Dennis suggests ‘How I Met Your Mother’ (in Comedy). Videoport’s Regan made me watch this. Sure, I was reluctant (there was a distinct cheeseball feel about it), but, if I have learned anything from working at Videoport, it’s that you never, ever, cross Regan. So Elsa and I watched it and, whaddayaknow, Regan was right again (although I’m still holding out against her enduring championing of Shag: The Movie). Sure, the whole wraparound premise (in the future, an unseen narrator [Bob Saget?] tells stories supposedly illuminating the titular event to his bored-looking kids) is the sort of thing that you sense the creators wish they could be free of at about the third episode, and the two intended leads are not what they could be (he’s a wannabe-but-ain’t Zach Braff, and she’s just kinda purty), but we found ourselves really getting into the show, even getting on
Regan’s case for having the one disc we needed at her house. And then we backed off immediately because, well, you never, ever, EVER cross Regan. I can not stress this enough. Anyhoo, so what makes this admittedly formulaic sitcom with a lame central premise and some fairly colorless leads worth your time and hard-earned moolah? It’s the three ‘supporting’ players that make me think I’m gonna have to purchase this series and watch it again and again. As Marshall and Lily, the college sweethearts who’ve been together for ten years, Jason Segal (‘Freaks and Geeks’, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You Man) and the unbearably-adorable Allyson Hannigan (Willow from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’) make the funniest, cutest, and yet most-believable couple on TV; as they refine their characters, you really get to love ‘em, and when they choose to bust out with some heartfelt drama, they can rip your heart out. And then there’s Barney, the relationship sitcom’s requisite horndog, transformed from stereotype to elite TV character by the work of everybody’s favorite child actor who didn’t turn out to be a sad, pathetic shell, Neil Patrick Harris. Here, as in Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog and the Harold and Kumar movies, Harris continues to dazzle with his comic (and musical) chops. For all its aforementioned flaws, this one is, ultimately, pretty damned lovable.