So I re-watch a lot of shows. Always in rotation are The Office, Friends, Parks and Recreation, Bobs Burgers, and How I Met Your Mother. I’ve watched these shows a million times over many years. And while I love these shows because I think they are smart and funny and bring me joy and comfort, I have also learned over watching and re-watching over so many years that some things have not aged well in these shows. Sometimes it’s characters, a storyline, or jokes. But some things just did not stand up over the test of time. So I decided to pick one of my favorite shows and explore some things that I love about it and some things that didn’t age well and could honestly be removed altogether. Let’s go!
3 Things to Love
Marshall is the kindest, sweetest, funniest, most genuine character on this show. And all he wants to do is spend time with his wife and kids, grab a drink with his friends, and save the planet from pollution. Marshall thinks the very best of people until proven other wise. He believes in the lochness monster and ghosts. He is the absolute best friend to Ted, Barney, and Robin. The best husband to Lily. I adore Marshall. He is about 60% of the reason I keep coming back to the show after all these years. And he makes really good puns. I love a good pun.
One of the best things about this show is the friendship between all five main characters. These people really care for each other and will do anything for each other. Like how when Lily and Marshall broke up and Lily moved to San Fransisco, after seeing how miserable Marshall was, Barney flew all the way out San Fransisco to tell Lily how sad Marshall was, how their love is the only thing that has ever made him believe in love and marriage. How Lily and Marshall are clearly meant to be together. Barney did all that just for his friend Marshall. That’s powerful love and friendship right there and I am here for it.
3. Original Plot Lines
One of the things I love the most about this show is the hilarious, original, and ridiculous plot lines. Like there are several episodes where the driving plot line is if and when Marshall might slap Barney or if Barney will slap Marshall and I love it. Or determining whether or not Ted has found the one by having her watch Star Wars for the first time and using her reaction to determine his future. Or Marshall finding the best hamburger in New York. These small and somewhat ridiculous plot lines will drive whole episodes and while it should make the show kinda dumb, instead it makes each episode silly and shows that this show doesn’t take itself too seriously, making it an easy and relaxing show to watch over and over again.
3 Things to Hate
Barney is the worst. The way he hits on women, the way he talks about women, the way he treats women, the way he treats his friends, all his dumb rules for dating and sleeping with women, it’s all disgusting. It was disgusting in 2006 and it’s disgusting now. I know all of these things is what made Barney who he is, but I felt like he didn’t bring a whole lot to the friend group other than trouble, guilting them into doing things they didn’t want to do, and making their love lives an absolute mess. True, he’s a huge plot device, but he was sexist and rude and the absolute worst. Please delete Barney, he’s problematic AF.
2. Ted’s Romanticizing
Oh goodness, I know Ted’s whole thing is that he’s a hopeless romantic telling the story of all the things and relationships he had to go through to finally find the one. But good lord, Ted romanticizes everything and every relationship. From Robin, who he tells that he loves her on the very first date. Or Victoria who he helps become a runaway bride because he thinks it’s the universe giving him a sign that they are supposed to be together. Really, Ted? It’s not all about you. Ted had a nasty habit of busting into the relationships of his exes and saying it’s all a sign that they are supposed to be together. No, Ted, you’re just being messy and petty and narcissistic. Stop it.
3. The Love Triangle
A classic trope for sitcoms, movies, and literature. One might say it’s been overdone. One might also say that the whole Robin and Barney and Robin and Ted will they or won’t they thing was interesting at first until you realized that it kind of made no sense. Robin and Barney made no sense at all. They were destructive and manipulative as hell. I still can’t believe they got married. Ted and Robin made more sense, except she said from the get go that she didn’t want to get married or have kids and that’s all Ted wants, and yet they pursued each other anyway. Don’t get me started on Ted finding the love of his life, marrying her, having kids with her, having his wife die, just for him to go running back to Robin. It’s like Ted’s wife only served the purpose of letting him get married and have kids and that’s it. That was all she was good for apparently. He just had to go running back to Robin. Insert eye roll here.
So there are the 3 things I love and hate about How I Met Your Mother. Have you watched the show? What did you love or hate about the show? Let me know in the comments below.