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Reviews Comments: It's the most overrated sitcom since Friends... How I Met Your Mother whole series review by Dark Literati

Which makes sense, given that it feels like little more than Friends 2.0. The characters are just about the same, the dynamic is just about the same - to the point where, for clarity's sake, I will refer to this show as 2.0, and Friends as 1.0. The only real differences are:

A) Better actors. 1.0 only had great talent in the form of Matthew Perry (David Schwimmer was okay too, but nowhere near as good.) Here on 2.0 we have Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, and Cobie Smulders.
B) A stupid gimmick that barely ties everything together - it's the story of one guy explaining how he got married.

Over the course of eight years and counting?

Uh, no. That concept strains credulity beyond the breaking point. I'm all for Willing Suspension Of Disbelief, but that really only applies where it's actually necessary - like, in genre stories, not sitcoms fueled by canned laughter. This is not to say, of course, that all multi-cam sitcoms are bad because they have canned laughter. It's only when the canned laughter is the only laughter in the room that it's a bad thing. I tried the first episode and, while the 2030 opening was funny, after that it went downhill fast, no matter how many supposedly funny things the four talented actors mentioned above would do. Knowing that even now, eight years later, the answer to the series' basic concept hasn't been answered, I wisely decided to give up. (I have recently heard that the next season, the ninth, will be 2.0's last. All I can say is...THANK GOD!)

The main reason why I can't stand this? Because 1.0 did the same sort of jokes 10-20 years ago, and it really wasn't funny then, either.

If I were responsible for making something like this, I would probably do it in a two-hour Apatow-like comedy film (and probably without the excessive raunch, which only Two And A Half Men and 21 Jump Street really get away with.) The comedy would actually be funny, too, and it would feel a little more real. This is why so many people watch Chuck Lorre's creations - they're not quite a reflection of reality, but they're closer to it than this dumb, gimmicky miscreation.


  • Wackd
  • 7th Jan 13
And you only watched the first episode, you say?

  • Wackd
  • 7th Jan 13
Incidentally, the story doesn't take eight years to tell in-universe. That caption never stops reading 2030 and they just start recycling footage of the kids after season two.
  • MrMallard
  • 7th Jan 13
It has been going for too long, but I would hardly refer to it as a clone of Friends. I don't care if you dislike the show, but comparing it to Friends - that's just horrible. Let's face it - the characters from Friends were just horribly dull and not entertaining in the least. They had 2 idiot characters for comic relief. HIMYM? The only "idiot" character would be Barney, and he makes up for that with his superhuman abilities to pick up women. And he has some degree of suaveness, dressing in snappy clothing and actually planning how he's going to pick up a date - it's his thing. Far better than a goofy italian-american guy relying on a goofy smile and "How YOU doin'?" to get laid, and being an idiot the rest of the time.

If I had to define it, I'd say it's like Friends' dynamic with the general wit and feel of Frasier and Seinfeld respectively. Not all the humor hits the mark, but by no means is it as bad as the comedy abortion that is Friends.

(Also, You say this show has less "excessive raunch" than 2 And A Half Men? Charlie had a girl in his bed pretty much Once An Episode. I'd call the 2 shows even with the raunch just to be fair.)
  • JobanGrayskull
  • 7th Jan 13
The show needs to end already, as it's obviously dragging and has been for the last couple of seasons. That said, I don't think it really compares to Friends outside of the very basic sitcom functions, like will-they-or-won't-they romance, an assortment of characters each with quirks and degrees of stupidity/craziness, and a fresh ridiculous plot contrivance for each episode.

The reason I dislike HIMYM (now) is that they're trying to pad it out. The reason I dislike Friends is the impossibly-razor-sharp wit that occurs in every single dialogue and ruins believability.

So I guess I can meet this review about a quarter of the way. It is quite ridiculous that after eight seasons there's been only the slightest of hints regarding the identity of the eponymous mother, but as for the humor it's really just a matter of taste and opinion.
  • DarkLiterati
  • 7th Jan 13
I didn't say this show didn't have less raunch than Two and a Half Men. It's just that I typically don't like the raunchy stuff, but for some reason I don't mind it as much on 2.5 (probably because I expected it there, but not here.) When I said "excessive raunch," I was referring to Judd Apatow's movies, which I fully expect to be raunchy but still don't like because they don't add much else to trigger laughs (or any other kind of emotional response.)

Also, I get that the in-universe "story" isn't taking eight years to tell, but that's just part of the problem for me. It's one of the reasons why I feel this would have worked better as a single two-hour movie, because while the kids are lucky enough to get a story that's only told to them in, what, two hours? We the audience are subjected to dragging it out. It's the curse of the show's popularity, CBS just doesn't seem to want to end it.

I should also have mentioned this: occasionally, me and my friends trade TV-show quotes to try and amuse each other. My rule of comedies is: if the majority of the lines don't make me laugh out of context, it's probably not a good comedy. This is one of those shows for me. And when I tried the first episode I didn't enjoy it, so...
  • kay4today
  • 7th Jan 13
It's more than ridiculous to call it Friends 2.0 after having watched only one episode.

Your "Over eight years" argument is a valid reason to dislike the show and there are quite a few other reasons to dislike it as well (Barney can easily come across in an obnoxious Dude Not Funny manner, for example), but I don't think you can really judge the series as a whole after having watched just the first episode.
  • DarkLiterati
  • 7th Jan 13
Yes, first impressions can be wrong - for me, Community is living proof. (It's also the sole exception I've found so far to my rule that if it's not funny out of context, it's likely not funny at all.) But I'm merely speaking my mind - I really did get the impression that it was little more than a retread of Friends, which is one of my least-favorite shows ever. And I didn't feel like I wanted to keep going, especially if it was going to be more of the same, no new storytelling directions, and constant fan-teasing, for close to 200 episodes.

If I offended any fans with my review (which I clearly did, from the number of people who defend it as "doesn't compare to Friends"), I apologize.
  • TomWithNoNumbers
  • 7th Jan 13
I'm afraid this review is a little deceptive. I think it's fine to give first impressions reviews and the rest but if you do that you have to be very clear with what you're doing (with emphasis on very). Here you actually make it sound like you're reviewing a plot arc, especially when you're judging the gimick of which you've seen absolutely nothing of and really don't know how the show deals with it.

In fact as far as I can make out, you have 3 points in the entire review. 1. It's the Friends set up. 2. It has much better actors. 3. You don't like the overall story arc. And considering you can't really judge three at all, you're points are at worst 50/50 positive which I feel isn't doing justice to your opinion of the first episode and doesn't really match up with the review tone.

I really do understand that you decided it wasn't worth investing. I think there's subtlety in How I Met Your Mother that out does Friends but they are very similar shows and even if I like it, it's not so good that your missing out by not seeing it. So not wanting to invest lots of time in a show that hasn't impressed you episode one and is like another show you didn't like is a sensible decision. I just think that some of the way it comes across in the review needs a little rethink and I hope I haven't been too offensive with that
  • JobanGrayskull
  • 7th Jan 13
No worries, I didn't find it offensive. After all, the key difference to me is that I like HIMYM and I dislike Friends...but of course, that's all the difference in the world when someone draws comparison between the two. I do think HIMYM has more polish and better presentation of a very similar style, but I can perfectly understand why someone would also not like HIMYM by that standard.
  • MHMhasf1998
  • 1st Nov 13
I agree, the idea of HIMYM being a movie would've been much more interesting and believable. However, if they really DID want to stick to the sitcom idea, I have an idea on how they could have done it. They could've changed the plot to that Future Ted found all of his old diaries, where he put in entries on each interesting day, making it out to his future kids, and he reads a story to his kids every other night. The show could have been called, "The Path to Love", or something along those lines, and it could be about a group of friends who don't believe in love but slowly, through their antics, begun to fall under it's spell. Lily and Marshall got marries around the time Robin showed up, which would make sense why the show started when she came along. It could also be why Ted gets hitched the last, because he is the only one of the friends which believes in love from the start. So, how is it?
  • gibberingtroper
  • 3rd Nov 13
I have seen all the seasons currently available on Netflix (can't remember how many) and I have to say that the Friends comparison is apt. I just like the show more because I actually like most of these characters whereas with friends I kind of liked Chandler and that was it.

Its like they were trying to be the next Friends and in the process they realized there were things they would have liked to fix about Friends if they had been on the write staff, so they applied those fixes on their own show. In addition to the fixes, they took some chances, a big one being the premise. When I first saw the first episode (which was only a year ago for me) knowing that this show had already been on the air for 7 years, I thought "there's no way this flashback thing is going to hold up."

And it doesn't completely but 1) It surprised me how well it has held up (due in no small part to the comedic skills of Bob Saget) and 2) They have a lot of fun with it. Like when Dad censors the characters or when he wonders why the hell he's been telling his kids about a wild drinking binge before telling them about an even wilder one. Or when he jumps around in the story. Or the time he realizes he had all the characters mixed up. In other words, they have enough fun with this conceit of the premise that its worth having.
  • RobbieRotten
  • 20th Jan 14
I think it's odd to write a full, in depth review of a show that's been on for awhile based on ONE episode. If you only saw one and aren't interested in more, that's fine. But don't go writing a review like you've seen more. It's like reviewing a movie after only watching the trailer.
  • PaulGascoigne
  • 27th Aug 14
Wow, writing a review after one episode, now that's something. I bet everybody hate you when you talk about movies, arts, tv shows, etc, but you dont notice it. By the way, I didnt like the first episode, but i kept watching and it become really great after a while.oh, and I didnt post a review about it.

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