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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

No clone,this

Every once in a while,the sitcom gods throw something different our way — something that is not just about a 20-something group of friends and their tangled lives.

Written by Pooja Pillai |
May 11, 2009 2:44:16 am

How I Met Your Mother
Star World
Fridays,8:30 pm
Rating ***1/2

What’s it about?Every once in a while,the sitcom gods throw something different our way — something that is not just about a 20-something group of friends and their tangled lives. On the face of it,How I Met Your Mother is just another Friends or Seinfeld clone. But look closer and you notice differences — the narrative framework,the characterisations and the actors who so brilliantly portray the slightly dysfunctional people who make this show work.

The narrator is Ten Mosby,voiced by Bob Saget of Full House fame. The narrative frame,set in 2030,has Mosby recounting to his children all the adventures he and his friends had in present-day New York City. In the recollections we meet him and his group of friends — college friend Marshall Eriksen and his fiancée Lily Aldrin,playboy Barney Stinson and Mosby’s potential love interest Robin Scherbatsky. Given the title of the show,we meet quite a few of the narrator’s girlfriends,but there is a constant sexual tension between him and Scherbatsky. This,even though it’s established quite early in the first season that the two don’t end up marrying and that she becomes his kid’s “Aunt Robin.” But after a point,the question of who he finally marries becomes irrelevant,as the other characters grow and bring their own peculiar zing to the show.

Who’s in it?Josh Radner plays the central character Mosby with quite a bit of goofy charm. He’s the glue that holds the rest of the cast together. Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan play the adorable and very-much-in-love engaged couple Eriksen and Aldrin,while Cobie Smulders plays Scherbatsky. However,the star of the show is Neil Patrick Harris who plays the outrageously funny Stinson. In fact,if it hadn’t been for this one character,the show might have ended up in the rubbish heap of discarded pilots.

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What’s hot?Barney all the way — the womanising,immature and insensitive Barney Stinson is made strangely loveable through the sheer personal charm that Patrick Harris plays him with. Everything about the character reeks of individuality — from his “legen – wait for it – dary!” to his penchant for suits,everything about Stinson screams,like one of his favourite words,“Awesome”.

What’s not?We’ve seen way too many sitcoms about a group of friends and “the stupid stuff we did in New York”. (Why most sitcoms are set in New York would be a study in itself). In that sense,HIMYM has nothing new to offer. It has the stock characters —the goof,the womaniser,the mother hen,the joker and the princess — that go towards making any sitcom and one just wishes to see something radically different once in a while.

Should you be watching it?All said and done,this show is definitely worth a watch. It is smarter than a lot of other sitcoms,un-cerebral enough to be relaxing at the end of the day,and yet funny enough that you’ll be sprinkling your own conversations with “legen – wait for it – dary”.

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