Saturday, November 06, 2010

Saturday at the Movies #25 - TV Closeup - How I Met Your Mother

How could a romance writer not be drawn in by a sitcom billed as a love story in reverse? I missed the first few episodes the first time around (sitcoms are a hard sell with the DH but he came around, and the show is now referred to as "Mama" in our house. Mention "Mama" when a new episode or rerun is slated to show, and that is the signal to reach for the remote. We have a similar code for Big Bang Theory - "Nerds"- but that's another story.) so I already knew the big surprise...that Robin, the woman main character, Ted, falls for in the pilot, is not his future wife and mother of his future kids (to whom he narrates his tale) but she does become his sometimes roommate and an essential part of his circle of friends.

Random fun fact - there is indeed a whole song attatched to the catchy soundbite that plays over the opening credits.

Ted, when we meet him, is an architecht in his late twenties, and an incurable romantic, confident that his one perfect woman is out there somewhere; he only hasn't met her yet. This series is the story of his search for her. Episodes begin and often end with Ted telling the story to his school age children, sharing his reminiscences and imparting bits of fatherly wisdom along the way. It's worth mentioning that we can count Ted as an unreliable narrator (I'll wait here for those who want to go check their high school English notes) and he will often use code to make things more kid-friendly, though we as the viewers are let in on what's really going on when someone is "eating sandwiches" or "playing the bagpipes." The most horrible word one can call a woman is not "Grinch" but that's Ted for you.

Ted's supporting cast includes college buddies Marshall and Lily, who are already living the life Ted wants for himself. Deeply in love and first engaged, then married, they are the sense of reaon in an unreasonable world. Marshall, an idealistic lawyer, works for Goliath National Bank, a huge and heartless corporation, but stays true to his ideals, and to his Lilypad. Lily herself is a fascinating character, a kindergarten teacher who paints art meant for dogs, has an uncanny knack for implementing complicated plans (and carrying them off) and can always, always smell the poop.

Still navigating the waters of the single life are Barney, Ted's wingman, a suit-wearing, woman-chasing, jargon-spouting libertine with an unconventional (and yet awesome past) who hides a softer side. Though Barney puts on a strong front of debauchery, he loves his friends deeply, and perhaps one of them above all. Barney jockeys for position as Ted's best friend with Marshall, secretly flew cross country to reunite a separated Marshall and Lily, and nurses deeper feelings than he'd care to admit for Robin. I ship Barney/Robin hard, people. If I were still writing fanfiction, they would absoutely be one of my pairings, and my idea hamster is running all night long to find a home for them in a historical someday.

Which brings us to Robin, who is not the mother. Robin Sherbatsky, local news anchor with dreams of something bigger, Canadian to the core (though she is pursuing dual Canadian/US citizenship) former teen idol and committmentphobe. While Robin can enjoy a good thing, what if something better comes along? What if that something better is wearing a totally awesome suit? The results could be legen (wait for it, and we hope you're not lactose intolerant because the next word is)dary.
Even if not, I'm sure this motley crew will get through life in their own special fashion.

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