February 6, 2013
Today, in Karla vs. Oblicon (aka while reviewing for tomorrow's class), I got a little distracted when I remembered that the new Robin Sparkles episode of How I Met Your Mother just aired last night in the US. With a highlighter shade like this (thank you, Sharpie. You have forever turned me away from the shocking neon yellow of Stabilo. Oh, how wonderful you are, #FFCC00!) - who can resist drawing that umbrella?
Not this girl, who is certainly experiencing a rather extreme case of HIMYM dependency as of late. To say that I love this show is an understatement. In the last eight years, I have seen these characters grow up, fall down, and be torn apart - but they have never failed to make me believe that despite all that, nothing is too big or too trivial to become a good story - and consequently, a good life lesson.
I get tired when I hear people complain about the Mother and how long it's taking the writers to bring us there because it saddens me that to them, the only purpose of the show is Ted meeting the Mother. Whereas, if we take away that narrative, this is essentially just a story about a group of young individuals living in New York and enjoying the company of each other as they grow old and grow up. I think people focus too much on the end, rather than enjoying the ride that's taking us there. Sure, the title says How I Met Your Mother, and sure, it's rather unrealistic for a dad to be telling a story that long, with that much detail (even about his romantic and sexual conquests) - but at the end of the day, it's just a framing device to set it apart from every other show out there. The truth is, it's not about the Mother, no matter how central her role may be. It was never just about the Mother. It is about Ted, and Lily, and Marshall, and Robin, and Barney. It's about these people, and the fact that so-called fans don't care about their stories anymore and just want to rush to the ending - well, it kind of misses the whole point of being a fan of a show, doesn't it?
I'm going to be first to admit that the show is no longer what it used to be, and that in the latter seasons, some episodes could have been written better, and some character arcs could have been executed more flawlessly. The latter seasons are not as funny or crisp as the first ones - in fact, I think nowadays it's less a sitcom and more a romantic comedy. But this is not to say that the show is no longer worth watching at all. In fact, I think it is precisely this turn to the rom-com genre that makes it all the more rewarding.
The fact that the show never just strives for laughs, but also for the tears, is quite commendable - and comforting. Because while it's true that we watch sitcoms to make us temporarily forget about our own sad, complicated lives, it's nice to also see a hint of reality in them, if only to make us feel less alone. HIMYM has never been afraid to deal with heartbreak, financial debt, abandonment, accidents, infertility, and even death - things that we don't usually expect in comedies, but things that we always experience in real life. The stories they tell, no matter how crazy or stupid or outrageous, are still essentially realistic. Over the years, the has truly become like a friend, whose exploits you still want to hear about, no matter how silly or irrelevant it may be to your life, just because it's a good story and you're a good friend.
Maybe this is what I like best about this show: the fact that every episode is just a part of a greater narrative, a bigger story. No matter how trivial or important an event may be, it's all just an element to the much grander picture. It's exciting, in the sense that, it gives me something to look forward to - that perhaps, the universe is still in the middle of constructing my ending, so even my inconsequential days may lead me to something huge. But, at the same time, it's comforting, knowing that every single day doesn't always have to be grand. It can be quiet, and simple, and trivial, and yet it will still make for a good story, regardless of whether or not I tell it in pieces or in whole.
And isn't that what everyone wants one day? That we get to tell these little episodes, these stories of us, and be able to laugh about it?
(Okay, my download just finished. Squeeee I can't wait!)
OMG, ROBIN DAGGERS. OMG!!! I love this show!