Me, your mom and the Boob Tube

How I Met Your Mother is a funny show, but one with a very limited premise.

how i met your mother 88 (photo credit: )
how i met your mother 88
(photo credit: )
How I Met Your Mother is a show about a guy telling his kids about how he met their mother. You may be asking yourself: is that really a show? Is there enough ammo in that gun to last more than just a few episodes? The answer to these questions is...kind of yes. The show revolves around a guy named Ted (Josh Radnor) and his never-ending quest to find his future wife, a search voiced-over by the great Bob Saget. Also along for the ride are married couple, Marshall (Jason Segel of Freaks and Geeks) and Lilly (Alyson, Hannigan from the American Pie movies), and the sleazy/suave Barney (Neil Patrick Harris, or Doogie Howser M.D. in a very deserving Emmy nominated role). In the group as well is Robyn (Colby Smulders), who was introduced in the first episode as the obvious mother, only for it to be revealed at the end of that episode that she's not her. While she and Ted did date for a bit, they did so with the audience knowing that it wouldn't really lead anywhere or answer any specific burning questions. And here we are, into the third season with no mother in sight. Color me a little bit ticked off. When a show holds just one premise hanging over the audience's collective heads, holding off that elusive answer for numerous seasons becomes tiresome and tedious. That certainly affects this show. It took only three episodes for everyone to start asking, "alright, enough already, who is the mother?" But, what Mother has going for it is, it's a comedy. They can take a few episodes off from the series-long story arcs to simply focus on making the audience laugh. Central to that is NPH's Barney, who, both literally and figuratively, steals every scene he's in. His catchphrases are normally dry, shallow and played-out, but NPH has such a clean, smooth and flat-out hysterical delivery, he keeps the character perpetually cool and funny. Yet, despite all that, what keeps viewers hanging on and interested is curiosity as to whom Ted eventually marries. That question may be answered this season, as Scrubs' Sarah Chalke takes on a guest-starring role as a dermatologist who immediately has great chemistry with Ted. In addition, her secretary is played by the one and only Britney Spears, in what surely is a solid act of stunt casting for a show that has struggled to get through its first three seasons on the air. Good news for fans is that a fourth season is already under production and due out in the US in a few weeks. Bad news is that with a fourth season in the works, it becomes much more unlikely that the big maternal question is to be answered. Because, really, is there anywhere for the show to go after they answer that question? And that is why How I Met Your Mother is nothing but a run of the mill, uneven and ultimately unfulfilling show. Sure, it's consistently funny and NPH is arguably offering one of the best comedic performances on television right now. But the whole package isn't there with the mother question hanging over the show like a dark, stormy cloud. It seems that it's more pressing to find out the mother's identity than to simply to joke and laugh around. For a comedy show, that is never something you want to have. The US version of The Office had a similar problem with the Jim/Pam relationship, but it had other things to offer and maintained its central comedic focus. It seems Mother itself is all-in as to finding out who the mother is. This detracts from everything else the show has to offer: the playfully funny relationship between Marshall and Lilly, everything that is Barney or the ridiculous scenarios the gang gets themselves into. In the end, the show is a good watch. It's funny, it's fast-paced, it's entertaining. But at the same time, it's incredibly frustrating. And with that, you have a really uneven package. How I Met Your Mother airs on YES Stars 1 everyday and Star World on Fridays and Tuesdays.