Saturday, 27 August 2011
TV/DVD: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
Okay, so I bought a box set of Seasons 1 & 2 of this show for £15.00 and last night I started watching Season 2. This morning I ordered a bigger box set of Seasons-1-5 for £27.95 which is cheaper by a third than buying 3-5 separately, plus I can sell the S.1-2 box on Amazon Marketplace and probably recoup about £10.00 making it even cheaper.
So I think it's fairly safe for you to assume that I like this show. A lot.
It's a massive hit in the States but only a cult show over here which surprises me as it's the natural successor to Friends, except that it's better. If you want all the details, check out the entry on Wikipedia because I'm not going into them here as this is just a first impression.
It's a warm-hearted adult show -adult in that it's about the concerns of a group of adults in their mid-late 20's- which isn't to say that the humour can't be childish. The macguffin is that the older (unseen and voiced by a different actor,) Ted is telling his teenage children how... well, that's fairly obvious. But it's actually about his life (young Ted being played by Josh Radnor) and the lives of his friends, a settled couple (played by Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel), the woman he wants (Cobie Smulders), and a completely insensitive unscrupulous sex-mad jerk brilliantly played by Neil Patrick Harris. Plus a series of terrific guest stars, several of whom, like Hannigan, have links to Joss Whedon. But rather than being just episodic comedy it has ongoing plot threads and story arcs so to watch indvidual episodes at random (which is how I discovered the show) is to miss much of what's going on and is actually better watched pigging out on it on DVD as I'm currently doing.
I'm not entirely sure I'm convinced by Hannigan's mannered performance except that she steals nearly every scene she's in, she's completely charming (if vaguely irritating at the same time) and sweet and devastatingly effective on the rare occasions when her character Lily loses her temper going from calm to ballistic in a microsecond. Needless to say the rest of the cast are good as well and the group dynamic works well with Neil Patrick Harris (who has won several awards for his role as Barney) in full obnoxious sexist flow an absolute delight even as you want to shove his head down the toilet and flush.
Unusual for an American TV show, the same director has been in used for all but a handful of episodes and the creators/producers (who based the show on their own lives) are still in charge with massive creative input. This allows for a consistency of tone and character. The structure of episodes is also well done with a frequent use of flashback to replay scenes from different perspectives to great effect.
I may even like this more than The Big Bang Theory.
Oh yes, almost forgot: it's the funniest show on TV right now.