It's the most overrated sitcom since Friends...
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.