Friday, April 4, 2014

How I Never Met Your Mother – Thinking About TV Shows That I’ve Never Seen

First appeared on Blogcritics.

how 4

There has been so much buzz recently concerning the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. I have heard people everywhere talking about it, and now there are those poor souls who are angry about the ending. Many of them are signing a petition to change it. Well, as a fan of Lost I can feel their pain, but only vicariously, for I have never seen an episode of HIMYM and have no desire to see it either. 

how 2Over the years I have always heard about these "great" shows that I was supposed to be watching. HIMYM is one of them, and others include The West Wing, St. Elsewhere, Chicago’s Hope, ER, and The Wire. There were also all the sitcoms I have never watched like HIMYM, and the fervent fans of these half-hour comedies also act like I have to see them or my life is missing something important.

The problem for me is that watching a show is an investment in time, of which I don’t seem to always have a good deal. I just finished watching the season finale of The Walking Dead, and I am gearing up for the last season of Mad Men. I have seen every episode of both series and am not about to give up now, but there is that investment there. I have put in the time, and it’s sort of like a relationship – I am not about to let it go, at least without making the effort on my part.

how 3I keep hearing about the show Game of Thrones and how loyal its fans are. Well, obviously they have their investment, as I do mine. Another one everyone’s talking about is Once Upon a Time, and the buzz seems great. It is just that beginning a new series is taking a chance, kind of like a first date, and we know how most of those go. I had tried watching AMC’s Low Winter Sun, and it was just as unbearable as a bad first date. Then I’m kicking myself afterwards thinking, “Like, why did I even bother?”

I am sure there are so many shows out there that have a loyal following. I keep hearing about Mike and Molly and Two and a Half Men, but have never seen one episode of either one. Mostly I gave up on sitcoms after Seinfeld, so I have never seen 2 Broke Girls or any other show that people talk about. I don’t feel deprived or like I am missing something, although perhaps I am. It is just that my TV time is precious.

When I’m with my kids, I am watching their shows, so I can tell you all about Spongebob Squarepants and Octonauts, as well as everything my daughter used to watch like Hannah Montana, That’s So Raven, iCarly, and Shake It Up. One could argue that these shows are “sitcoms,” but I don’t see them as carrying the same weight as Friends or The Cosby Show (yes, that is how long I have been away from sitcoms). 

Still, I am invested in the shows I like and have watched for years like Mad Men and The Walking Dead. I also invested my time in The Sopranos, The Shield, Breaking Bad, and 24, and the thought of Kiefer Sutherland coming back as Jack Bauer has me feeling as giddy as a teenage girl watching a One Direction performance. I seriously can’t wait for that.

Yet, getting back to HIMYM and the series finale, which I had been hearing about for weeks, I am not sure how supposedly loyal fans are going to think that writing a petition to the show’s producers will get a new ending. We Lost fans were foaming at the mouth with the end of that series, but we all calmed down eventually.

Actually, once a series is over and the dust settles, sometimes fans get to see the logic of a series finale. I understand why Breaking BadLost, 24, and even The Sopranos had their own distinctive – and very controversial – endings. So I hope the HIMYM fans get over the way the show ended. Judging from my own experience, I don’t think they have any other choice.

how 1So I never watched HIMYM, and I don’t feel bad about it. Obviously, all those fans who did meet her ended up not being happy about it, so did they all invest nine seasons into a losing proposition? Or will they one day be at peace as you have to be after a relationship ends. We don’t like it; we never do because we all know breaking up is hard to do.

 I am happy with my investment in my limited TV schedule. I will invest in new shows only if I feel I will want to stick around for the long haul. If I miss an opportunity, say as I did with not watching Heroes or Homeland, I don’t kick myself for not getting in on the fun and missing out on something. That is a risk I take, like not calling the girl for the first date because I didn’t think there would be a second one – talk about how I never met your mother!

  Photo credits: vanity fair,,,

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