Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Brilliance of #HIMYM

Warning: The following post contains spoilers, personal opinion and inside jokes about the TV show How I Met Your Mother. In fact, here's an inside joke right now- Relax, "Robin."  This is not about you!!!  :)

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of the final episode of Seinfeld.  Time flies, huh?  Many of you who know me or follow this blog know that I consider Seinfeld to be the greatest TV show of all-time. I love a great sitcom, and we currently have some really good ones gracing the airwaves. Modern Family.  Community.  The Big Bang Theory. I love them all. But I have recently come to the realization that for me, the most important 30 minutes of TV each week is Monday night at 8 pm.  That's when How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) airs on CBS. It has now achieved the status of my second favorite show...EVER.  Bold statement. I know. But there are reasons. Like Seinfeld, almost every situation you may encounter in life has an episode of HIMYM that relates in some way.  Unlike most sitcoms, the show is meticulous in following up story lines- even if it takes several years to do it.  The main characters - Barney, Marshall, Lilly, Ted & Robin - have had to deal with real life.  They have messed up relationships, lost jobs, betrayed friends, had parents pass away and divorce and dealt with infidelity in their own lives. And yet the show remains very funny. They have their own language, like nearly every great sitcom.  We have learned about the Bro Code, which is now legend- wait for it - dary!   We know that sometimes to get a real answer out of a friend, the right question is "Where's the poop?"  We know Teddy Westside. We eagerly await the final slap in the infamous "Slap Bet."We have learned that Laser Tag is the greatest of all sports. We met Canadian pop sensation Robin Sparkles. We discovered the existence of the Cockamouse. And so much more.  It's been a wild ride.

This past Monday night was the finale of season 8, with the promise of the answer to one of the longest running cliffhangers in TV history- who is the mystery woman who will marry Ted and become the mother of his children, and how did he meet her? To be honest, for many of the hardcore fans of the show the question was no longer important.  We had already discovered that the journey was so much greater than the destination.  And we knew so much about this woman.  Knowledge gained over many years of faithful viewing.  We had seen her ankle when Ted dated her roommate without ever meeting her.  We knew she wore boots. We knew she played bass in a band.  And we knew of her fabled yellow umbrella.  We even already knew that Ted would meet her outside of the church where Barney and Robin were getting married (maybe- that's still next season). But still...we were finally going to see her face. The mother of all mothers would be revealed. In an episode that contained more plot that most sitcoms squeeze into a year, the last scene featured a woman carrying a guitar case and a yellow umbrella, wearing boots and buying a train ticket to Farhampton- site of the wedding.  The camera swung around, and we saw her face.  Even though Ted has not met her yet, we have.  And there was celebrating at the Jones house!

It was at that moment that the full brilliance of HIMYM became clear to me.  A show that has always rewarded intelligence, faithfulness and attention to detail had topped itself one more time.  You see, we knew that we had just met the mother.  Other long time fans were certain they had just met the mother.  But for the uninitiated, there was no clue. Unless you had been watching, caring and paying attention, you only knew a woman with a yellow umbrella and boots had just bought a train ticket.  The writers didn't tell us who she was.  Those in the know just KNEW.  

We live in an "I want it NOW!" society.  For the past 8 years, HIMYM has offered us the opportunity to enjoy the virtues of patience, loyalty and wisdom- all while laughing our butts off!  That they reached the penultimate moment in the show's history and were still faithful to those virtues is a tribute to all involved.  We were rewarded for persistence. So today I say thank you, HIMYM. Thank you for 8 seasons of joy, laughter, ridiculousness and friendship.  There is one season left, and still many stories to be finished.  I can't wait to see how it all turns out. And to see if maybe...just maybe...Seinfeld's reign at the top of my list will end.  Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!


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