The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



How I Met Your Mother a Compelling Comedy

Mark Witte | Wednesday, February 20, 2008

“Have you heard of the Lemon Law?” If not then “Suit up!” because you’re missing “How I Met Your Mother.”

“How I Met Your Mother” has been running for three years, but until last month I knew nothing about it. Described by a friend as “Seinfeld” with younger people who frequent a bar instead of a diner, it piqued my interest, but not enough to start watching the CBS show. However, my friend finally convinced me to sacrifice 20 minutes, and I gave the pilot episode a shot. I have to admit, the first time I heard Neil Patrick Harris’ character, Barney, tell his friend Ted to meet him at the bar and “Suit up!” I was hooked.

I am currently halfway through the first season and my friend has decided to set an ambitious goal for me to watch all 55 episodes in the first two and a half seasons to get me caught up before the show resumes its third season on March 17.

I hope for the sake of my grades that I won’t make it.

The hook of the show is simple, Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor in the present and voiced-over by Bob Saget in the future, tells a story to his children of how he met their mother. Of course, none of the episodes actually involve Ted meeting his future wife, or at least, not so far.

The show focuses on the lives Ted and his four friends, Marshall, Lily, Barney and Robin, living in New York City back in 2005. Ted and Marshall (Jason Segel) live together and although she has her own place, Marshall’s fiancé, Lily (Alyson Hannigan), lives with them too. Marshall and Lily make a humorous couple if for no other reason than their extreme height difference, which turns into hilarity when Lily meets Marshall’s family.

Together the three frequently go out to bars, where in the pilot episode Ted meets Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders), a news reporter who Ted becomes convinced is his future wife. As we find out at the end of the episode, she isn’t. In fact, as future-Ted tells his children, she’s actually their aunt.

But I almost forgot about Barney. Always in a suit and tie, Neil Patrick Harris’ character bumps into Ted one day in the bathroom and decides that they are going to be best friends. This doesn’t bode well for Ted.

Barney’s favorite game to play at the bars is “Have you met Ted?” In this game, he taps the shoulder of the nearest girl, says the tagline, “Have you met Ted?” before scampering off, leaving Ted in an awkward lurch with the girl.

Later in the first season Barney comes up with a new, revolutionary idea, that he calls the “Lemon Law.” Having nothing to do with lemons, the law simply states that in the first five minutes of a first date, if you decide you’re not into your partner, you can evoke the “Lemon Law” and ditch them. The law appalls the others, but Barney claims it will catch on, saying “It’s gonna be a thing!” And it does catch on. Before the end of the episode one of Barney’s dates use the law on him.

My favorite aspect to the show is that every time Barney and Ted decide to go out, Barney instructs his friend to “Suit up!” Of course, Ted never does and this drives Barney mad.

“How I Met Your Mother” has grown on me in the little time I’ve been watching, and it’s even beginning to influence my ways. During Junior Parents Weekend, my friends and I decided to hit up the bars after dinner on Saturday and, oh yes, we suited up.