Why “How I Met Your Mother” is the best sitcom


Photo Credits: denofgeek.com

With all the buzz surrounding “How I Met Your Father’s” release on Hulu, I figured that I needed to pay homage to the legacy that the original show left behind. “How I Met Your Mother” was ridiculously popular back in the early 2000s and continued to make its way into people’s hearts (and their TV screens) until it ended its run in 2014. (It is spoiler time, friends, so if you have not seen “How I Met Your Mother,” I kindly ask that you keep scrolling and come back after you binge-watch it!)

One of the things that I found most incredible about “How I Met Your Mother” is the method in which the story is told. At first glance, the show is just an average sitcom. A man is telling his kids the story of how he met their mother. Simple, right? I mean, the plot shows sitcom potential, but what makes the show a standout comes from the fact that Ted (Josh Radnor) tells the story almost entirely in flashbacks. Until I watched this show, I had never seen this before. I honestly thought it was super interesting to see a show take on a new format, and I enjoyed how it opened the show up to be able to show a diverse range of plotlines, all while staying true to the original light-hearted tone of the show.

I also really enjoyed the level of personality that each of the characters had and the chemistry between cast members. From the first episode, the group acts like they have known each other for years. They banter as if they are truly best friends, making them not only great actors but a good ensemble cast that can create the illusion of a tight-knit friend group. This gives the show the opportunity to develop running gags and returning jokes.

In my mind, however, the most impressive thing about this show is its incredible foreshadowing. Naturally, a show told almost completely in flashbacks has to worry about foreshadowing a lot, but “How I Met Your Mother” took this to a whole new level.

In the season six episode entitled ‘Bad News,’ seemingly random objects display random numbers that count down from fifty. Throughout the episode, Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) worry about their fertility and continue their efforts to conceive their first child. The numbers that count down make it seem like the entire episode leads up to Lily announcing to Marshall that she is pregnant. Every sign points to this, even down to the moments before Lily’s announcement when she pulls up in a cab to meet Marshall and give him her news. Then, in a dramatic change of tone, Lily tearfully shares that Marshall’s dad has passed away right as the countdown hits zero.

This episode was a masterpiece. From an episode-long countdown to a dramatic change in pace at the end, it shows the amount of realism and versatility this show has. While the show is a thirty-minute comedy, it can still give a heartfelt, honest approach to a sensitive topic. It can also incorporate the same jokes and gags into episodes that face more serious issues.

Overall, having a show that was able to completely innovate the format of a classic television comedy (a.k.a. sitcoms) is such an impressive feat and is the main reason why I would consider it the best sitcom of all time. The show was able to break through the boundaries of television while still staying true to the incredible comedic timing that makes the show what it is.