How I Met Your Mother: Are We All Living A Boring Life?
*Warning: Some How I Met Your Mother spoilers are present. Read at your own will!*
Many young people today see the idealized impression that once stepping foot on the soil of The Big Apple, lives will change for the better. This has been a true and false statement represented through the television show How I Met Your Mother. Our generation is seeing the lives of five different people trying to live life to the fullest while the protagonist Ted, tells the story of exactly what the viewer may think, how he met his children’s mother.
As we sit back and refresh our Netflix over and over, engaging in the roles of the How I Met Your Mother characters, we realize that our lives are completely different from those on the show who are around the same age as the viewers give or take a few years. The characters are between 25 and 35 and are living life to the fullest–nights on the town at MacLaurens Pub, the popular bar downstairs from Ted, Marshall and Lily’s apartment, working dream jobs and trying to find love. While watching though, does one realize that they are lacking in the game of life?
Working and Money
The characters of the show-Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin, and Barney all seem to live life whilst enjoying socializing and working a steady career. The show seems to show the free time every character has though to an unrealistic amount. For example Lily, marries Marshall by time the series is over, is a kindergarten teacher. How does she manage to work all day, yet spend daunting hours hanging out at the bar with friends on school nights? When does she grade papers or sleep or even leave for work because half the time she is just hanging out in the apartment during the day with the rest of the gang!
Lily is not the only character with this problem though. Viewers do not know what Barney does for work, yet he can spend all night at the bar picking up random women to sleep with and still have all the money in the world to afford expensive suits. Clearly, he does something for a job or else he wouldn’t have a five-star apartment and expensive designer suits to wear everyday. It is eventually said that he works at GNB, Goliath National Bank, but no one knows exactly what he does there. From the different languages he gets yelled at in, it is something he is taking too lightly.
Marshall Eriksen: But you were the fifth doppelganger! How can you be… you? I called you, we had a whole conversation, Barney, what happened?
Barney Stinson: Ah, yes. I know what happened. People at work have this very strange expectation that I, well, work. I know, I know. So to make my colleagues think I’m busting my hump while I’m really out humping busty chicks, I decided to record a special recording.
What makes him so different from a regular working man is that he focuses more so on the aspect of sleeping around with women and making that his main goal of the day. Who actually has the time and energy to work and then pick up a girl every single night? Not a lot men on the planet can have that type of power.
Marshall, Robin and Ted are the only three on the show who hold a job that we actually see them have a generally regular work schedule with. Marshall has an unrealistic schedule throughout the series, but we do regularly watch as he leaves for work daily. We watch as Robin casts the news upon the characters everyday at general times 11am, 11pm, 5am, 2pm. The time varies on the company she works for. Every time the gang is in Ted’s apartment, his architect work is lying around somewhere in the background and we see that in almost every episode that is his career. The downfall is we only see him working in a handful of episodes. So, how are these characters paying for these amazing apartments in Manhattan?!
Socializing and Dating
Every single night the gang meets up at MacLaurens Pub and have drinks for hours. At the ages of 25 and 30, how do they manage this and still are able to go to work the next morning? The show portrays that one just is immune to hangovers apparently because only in one episode, does it show a sort of hangover. When they are not at the pub, they are in the apartment where the door is always unlocked. Should we all leave our doors unlocked so our friends can barge in when we are trying to work or go along with a daily routine? According to How I Met Your Mother, probably!
This gang also seems to have the active dating life compared to the average dating life of someone in the age group. Since Lily and Marshall have been together since college, this leaves Ted, Barney and Robin to find their “soul mates”, which Ted determines to find even if it means dating Robin twice, and telling her he loves her after one date. Barney also takes a spin with Robin and ends up marrying her, that is until they divorce.
Until this fiasco happens, Barney is sleeping with one, sometimes eve multiple, girls in one night and Ted is dating one girl after another trying to find that perfect girl who reaches his somewhat unrealistic expectations. Robin seems to date any guy who shows an interest even though her stone cold personality says otherwise. Should everyone at this age be participating in this? Many people around this age group are already with the person they will marry or maybe even have kids with that person. So the dating game that happens seems very unrealistic. Yet, with some circumstances, Ted seems to have the most realistic single life out of the three characters.
The friendship of these characters give the show quite a “wish this was me” feel. It is hard to find that group of friends that one fits so well in and somehow, these five people all found each other, one way or another, and became the best of friends. Everyone wishes they had friends like this, but when you are in your twenties its easier. There is always a Marshall and Lily- that couple that has been together for god knows who long, Robin- the one who doesn’t want a relationship but actually does, Barney- who just wants to sleep around and the Ted- who just is trying to find their place in the world.
The Reality Concept
An adult living in Manhattan in the age range of 25-30 is probably working the good old 9 to 5 grind, just trying to get by because they had just graduated from college and are getting a fresh dose of reality. In the show, we don’t see the financial struggles of the characters for most likely the reason that it wouldn’t make the show as appealing as it is. People gather around the television to escape from reality- bills, relationships, socialization, work- and strive off it to get through the day.
The socialization and dating aspect of the show is very realistic to the age group. There are a lot of people who don’t get married until their late twenties and trying to find that perfect person is a struggle. The men jump from woman to woman and the women jump from man to man, it’s just a part of life. Although, Barney sleeping with a new woman every night, possibly a couple a night, is a little unrealistic. Ted’s adventure to find his perfect woman though, is quite realistic.
This same over look is used in many television series similar to the show such as the hit sitcom Friends and more recently, The Big Bang Theory. Never does a viewer hear that the character had to file for bankruptcy or has to pick up multiple jobs because their student loans and rent has to be paid off. In both shows we almost never see the characters go about a “normal” day in the life of a working adult because viewers don’t want to see this, viewers want to see things that will make life seem more enjoyable. Viewers watch television to escape reality.
How I Met Your Mother has become the modern day Friends much to some critics disapproval. The show has become very popular since the air date even with the last episode having mixed reviews due to a “rushed” ending. It’s brought a new outlook on sitcoms and have welcomed people of the younger generations to enjoy them in a modern way. Now being available on Netflix, more and more people are watching the series and becoming hooked on the new Friends.
Unfortunately, Netflix isn’t a dating site, or else everyone would be with a significant other. This show makes viewers rethink how they are living their lives. For example, if you are watching one show on repeat for a weekend, you are living a boring life and should go out, get drink, pick up a hobby, do something! At the age of the characters in How I Met Your Mother, you probably have a job and aren’t doing what they are, but there are still ways to enjoy your life so go out there and do it!
What do you think? Leave a comment.