Tonight marks the end of an era: it’s the last ever episode of How I Met Your Mother.
I started watching this series a few years back, after my brother continually nagged me to. To appease him, I binge watched entire seasons while on breaks from school. I’m glad he didn’t give up on getting me to watch— It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it. Now I find myself in the position of nagging people to watch it, usually people who can’t wrap their head around the idea of a CBS comedy being funny.
And I get that— CBS is notorious for some of the worst sitcoms I’ve personally ever seen (The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, 2 Broke Girls). But it should be clear to any fan of comedy and good writing that How I Met Your Mother is different. To quote the AV Club article that’s been making the internet rounds today,
It’s Friends with single-camera elements; it’s Arrested Development that panders to the masses; it’s Seinfeld with a premise; it’s Lost with studio-audience laughter.
Indeed. How I Met Your Mother is not a casual comedy— its complexities of plot, continuity, and character are overwhelming in the best way. Its blend of classic comedy with heart-wrenching sentimentality is unique and done better than any other show.
Whenever I defend That Thing You Do! as my favorite movie of all-time, I make the point that it has everything you want in a movie: first-rate comedy, great plot and storytelling, fun for everyone, romantic, sad, musically informed, full of life lessons. It’s safe to say that How I Met Your Mother is the television equivalent of that.
Sure, there have been some less-than-stellar episodes, plot turns, and writing decisions made with this show over the past 9 years. But those don’t take away from the series at large. At its best— even at its most average— How I Met Your Mother is a more fulfilling show than most and that’s on multiple levels, not the least of which being its comedic value.
I don’t think there will ever be another sitcom as great as How I Met Your Mother. For me, anyway. Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lily will all be missed (as well as the mother [pictured]— we hardly knew ye!). As will all the side characters (Ranjit, Sandy Rivers, Patrice, Victoria, the parents, and so on). And the recurring bits (slap bet, yousonofabeetch, salutes, interventions, the red cowboy boots, and so on). But no one can take these things away from us— we’ll always have How I Met Your Mother, in all of its 208-episode awesomeness.