If there were not so many other quality shows on television these days like Modern Family, or The League, it is possible I would still be watching How I Met Your Mother this monday night on CBS. But there is something that bothers the hell out of me about the past five seasons of the show.
The characters of How I Met Your Mother are despicable mean people.
How I Met Your Mother is not Friends. As much as you want to peg it in there, there are big differences. Generally speaking on Friends the cast of characters were actually decent. Sure characters like Monica had their bossy quirks but at the end of the episode you did not think their characters would kill someone for a piece of clothing. Ok… maybe Rachel ( a show can have one sociopath), and Phoebe is a bit of a wildcard. Joey is a philanderer but is that a crime?
Let’s look at the cast of How I Met Your Mother. You’ve got Robin who completely coasts through life based on her looks and as far as I can remember has not done a single nice thing for someone on the show besides sleep with them. Then you have Ted Mosby the most pretentious jerk on the face of the earth.
He makes me look good. Seriously.
His character goes through life without thinking about anyone but himself and expects all of it to work out to one specific outcome. I wonder if he actually enjoys architecture or if that is yet another of his affectations. He is probably in a cult. I could see him as Rosemary’s husband. I worry for the mother of his children.
Then you have yourself Lily and Marshall. Sure on the surface they seem a sweet couple. It’s tough to say if Marshall is actually a bad person or if he is just tainted by his wife, Lily. He certainly has unwarranted anger issues with children. He was to be some sort of environmental lawyer until Lily jacked up a list of credit cards and effectively ruined his career. So maybe Marshall is a good person by not leaving the woman he loved high and dry. Did I mention she left him for no reason whatsoever at the beginning of the first season? Maybe Marshall is just the victim of spousal abuse.
And Lily… oh boy… she’s one package no man should have to deal with. I’d be friends with Dexter before this psycho bitch. By the series finale you will probably find she has secretly gone on a killing spree taking out every kindergarten teacher that is prettier than her. Just watch how she has sabotaged other people’s relationships for the most selfish of reasons. Like Big Bang Theory you can take away the laugh track and throw on the score to Dexter and it would not miss a beat. (That gives me an idea for a video…)
So why would I leave Barney last? The misogynistic philanderer was once a hippy, and he is the one person on the show who is probably deep down a good person. A character who’s actions are based on a broken heart ( look at the copious flashbacks). He saved Marshall and Lily’s financial situation by getting him a job at his company. Most of the time he is the deus ex machina of the show saving most characters butts when they are in trouble. He’s more like Joey than you think.
How I Met Your Mother makes it look like there are only white people in Manhattan. Seriously. Look back and count all the minorities. From what I can remember you’ve got Ranjit and Wayne Brady. That’s it. So you have Wayne Brady and a limo driver. Way to go on presenting the melting pot that is New York.
Also flashbacks are a great writing convention but How I Met Your Mother uses them as crutch. And don’t get me started on the flashforwards. The show itself is a flashback. Or the Canadian jokes. When did Canadian references equate to humour?
It may seem hypocritical of me to judge How I Met Your Mother in this way considering most of my favorite shows are filled with exclusively bad people like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Seinfeld. The difference is, these shows clearly know what they are. There has never been an effort on either of these shows to make the characters sympathetic. Seinfeld’s finale ended with everyone in a jail cell for failing as human beings. I can only expect It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will end in a similar thematic fashion.
So what will be filling this sitcom void for me. It’s NBC’s Community. The difference between Jeff Winger and the characters on How I Met Your Mother? Jeff Winger only wants to be perceived as an asshole. That’s called depth of character.
So why have I suffered through so many seasons of How I Met Your Mother without a peep? It comes down to the cast. I like the entire cast, I just don’t like what they portray week after week. I’m done.