How I Met Your Mother: The Underrated Sitcom

How I Met Your Mother was one of CBS’s most successful sitcoms, that aired from 2005-2014. Personally, this is one of my favorite sitcoms that I spent a semester watching on Netflix. This is one of the most underrated sitcoms on television. Before I started watching the show, it had been recommended to me by one of my friends for a “feel good” show you can watch at any time. After I completed the series, I was surprised at how good it really was, and why it hasn’t gained as much attention in comparison to a show like Friends. 

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The similarities between the two shows are evident. How I Met Your Mother group of friends consists of 2 girls and 3 boys, and Friends consists of 3 girls and 3 boys. Both of the sitcoms take place in New York City, and have a hang out that is featured in every episode. For Friends, it is the Central Perk Coffee Shop, and for How I Met Your Mother, it is McGee’s Pub. The two friend groups in both shows go through experiences that bring them closer together. They go through breakups, marriages, divorces, and even have romance between each other.

How I Met Your Mother is different than Friends for one specific reason. It is narrated, and from beginning to end, there is a goal. The goal of the show is centered around Ted Mosby meeting his wife. The show is narrated by Ted, as he tells it to his two children in present time. I think that this is one of the most interesting ways to set up a sitcom, and it often overlooked by other successful sitcoms.

How I Met Your Mother totaled 9 seasons, just under the 10 seasons that Friends reached. How I Met Your Mother is now in syndication on FX and streaming services including Netflix, which contains all 9 seasons. After I watched this show, I was pleasantly surprised by the light-hearted content and consistent entertainment of the series. It’s a show that I recommend to my friends if they are fans of Friends, The Office, Parks and Rec, Modern Family, and many other network television sitcoms.

For more information about the show, here’s an article written by Vanity Fair about reactions to the series finale.

Kat Huber

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6 Responses to How I Met Your Mother: The Underrated Sitcom

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I totally agree. The show doesn’t have the same reverence as Friends. I obviously see the similarities between the two shows, but something that separates them is the humor. In HIMYM, the humor is definitely more for an adult audience, while Friends can reach more teens. Barney, a character driven around sex would never explicitly been shown in a show like Friends, and maybe that’s the different between the popularity between the two shows?? Something you may want to ponder.

    -Maia Scacchi

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I completely agree with all of your points and am equally a fan of How I Met Your Mother. I think the shows are very similar and agree with you that HIMYM does not get as much credit as Friends. The setting, the characters, and the humor are very similar, yet Friends still stands out above HIMYM. I think one of the reasons that Friends is sometimes viewed as more popular is because its older. More people know about it and grew up watching it. HIMYM is still relatively new and I think that in 10 years, it may be just as popular as Friends. Something to think about.

    -Isabelle Jeffrey

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I’ve never seen this show, but I’ve always been interested to hear what it’s about! Your article makes it seem like it’s definitely worth checking out. Your point about the narration is interesting too – the only other show I can think of right now that has a running narration is Arrested Development. I’m also a huge fan of Friends, so I’d love to compare the two and see how 20-something friend group dynamics have changed over the years. My guess is they’re very similar!
    Alyssa McAuliffe

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I have seen both Friends and HIMYM and I think there are TONS of similarities between the two. I also agree about how the biggest difference is the narration of Ted- which makes HIMYM have a central character whereas Friends did not. I actually prefer Friends for this reason, because Ted started to annoy me too much, especially during the last two seasons. But even with that, the third and fourth season of HIMYM are some of the best seasons of any sitcom, and the supporting characters make the show great! The dynamic of the friend groups in both shows are also very very similar.

    Delaney Broderick

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I’m a huge fan of the show too and I couldn’t agree more. Also, people describe lots of sitcoms as ‘The New Friends’ as the 90’s sitcom actually is a almost like a reference point to all sitcoms aspiring to center around a group of friends. HIMYM, New Girl, Friends From College, Cheers and many more sitcoms center around a group and a meeting place.

    Jack Kountouris

  6. marymdalton says:

    Good work!

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