One of the great downfalls of our all-access media-centric society is that one can never consume all the great entertainment output. I cannot imagine the life of a critic, or a reviewer on AVclub.com. It’s so time consuming, and not great for the eyes either.
Fortunately, my vision is already impaired considerably, so it’s no predicament to justify watching a completed series that it seems most people my age have a strong affinity for. No, not an obscure cable network show that aired 20 episodes (Party Down, which you should watch and love).
I’m talking a full on investment, something that original run viewers spent 9 network TV seasons watching; the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.
Too many times I have answered “No” to “Have you seen HIMYM?” Too many opinions that I should definitely watch it, have I heard. Too many references missed. Until now. Thanks to the magic of our all-access media-centric society, I can now view each episode at my leisure. Which I have begun.
A week ago, I watched (cringing, for the record) The Pilot. The first episode takes place in 2005, before the advent of effective streaming platforms, and right in the movement of sitcoms away from studio audience laughter. The canned laughter in The Pilot made it excruciating to watch. Additionally, the dialogue seemed forced. The actors were trying to be their characters, but it just seemed fake. Had I watched that episode in 2005, I would not have watched next week.
In 2005, I was nearing the end of a university degree. I didn’t have time for network television. I was in early 20s mode, in the early 21st century! As time passed, I made specific TV choices (at my neighbour’s, because she had a cable package with DVR). I had heard about How I Met Your Mother, but I just never had the urge to tune in. I figured that it would come and go, like so many cheesy US network series.
I doubt that any of the cast, crew or network execs would have thought that How I Met Your Mother would last 9 seasons. That’s crazy! Seinfeld lasted for 9 seasons! Seinfeld! One of the greatest TV shows of all time! 9!
However, hind sight affords patience. I watched #2, Purple Giraffe, where Ted throws 3 parties in order to hang out with Robin, who we already have heard his older narration explain as Aunt Robin, so there goes that mystery.
Candace, who I work with and is a fan of HIMYM, insists that I am trying hard not to like the show. She told me so, responding to my text: “I don’t see how some of these stories should be part of a father’s tale of how he met your mother.”
I see her point. However, I am beginning to enjoy, as evidenced by my ability to smile and ignore the audience laughter from time to time. It’s an improvement. Then I took to Twitter to announce that I had begun viewing. Not the response I anticipated.
— Corey Fischer (@bowsering) May 12, 2016
More on that next time.