Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! As a heads up, this review will contain spoilers for seasons 1 – 9 of How I Met Your Mother.
There are great and iconic television shows. Friends, Breaking Bad, The Simpsons, the list is endless. And amongst this endless list of shows is my personal favourite. The gem that is How I Met Your Mother. Some love it, others dislike it (mainly because of the ending), but for me, it’s one of the best shows. It’s got good humour, a neat and simple storyline and is something that you could binge watch for hours on end. Here is my review on How I Met Your Mother.
From producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, and directed by Pamela Fryman is the story of How I Met Your Mother. It’s 2030 and an old Ted Mosby (voiced by Bob Saget) has sat his two kids down to them the story of how he met their mother. The whole story is told through flashbacks and starts off in 2005 where we meet a young Ted Mosby living his life, meeting people and going to events which will allow him to meet his wife. Nine years later the story is more or less tied up, with Ted showing how a nine-year story was necessary to explain the story of how he met his wife.
How I Met Your Mother is one of those rare occasions where the casting was so perfect. You could replace every character with any actor but the ones chosen for the roles were the best and could not be beaten. The protagonist of lovable Ted Mosby was played by Josh Radnor, who is honestly one of my favourite actors. Radnor is most famously known for playing Ted Mosby and rightfully so. He plays Ted as a lovable guy that you feel sympathetic for. He’s sweet, romantic and really nice guy. Though he is wrong in some situations, Ted is a good guy and you find yourself rooting for him and loving him. Ted Mosby is one of my favourite TV show characters, and it’s because of how perfectly Josh Radnor plays him. Ted’s best friend is Marshall Eriksen, played by Jason Segel. Segel is one of the more famous faces from How I Met Your Mother and plays Marshall, Ted’s kind-hearted best friend. Marshall is a fun character who people can relate to and sympathise, and Segel brings humour blended with a tone of responsibility and sensibility in a way that makes Marshall a good character. At the beginning of the series, Marshall proposes to Lily Aldrin, his girlfriend since college. Alyson Hannigan plays Lily Aldrin and does a good job of it. Though she’s my least favourite character, Lily is a fun and great character who Hannigan portrays well. Lily can be a bit of a bad character, in that she can be quite self-centred and think of what’s best for herself and while this may be a character flaw, I actually respect that. In one of the best episodes, season 3’s ‘Spoiler Alert’, we see each of the members of the group have a flaw within their character. Ted is always correcting someone, Robin doesn’t know what literally means or how to use it and so on. Similarly, Lily is self-centred. As a character flaw, that’s ok. Because at the end of Spoiler Alert we see the group look over all the flaws in each other and celebrate and enjoy their friendship. Though Lily will never change out of her stubborn and selfish ways (which is both good and bad), it’s nice to see that there’s some bad in people that can be overlooked to see the beauty in them. Ted’s best bro while living in the Big Apple is Barney Stinson, played by Neil Patrick Harris. And similarly to Josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris is one of my favourite actors. Just by watching him as Barney Stinson you realise that Patrick Harris is so incredibly talented and capable of great things. Barney Stinson is one of the best TV show characters. Ever. Just watch even 5 minutes of an episode and I can guarantee you that Barney will have you cackling with laughter. Neil Patrick Harris makes Barney a fun and awesome (dare I say legendary) character with some issues. Barney is a great character, but as the series goes on, you realise he has issues. I think it’s an interesting character arc for Barney, and Patrick Harris tackles it and acts it out well. Barney’s ending at the end of the series was both sad yet also deserving. I’ll talk about it later in the spoiler part of this review, but it suited Barney well and was actually quite sweet. It was good. Watch the whole of How I Met Your Mother and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Last but not least is Cobie Smulders who plays Robin Scherbatsky, Ted’s first love interest in the series who becomes a member of the group. Smulders is hilarious and great in her role and makes a name for herself in Hollywood by playing Robin. The cast’s chemistry is really neatly done, both between the five characters and individual relationships. The show even addresses this in episodes like Spoiler Alert and The Mermaid Theory, which is such a good idea. This is just like real life. In any group, individual friendships may not be as strong, as seen with Marshall and Robin or Barney and Lily, but as one unit, the group all gets on well and have a good time.
Of all the good things in How I Met Your Mother, the music definitely one of the best parts. It doesn’t have many pop songs in it but chooses the perfect song for every moment as it always suits the scene and emotional tone so perfectly. Whether it be Heaven by The Walkmen for the final episodes ending or Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine for season 7’s ‘No Pressure’ (which has an unforgettable ending). The cast even sings their own songs, such as Barney’s ‘Nothing Suits Me Like A Suit’ or any of the hilarious Robin Sparkles songs. Incorporating music into the show is a fun idea that makes it more enjoyable and How I Met Your Mother’s music is fantastic.
I love the storyline of this show. It’s so basic and simple but made into a TV show and it’s marvellous. In the alternative ending to the show, Ted narrates how easy it was for him to meet the mother. In all honesty, the series was very drawn out and could have been ended sooner in some way, especially as season 9 was not the best season of the show.
Now I’m going to talk about some spoilers from How I Met Your Mother. Don’t read ahead if you haven’t seen all 9 seasons of the show. To see my final verdict, scroll down to the next bold statement.
Admittedly, How I Met Your Mother is my favourite TV show of all time. No doubt about it. The ending is riddled with spoilers so you have been warned. In the last few episodes of the series, Last Forever Parts 1 and 2, where Bays and Craig have to tie up all loose ends to achieve the ending they wanted where Ted somehow ends up with Robin. So Barney and Robin divorce in a 3-minute scene that’s incredibly overlooked and should have had more time devoted to it. Then we have an emotional final moment where Ted meets Tracy (the Mother) and it’s really cute and what we’ve been waiting almost 10 years for. And it’s honestly so well done, especially with Rod Stewart in the back in a song that was perfect for the scene. Then Ted begins narrating. How it was a long and difficult road, but he was glad as there was a clear message for Ted. He must love this woman as much as he can for as long as he can and never stop loving her. Ted carries this lesson through with him, in every argument they had and on every special occasion. And he carried this lesson with him when Tracy got sick. He thanks God and the universe that he went up to that girl at Farhampton train station and had the guts to speak to her. We learn that Tracy has passed away, and has been dead throughout the series and died in 2024 (remember that the show is set in 2030). Ted finishes the story to his kids, ending with the iconic line of ‘and that, kids, is how I met your mother’. But it then continues. Penny and Luke (Ted’s kids) are convinced that their dad is still in love with their Aunt Robin. Ted is urged to phone her but has better ideas. He visits her at her apartment, holding up a blue french horn and the pair smile at each other and the show ends. For me, this ending isn’t as bad as it has been made out to be. The intention all along was to have Robin and Ted end up together someway or another. And this is bad because we waited 10 years for Ted to finally meet the perfect woman for him, what with the yellow umbrella and him teaching the wrong class and all those little details of us leading him to the perfect woman, his wife, the mother. Ted meets her and we see their relationship on screen throughout season 9. But in a few minutes all that gets washed away. However, the ending wasn’t that bad. Throughout the series, it’s evident that nothing gets in the way of life. Tracy may have made Ted happy, but life is full of unexpected events and shocking moments. Because of this, the ending brought a sense of reality into the show and still showed that Ted and Robin lived up to their pact of if they were both single when 40. In the alternative ending of the show, Tracy remains alive and Ted has the best narrative of the show, as it sums up 9 seasons of TV goodness in a neat and simple explanation:
‘All I had to do was get out of the apartment for a couple hours so Uncle Marshall could propose to Aunt Lily. Go to the bar. Meet your Aunt Robin. Convince your Aunt Robin to fall in love with me. Break up with your Aunt Robin. Go on the rebound. Go get a rebound tattoo. Go get the rebound tattoo removed. Meet Stella. Convince Stella to fall in love with me. Get engaged. Get left at the altar. Get fired. Get beat up by a goat. Get a job as a professor. Teach the wrong class. Date the wrong girl. Date the wrong girl again. Date the wrong girl a few times actually. Let Uncle Barney fall in love with Aunt Robin. Let Aunt Robin fall in love with Uncle Barney. Book the wedding band. Go to their wedding. Make sure their wedding actually happened. Leave a little early. Be at the right place at the right time. And somehow summon the guts to do the stupidest, most impossible thing in the world. Walk up to that beautiful girl standing under the yellow umbrella and start talking.‘
It’s important to talk about Barney’s character arc, expertly played by Neil Patrick Harris. In the beginning seasons of the series, Barney is seen as a playboy womaniser who has some issues. As the show goes on, we see Barney actually want to and be part of a committed relationship, his worst nightmare. At the end of the series, he reaches the point where he gets married, something he was critical of Marshall for at the beginning of the series. But then Barney and Robin get divorced and we see Barney return to his original ways. Barney then completes a Perfect Month but gets a girl pregnant. She leaves him with the baby, and that’s when Barney changes. All his life, Barney has been a womaniser, not caring for his treatment of women. But upon receiving the responsibility of a father, Barney changes his ways, telling his daughter Ellie that she is the love of his life and everything that he has and everything he has is hers. Forever.
We are out of the spoiler zone and it is safe to continue reading!
The comedy in this show is something else. Some of it comes from people just making puns and jokes, some comes from visual comedy and the rest is from just a smart quippy response. It makes the show more enjoyable and each episode is 20 minutes long, making it more bingeable.
There are some issues with the show though. For one, the ending. If you know, you know. Secondly, it was too drawn out. For a 9 season show, it could have been done in less time. You can miss a few episodes out and still understand the story, which is great, but you also miss out on some great comedy and some good moments in the show.
Overall, How I Met Your Mother gets a 9.2/10 from me. I’m hopelessly, irretrievably in love with this show. Though it rarely can bore you, it’s such great fun to watch and binge and laugh at and just enjoy it. I’m currently re-rewatching the series and am loving the show even more. I even got a ducky tie for my 18th, so lucky me and thanks to Josh and Khushal for that.
Thanks for reading this week’s review. Sorry, it’s out late but it was my 18th birthday and a hectic week. Follow me on Instagram (@ryans.movie.reviews) for the latest in movie news, behind the scenes pictures and more. Follow this blog to be the first to read my reviews too!
Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. Join me next week when I review a thriller in a prison that blew my mind. See you then!