AS SEEN ON: My new addiction: 'How I Met Your Mother'

by Leslie Adkins | 5/12/09 11:45pm

by The Dartmouth and The Dartmouth and Courtesy of / The Dartmouth

I have to preface this review by saying that I have been biased against CBS for quite a while. I've always viewed CBS as the "60 Minutes," gray-haired and wheelchair-bound network. I know that a surge of programming including "Survivor," "NCIS" and "Two and a Half Men" has infused the network with a more youthful vibe, but until Winter term I wasn't buying it.

I now see what a fool I was.

After casually glancing at CBS' Monday night primetime lineup, I settled in at 8:30 p.m. to watch an episode of "How I Met Your Mother," now in its fourth season. The show is a twist on the traditional foray into 20-something, post-university life: the series presupposes that in the year 2030, a father (voiced by Bob Saget) explains to his children, quite literally, how he met their mother. Arranging an entire series as a continuous flashback? I'll give credit where credit is due -- creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays worked outside of the box.

Beyond the story, what was honestly phenomenal to observe was the electric chemistry of the hysterical cast. The future father is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Ted is a sweet everyman just trying to find the love of his life. Along for the journey are his two best friends, womanizer Barney (Neil Patrick Harris, who was nominated for an Emmy nominee in the role), sensitive Marshall (Jason Segel), Marshall's wife Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Ted's roommate Robin (Colbie Smulders).

Whether they are all sitting in their favorite bar, MacLaren's, shooting the breeze over beers, or reliving the high jinks that ensue at the banking corporation where Barney and Marshall work, it is clear that the characters find each other as hilarious as we do. On a recent episode, Barney attributed "the required three-day waiting period" required before you call someone you just met to, of all people, Jesus. Just let that sink in for a minute.

Not one character made it through that scene without cracking up. I can't relay the scene faithfully in words, so I'd suggest looking for the episode online. It's just one example of the consistent level of hilarity on the show.

It could be argued that the show is a rip-off of "Friends," but I think that would minimize the significance of the comedic talent found on "Mother." "Friends" was a phenomenon because of how well viewers could relate to the series' six characters. The characters of "Mother" are relatable as well, but the show hinges more on showcasing their abilities and personalities, rather than making you feel for them. "How I Met Your Mother" offers witty writing and engaging characters, and is an inventive addition to CBS' not-so-youthful primetime lineup.