Top Ad unit 728 × 90

A Bill Kuchman Pop-Ed: What 'How I Met Your Mother' Meant to Me

On Monday, one of the longest relationships of my life will come to an end. After nine seasons, How I Met Your Mother will sign off.

This is going to leave a giant hole in my pop culture heart.

I was watching the cast of HIMYM on Inside the Actors Studio on Thursday night, and I kept thinking to myself that there is no way I should be as sad about a TV show going off the air as I am about HIMYM ending.

But I am.

While watching the final few episodes of HIMYM, the feeling that I was saying goodbye to a close friend repeatedly struck me. I've been watching HIMYM for nine years now, so I wasn't kidding when I said that this is one of the longest relationships of my life. I was 19 when HIMYM premiered, just a sophomore in college.

In September 2005, I was still a kid. As I watched HIMYM back then, I saw Ted, Marshall, Lily, Barney and Robin living out their lives as adults on the show. Seeing these characters graduate, figure out their careers, fall in love and start families, I knew that someday I would hopefully find those moments in my own life. I wanted to experience those moments too.

I've often joked that Boy Meets World was the template for how I thought my teenage life would be, but compared to how I viewed HIMYM, that wasn't even close. The difference between the two, I think, is that while Boy Meets World ended before I could reach the years the series covered in my own life, my life has synced up with HIMYM in a way that allowed me to actually overlap the characters' lives. According to the show, Ted Mosby was born in 1978, which made him 27 when HIMYM started.

I'm 28.

I'm now older than Ted Mosby was when HIMYM began.

When this dawned on me recently, it was a very strange concept. How could this much time have passed by, not only for HIMYM but in my own life? When I run across episodes from the first season of HIMYM, I'll notice how young the actors look. I shouldn't be surprised by this — a decade is a massive chunk of a human life. We don't see the people in our lives age or change on a day-to-day basis, and I guess by spending so much time with HIMYM, it was easy to miss the passage of time. At 28, I've spent roughly a third of my life watching this show, growing up with its characters, and now even seeing echoes of their journey in my own.

In several of my HIMYM recaps, I've mentioned that I love this show. It's obviously not the same as the love I would have for an actual person, but it's a love that still matters. My philosophy on pop culture has long been that it's one of the few remaining things in this world that binds us together. It's a common language, an evolving mythology and shared passion. For nine seasons, I've known that every Monday night something will happen for a half hour — an infinitesimal slice of our lives — that I can talk to my friends about. And over the years, that tiny moment has become something that I can share with people I went to college with, coworkers and, thanks to my work on and Popculturology, strangers who I may have nothing in common with besides the fact that we all love HIMYM.

It may sound shallow, but pop culture matters. Television matters. Shows like How I Met Your Mother matter. What Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, Pamela Fryman, Josh Radnor, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders and Neil Patrick Harris did for nine seasons matters to anyone who has said "Legendary," "Suit up," "Truth fact" or "You son of a beech." It matters to anyone who picks up the phone to text their friends after seeing Ted plead for 45 more days with his future wife. It matters to anyone who has seen their own life reflected in one of the character's lives.

I've loved a lot of TV shows over the years. Lost was a weekly gathering for my group of friends. I'm still angry over ABC canceling Happy Endings. I miss The Office whenever I look at NBC's pitiful Thursday night lineup. I've never loved a show like I love HIMYM, though. And while I'm going to miss it terribly, I'm so happy I got to be a part of its journey.

Thank you for almost a decade of entertainment, laughs and guidance, How I Met Your Mother. For me, you've always been a show about hope and about knowing that sometimes you just have to trust that Universe has a plan. Over the years, I've often thought about the speech Ted tells his kids about doing just that.

"The great moments of your life won't necessarily be the things you do, they'll also be the things that happen to you," Ted told his kids. "Now I'm not saying you can't take action to affect the outcome of your life — you have to take action ... and you will. But never forget that on any day, you can step out the front door and your whole life can change forever. You see, the universe has a plan ... and that plan is always in motion. A butterfly flaps its wings and it starts to rain. It's a scary thought, but it's also kind of wonderful. All these little parts of the machine constantly working, making sure that you end up exactly where you're supposed to be, exactly when you're supposed to be there. The right place at the right time."

Thank you, How I Met Your Mother. I'm glad we were in the right place at the right time.
A Bill Kuchman Pop-Ed: What 'How I Met Your Mother' Meant to Me Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 3/27/2014 Rating: 5

No comments:

© Popculturology. All rights reserved.

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.