Everybody was chiming in on the series finale of “How I Met Your Mother” the other day, and that made me want to get in my two cents. So I’m re-posting this bit I wrote in 2010, in which I explain why I think HIMYM is one of the worst television shows I’ve ever seen:
This is where I’m going to get in trouble, because several of my friends like this show, and I hate to have such a feeling of complete disconnect with them. But man, we are on different planets here. This show is so bad that it makes me angry.
It’s frustrating, because I see what they’re trying to do. The show is obviously the product of people who grew up watching “The Simpsons” and “Friends,” both of which were good, funny shows. (For anyone who’s interested, I’m prepared to make an argument that, over its first nine seasons, The Simpsons was the greatest show that has ever been on television. Anyone interested? Anyone? Moving on…) They have a core group of likable, quirky white folks who have no real problems other than coping with their own quirks, and they mix in a healthy dose of surreal, cartoony goofyness and Simpsonesque flashback sequences. Only, when they mix these two TV purebreds, they birth a freakish lump of inbred, self-conscious unfunnyness.
The performances are so consistantly wooden and awkward, I have to think that a director is telling them to act that way for some reason. But, baby, it ain’t working. The punch lines are delivered with all the smooth subtlety of a tennis racket across the back of your head. Then on those rare occasions when they try to make the characters three-dimensional by shoehorning in a tender moment, I feel like I’m watching auditions for the 10th grade production of “Our Town”
And on top of all this, I know Neil Patrick Harris is funny (did you see him in Undercover Brother? Genius), but he is wasted–WASTED, I say!–on this show.
If you’re a fan of the show, don’t be too mad at me; we can’t all like the same things. And remember: I’m the guy who, when Ebay went public, said, “What a stupid idea! Why would people want to buy other people’s crap online!?” But I am thankful I don’t have to hear any more about this particular TV gem. Except forever and ever in syndication.