“How I Met Your Mother” is one of those shows that comes along once every few years, like “The Office,” “Seinfeld,” or “Cheers.”
Here’s the thing, though. I hated this show.
Yes, I hated “How I Met Your Mother.” I thought it was a massive waste of potential. CBS pissed all over an outstanding concept, cast, and writing staff, raping the show into mediocrity with canned audience laughter and the shit production value that CBS loves so much. I could never get into it because CBS treated it like the cultural diarrhea they constantly spray into the American mainstream.
Jason Segel is probably one of my favorite comedic actors of all time. He’s hilarious. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” was a fucking triumph of modern comedy, as the movie critics might say. He’s funny in everything except this show. Instead, he’s reduced to a guy who reads lines off of cue cards and waits for the “live” studio audience to laugh at his jokes. Seeing Segel relegated to such a terrible show is what I imagine it would have been like if the Monstars won the game in “Space Jam” and Michael Jordan became their basketball slave. Tragic.
Neil Patrick Harris
This is the same thing as Segel. Barney Stinson is an iconic sitcom character, for sure. Don’t get it twisted though–he doesn’t get off scot-free here. The over-simplified character played by NPH is just too much. Anyone who would talk like that in real life would have zero friends. Zero. NPH shouldn’t have done that. The “suit up” theory is a good one in general, but when you show up to the same bar over and over again in a suit, it loses its charm. You just become the idiot who’s gone to the same bar for nine years in a suit.
The Laugh Track
Infinite wisdom was bestowed upon us by “How I Met Your Mother.” It was a really well-written show. I mean that. From “woo girls” to the platinum rule, it was a show that said what everyone else was thinking. When you can do that, you get magic. Of course, CBS delivered the jokes in the worst way possible, with canned laughter cues from audiences that have been dead for several decades. Seriously. I’m not a fan of TV shows that don’t feel authentic. What made “The Fresh Prince,” “Seinfeld,” and “Friends” all so great was that even though they still used laugh tracks, they were also still filmed in front of LIVE audiences. Example:
Showrunners claimed that shooting in front of a live audience would’ve slowed down the show, thanks to all of the flash forwards and jump backs. Well, idiots, maybe don’t pretend like you’re shooting it in front of a live audience and get creative. Again, authenticity. I can only imagine how great this show would have been if its producers had shot it in the “fly on the wall” style of “The Office” or “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.”
The worst. The absolute worst. People tried comparing him to Danny Tanner. Don’t. You. Even. Dare. Bob Saget played that role perfectly. Driven to dadness by having to raise three girls on his own and host his entire family in his home after his wife died? Yeah, Danny Tanner gets a pass for being the cheesiest white guy to ever grace the small screen. Ted Mosby, though? Ted Mosby doesn’t get a pass for being such a whiny asshole. No. He gets the whiny bitch tag. When I look at Ted Mosby, I see a bitch. They should have just called the show “WHY DOESN’T ANYONE LOVE ME?!” Whenever Josh Radnor opened his mouth, I cringed. I can’t even begin to describe how much I loathe this character. You should hate anyone who takes nine seasons and 208 episodes to tell the story of how he met the mother of his children.
Fuck you, CBS. Just fuck you. This show deserved so much better.