With all due respect to Chuck Lorre, “How I Met Your Mother” is the funniest and best-written sitcom on network TV.
Lorre is the creator and lead writer of Neilsen TV Ratings heavyweights “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory,” and the latter is on my short list of network TV’s best comedies.
But, despite being regularly rated below Lorre’s two most popular shows – as well as his 2010 new addition, “Mike & Molly” – “How I Met Your Mother” is absolutely worth checking out.
The show’s storylines are fun and fresh, usually with just enough moral to add some depth.
“How I Met Your Mother” follows five friends living in New York City, and the ongoing storyline – and the show’s title – centers on Ted’s search for love. We know he eventually finds it, because the show regularly opens with the future Ted – with voice overs done by Bob Saget – addressing his two children.
The story is interesting, the writing is clever, the jokes are well-written and witty, and yet, despite all that, the biggest reason you should watch “How I Met Your Mother” is something else:
Neil Patrick Harris.
NPH’s Barney Stinson Steals the Show
The former “Doogie Howser, M.D.” star has reinvented himself, and his portrayal of perpetual player Barney Stinson is nothing short of comedic genius.
Harris has impeccable timing and delivery, two factors that have helped make the well-written character of Barney network TV’s best sitcom character.
Josh Radnor’s Ted might be the main character of “How I Met Your Mother,” but Harris regularly steals the show, his sexual exploits providing constant fodder for one-liners, which he delivers with panache.
Marshall Eriksen, played by Jason Segel, and Lily Aldrin, played by Alyson Hannigan, are the married couple in the group, providing a monogamy that balances out Barney’s very single nature.
Cobie Smulders plays Robin Scherbatsky, the fifth member of the group and Ted’s former girlfriend.
Writing Has Improved Significantly on ‘How I Met Your Mother’
“How I Met Your Mother” was created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, two friends who based the show’s characters on themselves and their time spent living in New York City.
The show is nominated every year for Emmy Awards, including regular nominations for Harris in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category. It has won Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series several times, but if there was such a thing, “How I Met Your Mother” would be a shoe-in for a Most Improved Writing in a Comedy Series category.
Since its debut in 2005, “How I Met Your Mother” has consistently gotten better, with Bays and Thomas serving as head writers throughout the show’s run and bringing in guest writers to help pen several episodes at a time. Over the years, the jokes have gotten funnier, the cutaway scenes more clever and the characters more interesting.
“How I Met Your Mother” is on CBS on Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 7 p.m. Central.
How I Met Your Mother, CBS.com
How I Met Your Mother, IMDb.com
Neil Patrick Harris, IMDb.com
How I Met Your Mother, Wikipedia