Tag Archives: How I Met Your Mother

What the Modern Sitcom Says about Millennials, Our Fears, and Our Obsession with Love

The Mindy Project, New Girl, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Man Seeking Woman, and How I Met Your Mother.

What do all those shows have in common?

Well, for one, they all feature a millennial as their main protagonist. This protagonist is also single. In fact, most of them even kick off their pilot with a break-up of some sort.

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This introductory break-up signals that love is going to be the end goal of the series. Of course there will be other ambitions and goals to meet along the way- especially for female protagonists (apparently women still have to prove that marriage isn’t our only goal in life)- but each of these comedies revolves around a quirky protagonist’s struggle to find a partner.

The “searching for love” trope has become even more common in contemporary sitcoms than the “quirky but loveable family” trope that was so common when we were kids.

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Even just by comparing hit TV shows, I think it’s safe to say that we Millennials tend to struggle with different issues than our parents did at our age.  After all, what is a sitcom for but to mock our deepest fears and help us laugh at ourselves?

Having binge watched most of The Mindy Project, New Girl, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Man Seeking Woman, and How I Met Your Mother, I’ve noticed a couple of common themes running through these shows.  

1. Women worry that they’ve been too successful, while men worry that they haven’t been successful enough

Mindy (The Mindy Project) is a OB/GYN, Jess (New Girl) is a school principal, Rebecca (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) is a lawyer, and even Liz (sister of main character Josh in Man Seeking Woman) is a lawyer. When all of these women find themselves unexpectedly single, they are introduced to a kind of panic none of the male protagonists are forced to face: will I be too old to have kids by the time I find someone?

In contrast, Nick (New Girl) and Greg (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) are bartenders, Josh (Man Seeking Woman) is a temp, Josh (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) works at a “laid-back” tech store, and even Mindy has dated the occasional DJ.

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This is a bit of a red herring, since Ted did eventually become a pretty successful architect.

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5 Reasons Why Galavant is my New Guilty-Pleasure Comedy

I love watching comedies when I’m in school. It allows me to check out mentally on those days when I feel like I can’t seem to turn off my brain. Although I am looking for thoughtless fluff, I still want to avoid straight-up terrible writing and plots. This makes my comedy search a little more difficult. Luckily, John and I came across Galavant, which provides what I am looking for in at least the following five ways.

1.It’s funny, without being offensive

I hate Seth MacFarlane. Just don’t like the guy at all. Yet his form of humour (i.e. let’s see how far we can push the line without getting in too much trouble) seems to dominate contemporary comedy. There certainly have been times when I have laughed at Family Guy or American Dad, but more often than not they leave me with a sour taste in my mouth.

One of the only gif’s from Family Guy that made me laugh instead of cringe.

I still want something that will surprise me into laughing out loud, but I don’t want to only ever be surprised because the punch line was too offensive for me to be expecting it.

Unlike McFarlane’s shows, Galavant is all about pushing around puns and being- well, for lack of a better word- silly. After being bombarded with jokes that make fun of real life trauma, it’s nice to be able to laugh at something because it’s just silly.

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Shame Day: Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Writers Who Kill Everyone

Before we get started I should probably give the obligatory warning about spoilers. Spoilers below, beware! [Seriously, there are a lot of spoilers -Ed.]

So, I watch Game of Thrones.

I watch it for the awesome female characters, although a little begrudgingly. I mean, do they have to put boobs in my face EVERY SINGLE EPISODE? It’s like the writers are sitting around and realize “Hey guys, we don’t have any of the main characters’ boobs in this episode! What are we going to do?” and then the guy in the back of the room is like “Why don’t we set another scene in a brothel!” and everyone goes “Oh yeah, great idea.” Seriously, I challenge you find me two episodes in a row without boobs. Continue reading

5 Lessons from the HIMYM finale

So, How I Met Your Mother is finally over. And the internet is pissed.

Spoilers below, obviously.

This is what everyone wishes they could do to the writers.

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2 Broke Girls, S3E19 “And the Kilt Trip”: A TV Review

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Right at the end of 2011 Todd VanDerWerff, who I unofficially inherited these reviews from after Pilot Viruet passed the torch, wrote an article on the AV Club discussing how some shows on TV existed as “Nice places to visit”.

While the initial focus was on dramas he turns to sitcoms and describes how he divides them into two categories: “shows that aim for greatness and try to push the boundaries of the form, and shows that just want to create a bunch of characters that are fun to hang out with.” Happy Endings is my personal benchmark for the latter, with Parks and Recreation coming a close second. It’s not to say that neither show exhibits good writing [both do, in their own ways], more that they’re half hours of television in which viewers can relax, content to spend time with characters who are familiar and comfortable to them.

2 Broke Girls appears to want to be one of these shows. Continue reading

A Show By Any Other Name Would Be Just A Spin-off

“There is nothing new in art except talent,” words by Anton Chekhov that I was forced to look up because I’ve already cited Ecclesiastes in a prior post. They’re also words that I feel forced to grasp firmly on to as I’m faced with the deluge of television spin-offs soon to flood your televisions and my laptop with more and more of the same. With that being the worst case scenario, of course.

That being said, I’m going to try my best to take the stance I typically take on these sorts of things, which is that ultimately execution trumps everything else. Chances are that you wouldn’t have thought that a movie about a guy with his arm trapped under a rock would be able to hold your attention, but 127 Hours is great. The premise of a work of art does not damn it, though it certainly colours how audiences choose to approach and experience that work. Continue reading

Shame Day: How I Met Your Mother and FASD

I’ve fallen in love with How I Met Your Mother. I chose my timing wisely, waiting until the very last season began to air before I let myself become sucked in. As a member of the generation of binge or marathon watchers (depending on what kind of spin you want to give to it) I just can’t handle waiting each week for a new episode. This way the control is in my hands.

There is just so many lovable characters on the show. Even the unrealistically lucky womanizer Barney makes me laugh. Sometimes while ticking me off at the same time.

By lucky, I mean that he’s lucky he isn’t dead yet, not that he is lucky because of the number of women he has “banged.” Come on bro, quality over quantity, eh?

But my favourite character in the show is definitely Lily.

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