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How I Met Your Mother

TITLE: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER - CBS 2005


Info:

Premiere Date: Monday, September 19, 2005 (20th Century Fox Television)
Network: CBS
Time: Mondays at 8:30 p.m. E/P
Cast: (in Alphabetical Order)
Lyndsy Fonseca, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Josh Radnor, Bob Saget (VOICE ONLY), Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, David Henrie


Synopsis (Introduction, Cast Details):

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (Monday, 8:30 PM) is a comedy about Ted (Josh Radnor) and how he fell in love. It all started when Ted's best friend, Marshall (Jason Segel, "Freaks and Geeks"), drops the bombshell that he's going to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Lily (Alyson Hannigan, "American Pie"), a kindergarten teacher. At that moment, Ted realizes that he had better get a move on if he hopes to find true love, too. Helping him in his quest is Barney (Neil Patrick Harris, "Doogie Howser, M.D."), a friend with endless, sometimes outrageous, opinions, a penchant for suits and a fool-proof way to meet women. When Ted meets Robin (Cobie Smulders, "Veritas: The Quest"), he's sure it's love at first sight, but destiny may have something else in store. With voice-over by Bob Saget ("Full House"), the show is told through flashbacks from the future.

The “flashbacks” concept is one of the more original methods of storytelling to be used in a sitcom in awhile. The series has received a lot of positive buzz, and looks to be one of CBS’ “blue chip” prospects going into the new season.


Pilot Plot:

It’s 2035. Ted, voiced in 2035 by Bob Saget, is talking to his kids and starts to begin to tell the story of how he met their mother. Flash back to 2005, when Ted's best friend Marshall proposes to his girlfriend, Lily. This kick starts Ted into “must…find…woman” mode, and off he goes attempting to find true love ­ or the closest thing to in a sitcom. Ted soon meets Robin in a neighborhood bar, and immediately scores a first date ­ and a drink in the face (it’ll make all the sense in the world when you watch the episode yourselves). It’s at the bar that we also meet Ted’s friend Barney ­ a guy who thought he seems to be a fountain of advice on women, is amazingly single.

The next night, he gets back from the date a bit early, leading to a flashback-within-a-flashback of the date. At the first date, dinner at a restaurant…well, olives, dogs, and a portion of smurf anatomy come up in the conversation. Surprisingly, the conversation only made Robin more attracted. They get back to her place…and a news van shows up. You see, Robin’s a reporter ­ and there’s a guy about to jump off a bridge, so the night ends, right after what the first instance of the missed signal (and allow me to interject by saying that I hate “signals”). Later, back at the bar, the gang is watching the news ­ where Robin is reporting from the bridge…where the man did not jump. For some reason, Ted decides to go and get that kiss he chickened out on earlier. This leads to the main climax of the show, which I’ll leave you to watch for yourselves. And when the show goes back to the future (sans DeLorean) for the final time in the episode, be SURE to pay attention to what Old Ted (Bob Saget) says ­ it’s guaranteed to be a surprise.


Analysis:

I never realized Neil Patrick Harris was so damned funny. His character, Barney, is quite possibly the funniest new sitcom character to debut on television in ages. The flashback style of the show works amazingly well ­ Bob Saget the Narrator seems to be about halfway between his Danny Tanner self and his comic persona (for those of you don’t know, there was a time before Full House, and now after Full House, where Bob Saget was considered one of the raunchiest and most vulgar comedians around), which works amazingly well. The couple of “flashback within a flashback” occurrence works, as you easily forget the show is set as a flashback itself. The Barney, Ally, and Mitchell characters provide excellent comic relief in the pilot, while the main plot focuses on the SLIGHLY (not much) more serious relationship between Ted and Robin. Bob Saget makes a good narrator, talking at the right times, while letting the flashbacks drive the show. The two kids basically just serve as communicating props during the scenes set in the 2030s ­ hopefully there will be at least a minor use for them in future episodes.


Conclusion:

I’ve seen four comedy pilots from the 2005-06 season so far, and all have been great ­ but this may be the crčme de la crčme. This is one of the funniest sitcoms I’ve seen in a LONG, LONG time. Neil Patrick Harris’ character blew me away. The rest of the characters were great too. Mondays, 8:30 PM, CBS, be there ­ I can almost guarantee you’ll like this show…when I first read the premise, I thought it would be mediocre at best, but this truly is one of the best and funniest new sitcoms I’ve seen in ages.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 5/5
Funniness: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Seth Thrasher Seal of Approval

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 09/16/2005.

Related Links:

CBS.com Official Site
TV.com
epguides.com
Internet Movie Database
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