This funny sitcom stepped in to fill the void left behind by the 1990s hit show Friends, whose run lasted until 2004. How I Met Your Mother was a hit with many viewers because it took the “group of twenty-something friends” formula to a high-concept level and the cast was filled with veteran actors.
A Reliable, Funny Cast
This show’s performers had bona fide acting chops. Each cast member brought experience to the show.
Ted Mosby, the show’s lead character, was played by Josh Radnor, who garnered several stage, television and big-screen credits prior to landing his How I Met Your Mother role. Josh’s Ted was lovable.
Jason Segal played Ted’s best friend, Marshall Eriksen. Segal’s acting career began in the late-1990s. He was a cast regular on two short-lived sitcoms prior to How I Met Your Mother. His character aspired to a law career that made a positive difference. That dream became sidetracked, muddled and circuitous over the course of the show’s story arc. Marshall’s true love was the next member of the close-knit fivesome.
Lily Aldrin, played by Alyson Hannigan, was Marshall’s “main squeeze.” Hannigan brought an established following to the show’s fan base. She clocked well over 100 episodes as Willow Rosenberg on television’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and nobody who saw her portrayal of Michelle Flaherty in American Pie will ever forget what she did “this one time at band camp.” As Lily, Hannigan is hilarious.
Cobie Smulders plays news anchor Robin Scherbatsky, whose Canadian heritage is often used as a comedic pincushion. Prior to How I Met Your Mother, Smulders earned several credits, including a four-episode turn on Showtime’s The L Word. Her Scherbatsky was driven in her professional life and often ill-fated in her love life. She and Ted have an on-again off-again relationship that develops over the course of the 9 seasons.
Neil Patrick Harris was the most established member of this sitcom’s cast at its inception. He famously played the lead role on Doogie Howser, M.D. His Barnie Stinson on How I Met Your Mother was a “player” of epic proportions!
Fun from the Word “Go”
Hit shows need more than a solid cast. Sitcoms that last also feature great, fun premises. How I Met Your Mother revolves around five friends in New York City’s dog-eat-dog business environment.
People who go to NYC to make their way in life have a lot of potential, both positive and negative. This group of five friends regularly meets in a bar to discuss exploits, begin madcap adventures and more.
Each How I Met Your Mother episode begins with narration voiced by Bob Saget, who represents Ted Mosby in the year 2030, as he talks to his future children. After Saget’s voice-over, each episode commences as a flashback set in modern times. The concept is a lot of fun!
“Doogie” Shows His Range
Few who watch the show regularly will ever forget Neil Patrick Harris as Barney. Barney joins the group after Ted befriends him in the bar’s men’s room.
Lovable despite his pathological womanizing, Barney has what he calls his “Bro Code,” a personal guide by which to live that was funny and popular enough to spin off a series of books once this show had built a following.
Those who still thought of Harris as the Doogie character he played when he was a teenager got to see him in a whole new light. Barney was also very different from Harris in real life. Harris is famously and proudly out of the closet. He and his long-time partner are parents of two children. His portrayal of Barney as a habitually single skirt chaser was always on point and enabled Harris to show the world that gifted actors can easily play characters who are very different from themselves.
How I Met Your Mother always enjoyed a solid following. Born the same year as YouTube, this sitcom always “held its own” on an ever-changing media landscape. Throngs watched this show religiously and talked about the most-recent episode at work the next day.
Appreciated by Critics
Television critics who understood How I Met Your Mother’s premise loved it! They appreciated the show’s talented cast and their funny turns in the spotlight. One of the things that led to this great show’s consistency was the fact 94 percent of its 208 episodes were directed by the same person, Pamela Fryman.
Who Turns Out to Be “Your” Mother?
The How I Met Your Mother finale may have been the longest-anticipated series closer in television history. Devoted viewers had to wait a full nine seasons for the answer. You can watch How I Met Your Mother online. The last few episodes serve as an epilogue, and viewers get satisfaction on a number of questions about the future of the group. Barney and Robin end up getting a divorce, and Ted and Robin finally get together years later. Marshall gets his judgeship, and he and Lily have a number of children. The crew stays together far into the future. Watch the whole series. It is full of big, cathartic laughs and well worth your time!