Image via Entertainment Weekly
In the summer of 2005 I began seeing promos for a new comedy coming to CBS with the tagline ‘A Love Story in Reverse.’ Instantly I recognized a few of the actors and actresses: “Hey she’s from Buffy! Hey he’s from Freaks and Geeks! Hey it’s Doogie!” On September 19, 2005 I (and the rest of America) was introduced to ‘How I Met Your Mother‘.
The show had me at “Have you met Ted?” Actually, it had me the moment I heard Bob Saget’s narration. See, one of my favorite shows ever is ‘The Wonder Years‘. And HIMYM is essentially a modern take on that. Both shows have an unreliable narrator, an exceptional soundtrack, and a girl that was never meant to be “the one”. But unlike ‘The Wonder Years‘, we are told at the end of episode 1 that the woman our narrator is aching for is not his destiny.
Still, that first episode quickly cemented my infatuation with this show. I adored all of the characters and was fascinated with its unique storytelling. In fact, only one other series has ever knocked me out right out of the gate like HIMYM did (see: ‘Arrested Development‘). Nearly every episode from that first season of HIMYM was one I either could relate to or was inspired by. Whether it be drinking far too much and proceeding to make ill-advised phone calls resulting in strange encounters the next morning (‘The Pineapple Incident’), always striving to get great stories out of an evening with a friend (‘Sweet Taste of Liberty’), or throwing a last minute party in hopes that a certain someone stops by (‘Purple Giraffe’)…(don’t tell my parents), I could see myself in Ted Mosby.
Image via HIMYM Info
One particular moment that stands out for me is from the episode ‘Okay Awesome’. In this episode Future Ted declares, “Clubs weren’t awesome. Clubs weren’t even okay. Clubs sucked.” Later on in the episode Ted admits to Marshall, “The problem is you can’t do any of that couples stuff unless you have someone to do it with. And the only way I’m gonna find that someone is by going out and doing stupid singles stuff with Barney!” I shared those exact sentiments all those years ago. Because while going out and participating in stupid singles stuff on the weekend was indeed good times, it wasn’t what I wanted to do every weekend. Ted’s words have always stuck with me because at the time the show seemed to be the only thing that understood how I felt.
Actually, there are a lot of moments from that first season that still stick with me. Aside from what I’ve already mentioned, another scene that’s preserved in my own personal television registry is the ending of the episode ‘Drumroll, Please’. It’s an episode that showcases everything I enjoy about romantic comedies. I can recall jumping up and shouting “Yes!” as Ted walked into Victoria’s bakery. That perfect moment of bliss provided me with this sense of optimism that I’d one day live out that scene in reality. There’s also that moment in the ‘Slutty Pumpkin’ when Ted and Robin are sitting on the rooftop when Nada Surf’s ‘Inside of Love‘ begins playing; perfectly capturing their individual dilemmas. Speaking of great music, ‘Barney’s Get Psyched Mix’ from ‘The Limo’ is a true highlight. Another Barney highlight that stands out is from ‘Game Night’ where we learn how the man went from giving “high-twos” to “high-fives” and are treated to an epic “Suit Up!” sequence. Then there are the equally as epic episodes ‘Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.’ and the season one finale ‘Come On’. Seriously, how good is this season? Come on!
Image via How I Met Your Mother Wiki
However, watching HIMYM then was a bit of solitary experience. I just didn’t know more than one other person who watched it. Back then it was still very much considered a “bubble show”, on the verge of cancellation at any moment. So after the first season ended I made it a point to pick up the DVD and tell everyone I knew about the show. I remember one particular night I had thrown a get together at my place. It was around midnight and I had decided to go to bed. Still, I told those who were still around that they could hang out for as long as they wanted. They asked me what DVDs I had and I recommended they check out HIMYM. They agreed and I went to bed. Several hours later, despite it already being morning, they were still watching! To this day every time I hear about someone who hasn’t watched HIMYM I offer my Season 1 DVD.
Fortunately the show eventually overcame its “bubble” status conundrum and became a bona fide hit. In these past 9 years we’ve hypothesized ‘The Olive Theory’, held ‘Interventions‘, followed ‘The Platinum Rule‘, diagramed ‘The Hot/Crazy Scale‘, kicked out a naked man 1 out of 3 times, shouted “Woo!”, abided by ‘The Lemon Law‘, saluted “General Consensus“, walked 500 miles, donned a ducky tie, gone on a ‘Two-Minute Date‘, built sandcastles, dressed up as a hanging chad, examined ‘The Bro Code‘, and pulled off the greatest play of them all – ‘The Robin‘.
At the time of this writing there are only 2 episodes left. Still, throughout this final season we’ve been given glimpses of Ted’s future with his wife and those scenes have been nothing short of awesome. Actually, this final chapter of HIMYM reminds me of the first chapter of the movie ‘Up‘. We meet this wonderful woman yet unexpectedly we find our moments with her fleeting. Nonetheless, no matter how this show ends, I am content. Victoria, Stella, Blah Blah, Cindy, Zoey, Robin, etc. – all of these failures were merely Ted’s training grounds for true love. And though it’s finally coming to a close, this journey we’ve been on to meet the woman with the yellow umbrella whom Ted achieves his happy ending with has undoubtedly been Legen-wait for it…
Jonathan’s Top 5 Episodes of HIMYM by Season
1. The Pineapple Incident
2. Drumroll, Please
3. Game Night
4. The Slutty Pumpkin
5. Okay Awesome
Honorable Mention: Pilot, Purple Giraffe, Sweet Taste of Liberty, Return of the Shirt, The Limo, Life Among the Gorillas, Nothing Good Happens After 2.A.M., Mary the Paralegal, Best Prom Ever, Milk, Come On (I think I’ve made my feelings about this season pretty clear)
1. Slap Bet
3. Single Stamina
4. Arrivederci, Fiero
5. Something Borrowed
Honorable Mention: Ted Mosby: Architect
1. No Tomorrow
2. How I Met Everyone Else
3. Sandcastles in the Sand
4. Ten Sessions
Honorable Mention: Wait For It, The Platinum Rule, Third Wheel, Everything Must Go, Spoiler Alert, Miracles (okay this too was just a really good season)
1. The Front Porch
2. The Naked Man
3. Three Days of Snow
Honorable Mention: Right Place Right Time
1. Girls Versus Suits
2. The Playbook
3. Say Cheese
4. Robin 101
Honorable Mention: The Rough Patch
1. Last Words
4. The Mermaid Theory
Honorable Mention: Natural History
1. Symphony of Illumination
2. The Burning Beekeeper
3. Ducky Tie
5. Tick Tick Tick
Honorable Mention: Trilogy Time
1. The Final Page (Part 1 and 2)
2. The Bro Mitzvah
3. P.S. I Love You
4. Band or DJ?
5. The Time Travelers
Honorable Mention: Something New
Season 9 (does not include final 2 episodes)
1. How Your Mother Met Me
3. The Lighthouse
5. Bass Player Wanted
Honorable Mention: Gary Blauman
Florendo Fact: I named my first dog Teddy Mosby
Hi— I’m Ted Mosby. In exactly 45 days from now you and I are going to meet and we’re going to fall in love and we’re going to get married and we’re going to have 2 kids and we’re going to love them and each other so much. All that is 45 days away, but I’m here now I guess because… I want those extra 45 days with you. I want each one of them. Look and if I can’t have them I’ll take the 45 seconds before your boyfriend shows up and punches me in the face, because… I love you. I’m always gonna love you, til the end of my days and beyond. You’ll see.