I began this during one of the lucid periods between staring at the ceiling with glazed eyes and sleeping twelve hours straight (thanks, influenza!). As requested, the following are the reasons I hate How I Met Your Mother:
1. References are not jokes. Just because you drop a piece of cultural trivia, and a viewer catches the reference, does not make it funny. Other shows, like The Big Bang Theory, rely heavily on cultural references but always as part of a larger joke or gag. HIMYM seems to rely on the “in with the in-crowd” feeling to carry its episodes.Worse still, in later seasons it seems like many of the references are to the show’s own events (the slap bet, Robin Sparkles) which some might call continuity, but I just find kind of gross. Like laughing hysterically at your own jokes, or the memory of that one time you told a good joke.
2. I don’t care how Ted met their mother. Ted is an idiot, arguably the worst part of the show. The Ross. I never cared about Ross and Rachel, and I triple don’t care about Ted. In a show of lame jokes, his are the lamest. He is simultaneously sanctimonious and a womanizing douche. I’m pretty sure by this point his kids are wishing he hadn’t met their mother so that they would never have been subjected to this interminable story. Right there with ya, kids.
3. That bar set looks cheap. I was going to write about how any show in which the characters’ social life revolves around the place where they consume alcohol always loses a bit of my interest. Not being a drinker, or seeing the hilarious possibilities in consuming expensive brain poison, is a personal bias. However, I loved both Cheers and My Boys so it’s really just HIMYM and that crappy bar set. Every time I watch all I can see is a cheap set, which keeps me from connecting with any of the characters as real people. I have the same issue with the diner set on Two Broke Girls.
4. It ruins people I like. I am generally a fan of Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel, and I have loved Neil Patrick Harris since the tender age of five. I suspect I might even like Cobie Smulders under other circumstances (Avengers, anyone?). They all suck on this show. The timing and chemistry is non-existent, it’s like watching a high school drama club’s first improv show. Pajiba wrote a great article mentioning how Lily’s jokes basically come down to contrasting her inherent cuteness with saying something disgusting or cruel, and Dustin Rowles had the cojones to point out that her cuteness has a rapidly-approaching expiration date (and he loves the show).
5. They want me to believe Barney is a ladies man. I have already spoken of my love for NPH here. Doogie Howser was my first crush, and though the actor turned out to prefer dudes, my fondness
remains. Neil Patrick Harris is a wonderful, talented, and engaging actor who looks fantastic in a suit. Much like his role in Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle, I just can’t buy into NPH as Barney: Serial SexXxer. He’s too nice. Too good. Too obviously not into the ladies. His best chemistry, as weak as it is, is with the men in the cast.
One last thing: The Pineapple Incident sucked out loud. Didn’t. Laugh. Once.