15.10.11

Why "How I Met Your Mother" Sucks

Most of my friends know I'm a TV series addict. In my room, I currently have the full series DVDs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Six Feet Under, Veronica Mars, Futurama, Pushing Daisies and Will and Grace, complemented by individual series DVDs of Dexter, Skins and Weeds -- and that's just what I have here. There's a lot more still at my parents' house.

I'm a compulsive buyer, which means most of the DVDs I have at my parents' house are DVDs I regretted ever buying, e.g. Angel, Tru Calling, Battlestar Galactica. Ever since the painfully disappointing finale of the latter, I've resolved not to buy DVDs of a series until it has concluded, and I'm sure I'm satisfied with the whole story.

(What I learned from Battlestar Galactica:
#1: Robots are evil.
#2: If you're a writer, it's always good to plan ahead.)

The other day, a close friend of mine posted on Facebook that her old university had been featured on How I Met Your Mother's latest episode, and it reminded me of that DVD rule I implemented on myself. You see, there was a time when I really wanted to buy the How I Met Your Mother DVDs, but I never did. And now I'm glad I didn't, because I've reached the decision that How I Met Your Mother nowadays sucks. Here's why:

#1: Because WE DON'T CARE WHO THE MOTHER IS.

I'll be fair: the first time Thomas and Bays played the "Ha! This is not the mother!" trick, I was fooled, and pleasantly surprised. I'm generally not the type of person to "ship", so it was good to know from the very start that Robin and Ted were not going to be this doomed Ross-and-Rachel type of couple that often drives me crazy in TV series. Little did I know that this quest for the mother would turn into a whole new level of annoying.

You see, what was once a smart and innovative trick ("Robin is not the mother?!?") has now been reduced to a tired gimmick that takes away about 60% of the fun of the show.

("Pull my finger and I'll tell you who the mother is.")

("Haha! Tricked you again!")

Can we all just agree that we don't give a rat's ass who the mother is and how they met and just move on with the story, please?

Speaking of the story...

#2: Because the kids should've killed Ted by now.

I have this picture in my head, where Ted concludes the story of how he met his wife, and we return to the couch where his children are now adults with their husbands and wives and their own teenage kids, pointing at grandpa Ted and telling them: "And this is why you never get to complain about my parental skills."

Did the creators really think this through? I know that with every show comes a certain level of suspension of disbelief, but seriously: what kind of father gathers up his children to tell them a story that lasts seven years?!

And what a story, too!



#3: Because even the funniest character is now unfunny.

Every show has a token hilarious character who delivers the best lines. On Friends, it was Chandler; on Will and Grace, it was Karen Walker; on Arrested Development, it was the entire Bluth family. On How I Met Your Mother, that was Barney. Sure, other characters are funny as well and not all people agree on who the token hilarious character is, but there usually is one, and I'm pretty sure most HIMYM fans will contend that in this case, it was Barney.

Why am I using the past tense? Because he's not funny any more. Just like the mother trick, he's been reduced to cheap gimmicks.


I'm afraid I can't give examples for this, because it's difficult to specify what it is about him that feels unfunny. But I can tell you that I've been noticing it for at least one series now: there were Barney lines so funny that I still remember them now, even though I've only watched each episode once. None of them are from the last series or two.

Ted: I'm gonna take the plunge. Well, I guess that's not the perfect metaphor since for me that's falling in love and for him it's... death.
Barney: Actually, that is the perfect metaphor.

- The only reason to wait a month for sex is if she's 17 years, 11 months old.

- There are only two reasons to date a girl you've already dated: breast implants.

Barney: It's not going to be easy, like the Canadian citizenship test.
Robin: How do you know the Canadian test is easy?
Barney: It's Canada! Question 1: Do you want to be Canadian? Question 2: Really?

- I know a lost cause when I see it. That's the reason I don't recycle.

Those days of awesomeness are, unfortunately, long gone.

(Sorry, Neil. At least you're still hot.)

#4: Because it used to be good.

That's the worst part. It used to be funny. No, actually: it used to be brilliant. This is the series that introduced us to Robin Sparkles, the Slap Bet, Ted Mosby is a Jerk and the awesomeness of suits.

But this is what happens when a series overstays its welcome. It happened with Friends, it happened with Grey's Anatomy, it happened with Skins and it's happening with How I Met Your Mother as well. I'd like to blame the networks only, but unfortunately it's a combination of money-grabbing suits and viewers who will continue to watch a series even after it's got so bad that it ceases to resemble anything it used to be. I'm not exempt from that rule: despite my far better judgement, I continue to watch Supernatural and Grey's Anatomy, and I saw Weeds to (what I really hope is) the end. So it's our fault, too.

Which is why I have no one to blame for the last reason How I Met Your Mother sucks...

#5: It will continue to suck for at least another series.

Yep. How I Met Your Mother was renewed for two series last year, which means it's not going anywhere at least until May 2013.

Hopefully, the universe will do something to save us from that.

7 comments:

  1. I disagree.

    Not on the sucking, the show sure does suck, but on it ever being brilliant at some point of its existence.
    To me, it's always been a meh-"keep the TV on in the background while doing something else"-watch (pretty much like "The Big Bang Theory"). Then it got bad.

    Very nice read, though.

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  2. It had some good moments and some very innovative ideas in the beginning. Somewhere around series 5, however, it all went to hell, I think.

    LEGEN -- wait for it -- BORING.

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  3. Wait, so... that's NOT the Canadian citizenship test?!

    Color me disappointed.

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  4. I was surprised as well, V. :P

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  5. The Canadian joke was NOT funny. :P

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  6. I fully agree. HIMYM used to be good realy good. The slapgiving-style humor is long gone. The introduction of a baby is the first way to kill a show. Not to mention the never-ending Ted-Robin thing and or Robin's tendency to fuck all her friends.

    They did the same thing to Friends and the showed went downhill from there.

    Since the end of season 5 HIMYM just sucks.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't watched HIMYM since before last series, I think. It's occasionally playing on E4 and I might catch an episode or two, but I gave up around the time Robin rediscovered her feelings for Barney, I think.

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