a robust and independent character and the most feared member of the group. The irony that is her obsession with guns, despite not being American, provides quite a unique relationship with the American characters that tend to stay away from the firing range. I cannot relate to Robins love for guns; however, most of us can relate to the struggle of climbing the ranks at our dream jobs. We follow Robin as a field reporter at Metro News 1 before landing a role as a lead anchor on a morning TV show called Come On, Get Up New York, which airs so early in the morning even the gang won't watch. Robin's struggles in her career, such as when she was close to being deportation due to the lack of work that would keep her work visa active, push her to divert from her initial dream as a lead anchor and pursue a smaller role at World Wide News as a research assistant. I cherish this diversion. It taught me that sometimes, the path to your dream job is not the path we initially planned. Later in the series, we see Robin at breaking point, completely hopeless of achieving her dream. After a series of misfortunate events, Robin found herself at the right place at the right time. When the anchor, Sandy Rivers, ran away from his position of hosting the live countdown on New Year’s Eve to find his lover, Robin had no choice but to host it herself. Once she had her foot in the door, nothing was stopping Robin. It was as if she had been rewarded for her struggle as she rose from the ashes. Her storyline shows resilience and that sometimes luck and timing is all you need to move forward.

Ted

Arguably the protagonist of the series, Ted is the hopeless romantic trying to find the future mother of his children. We encounter countless girlfriends, love interests, and one night stands throughout each season. It is pretty easy to get annoyed at Ted as he continuously finds ways for either ending his then relationship or does something so stupid it has us slamming our heads against the wall. The most exciting part of Ted's storyline, for me anyway, was the time where Ted and Robin were a couple. Their relationship seemed perfect at first before we slowly uncover that their futures were not compatible. Ted wants children, and Robin not only does not want to have kids but also is physically incapable of having a baby. Ted reminds us that it is okay to fall out of love and seek the perfect partner because they are out there somewhere. I still cannot forgive him cheating on Victoria with Robin when Ted was trying to make long-distance relationships work. Do explore your love life but do not do what Ted did. Do the exact opposite of what Ted in the early seasons. Later on, we see growth and his priorities begin to change. I guess that’s what we all have to go through to find out who we are and what we truly want from a relationship.

Barney

The godly role that is Barney Stinson, played by Neil Patrick Harris, is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons why How I Met Your Mother has achieved such success. From the hilarious adventures to the catchy one-liners, you always know that an episode will be great if it focuses on Barney. His financial life is very stable, and money is never a problem which sets a battlefield of endless opportunity for the series. He is the wildcard of the series that takes Ted on a ride of his life. No matter how many times I rewatch the series, Barney does not fail to leave me laughing in tears. There is a deeper side to Barney. His relationship between his parents, being raised by a single mother, a brother from a different father, and not knowing who his birth father is until later on in the series, is a storyline many viewers can relate to their own lives. Later in the series, Barney's storyline leads to some of the series’ most homely moments, such as when he finally meets his biological father Jerome and his son JJ, which stands for Jerome Junior. The sudden confrontation of reality is something Barney seems not to handle well; however, once he begins to accept the situation he is in, we begin to see personal growth. Having such a wild character with an entirely optimistic outlook on life presents such deep emotions that turn the series upside down, and we see a new side to Barney. Remember, no matter how others seem on the outside, they could be in a world of pain on the inside. I always imagine a spin-off about Barney’s life leading up to meeting Ted. I cannot think of a single reason how that would not be entertaining. Also, its Neil Patrick Harris, that man is a god!

The Adventures

Not only does How I Met Your Mother follow some of the most relatable characters in TV history, but it also places the characters in the perfect scenarios that provide some of the most iconic scenes I have ever seen. These include the naked man, Barney’s Playbook and the metaphoric embodiment of joints as Sandwiches. If you have not watched the series, these titles may seem a little farfetched. The scriptwriters did a fantastic job adapting the yearly storyline, where the series flows through the seasons, to these almost side quest episodes that add the series’ quirky flavour that I adore so much.

The structure of How I Met Your Mother mimics the everyday life and these adventures show us that as long as you are willing to experience the unknown, life will place you in situations you never thought you would encounter. Also, I believe that I am not the only one who enjoys seeing others' lives pan out in front of me. It allows me to simultaneously compare myself to these characters and encourage me to celebrate special occasions and enjoy life. Before How I Met Your Mother, I was not the typical person that would celebrate holidays to their fullest, such as Halloween and Christmas. Once I saw how much fun the characters were having on these festivities, it was hard not to replicate this feeling. My experiences were nowhere near as wild as theirs, yet I have to admit I did find myself in some peculiar situations that I would have never had the chance to experience otherwise. It is nice to be motivated to experience life when times are hard, and How I Met Your Mother does this entirely.

The Cringe

Despite the praises that I have given the series, there are a couple of cringy aspects that cannot be ignored. As the series was first aired in September 2005, the writing does hold some scenes that can offend viewers. This is most prominent in the episode where Ted breaks up with his then-girlfriend Natalie on her birthday, which ends with Ted being beaten up with her Krav Maga skills. We then see a cutaway to Ted talking to his children where his son mocks him for being beaten up by a girl. Ted tries to defend himself, saying that she did know Krav Maga, that he discredited earlier as a form of Yoga. My partner finds this scene infuriating as it demeans the strength of women and fuels the ideology that a woman does not have the strength to win over a man, and that a man should never be beaten by a girl, no matter of her strength or fighting skill. These aspects prevent How I Met Your Mother from becoming relevant in the present 21st-century ideology and instead replicates outdated, sexist cliches that are simply untrue. The series adapts itself to present times in later seasons; however, it cannot be ignored that these episodes exist, and its message is flawed.

The Ending...

If you have watched the series from start to finish, I know you have been waiting for me to give my opinion on the most controversial aspect of the whole series, the ending. The complete contrast between the golden start slowly deteriorates into one of the most anticlimactic endings in TV's history. Let me explain.

The first six seasons of How I Met Your Mother are what I count as their golden years. The characters were in full bloom, filled with energy to explore life and give us these iconic moments I spoke about before. As the characters grow and flourish into adulthood, we see season seven and eight dampen a little. Do not get me wrong, they still provided us with some great material, such as further insight into Barney’s life and his Playbook, yet the magic that the first six seasons held does begin to fade away. And then, season nine.

How dare they create such an elaborate story and then end with a season that has nothing to do with Ted or the mother in the first place! The fine crumbs of genius leading to their encounter, such as the yellow umbrella, excited us for this moment. Yet all we are given is a season that does not focus on her whatsoever.

Season nine follows the short period where Barney and Robin are about to get married, and Ted is ready to give up before the mother appears near the ending as the bassist of the wedding band. We know that the wedding is irrelevant as we have already established that Robin is Ted’s true love, ultimately demeaning the relationship between Ted and the Mother. Then it happens. After some initial problems, the wedding goes well; Robin and Barney get married, Ted meets the mother and cue the slideshow. We do not get any real storyline between Ted and the mother! All we get is a couple of scenes explaining that the mother is dying and that Ted loved her very much, and do not forget that this is after nine whole seasons of leading up to this moment!

Oh, I forgot to mention that Robin and Barney get divorced, literally within 20 minutes of them getting married. What was the point in the season?!

Now that I am filled with rage and using all my strength not to go off on a rant on how bad the last season was, I have to contradict myself by saying that season nine also holds the most touching scene of the whole series. I am talking about the moment where Barney meets his new-born daughter. Neil Patrick Harris saves the season by giving us the infamous “You are the love of my life. Everything I have, and everything I am, is yours” quote. I cannot even begin to describe the state I was in when I first saw this. Throughout the series, we saw Barney as a player and one that would not do a good job raising a child of his own. However, alongside meeting his birth father and the slow disinterest in other women, his growth as a person ends his storyline perfectly.

As I start to tear up while writing this, I think this is the perfect time to wrap up and end. I still get angry at Ted for, being Ted. Also, the show is not about how I met your mother. It is more like how I met your Aunt Robin, got rejected a load of times, made a fool out of myself, had some lovely moments with your mother in a couple of episodes, then 180 reversed back to your aunt Robin, you cool with that kids? I cannot believe the series ended like this. I’m getting angry again.

If you have not seen the show before reading this, I cannot recommend it enough. If you have watched it before, I hope that you agree with me on certain aspects. I would love to know your views on the show (My Facebook and Twitter are on my profile.) Thank you for spending your time with me today!

comedy
People! Just say Something!
People! Just say Something!
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