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Time of the Season: S2 of How I Met Your Mother (’06-’07)

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on June 22, 2007

“That’s two”

Now this is exciting. I’m not sure how the creators of How I Met Your Mother somehow managed to view all my (still only a few) criticisms of Season One and somehow retroactively correct Season Two so that most of them no longer applied at all, but I sure as hell salute them for doing it. S2 of HIMYM not only ensures my viewership for season three (even though I’ll probably have to Torrent everything), but gets it put on my Must-Pimp short list for anyone unfortunate enough to enter into a conversation about the state of contemporary television with me.

The most immediate thing about season two is that they sorta de-wussified Ted, meaning the show is no longer burdened with APS (Annoying Protagonist Syndrome–learn it by heart, ‘coz it’s the last time I’m spelling it out for you fly-by-night IITS readers). Since he’s together with Robin for the whole season, we no longer have to worry about a perpetually lovelorn Ted waxing poetic about the nature of love and being single and other such bullshit, or garnering enough courage to really tell the girl how he feels, for the 115th time. Sure, he and Robin still get into fights a couple times over the course of the season, but it’s relatively low-key and surprisingly unrepetitive stuff, so we can let it pass (and Robin, who previously threatened to be the show’s weak link character, has stepped up her game enough to no longer be a worry).

Even the moralizing and lesson stuff doesn’t really stand in the way too much this time around. Most of the actual narrative arc of the second season is featured around Marshall and Lily (who having called off their wedding at the end of the first season for Lily to find herself in San Fransisco, are temporarily broken up, though obviously it’s only a matter of time before they get back together again), and they tend to be much less heavy-handed with this business than Ted and Robin. More than any TV couple since Kirsten and Sandy Cohen, I actually want the success of their relationship to be uninterrupted from here on out–the new contenders for primetime’s dream couple.

But the real reason this season is so head-and-shoulders above the last is that it’s just a lot funnier, most of which can still be chalked up to the man with the plan himself, Neil Patrick Harris. NPH is largely behind the two funniest episodes of the season–“Slap Bet” and “Showdown,” two episodes so hilarious that they elevate HIMYM to the highest strata of 00s sitcoms, putting it in contention with Scrubs, The Office and Arrested Development for best of the decade. I won’t ruin the delights they contain within for those of you out there still uninitiated, but suffice to say, if you see no other episodes of the show, see these two–you’ll have no choice but to see the rest afterwards anyway.

There is still one doubt that lingers with me, even though it hasn’t been a problem so far–the limited cast. S2 of HIMYM featured virtually no other characters in strong roles this season except the main five (with the possible exception of Barney’s gay brother, played by Wayne Brady, but that was just a one-ep cameo), and now that Lily and Marshall are together for good, and Robin and Ted are broken up for good, there’s really nowhere else for the show to go unless it gets some new blood in it real quick.

But taking a lead from the show, we’ll let future-How I Met Your Mother deal with that problem. Right now, the show is so good that it’s hard to believe it’s still struggling so much in the ratings–how is this not the Friends of the 00s yet, except actually funny? Or does that answer my question right there? Once again, way to go, country.

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2 Responses to “Time of the Season: S2 of How I Met Your Mother (’06-’07)”

  1. Rkye said

    I just discovered this show after avoiding it for a long time cause the best writing seemed to be coming from single camera shows. But it is simply awesome and I am still wondering how it isn’t a hit.

    It still scares me that the lead is Ted, cause it seems that could easily lead to J.D./Scrubs level annoyance. But as long as Jason Segel and Neil Patrick Harris are on this show, I will watch forever. Oh, the glory of Slap Bet.

  2. Colette said

    i thought season two was awesome!

    i didn’t really watch the first season..but its a pretty good show..

    i heard it was havin probelms with rating too..
    i’ve seen comercials abt. the show sayin that ppl think its the best show in prime time but…that wouldn’t explain rating issues?.

    anyway hopefully they have many seasons to go..Ted would have to be my fave…wow i love the episode with the superbowl …ted & his glasses that made him see& hear like nothing!! haha & when he fell down @ the end! PRICELESS!

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