A month ago, my usually dead boring Jeddah nights got a chance to turn laughter-filled, thanks to Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin and (wait for it...) Barney! They make up, for the moment, my favorite pre-bedtime entertainment.
I never thought those guys would get me hooked. My only exposure to How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) was when I occasionally got to catch an episode or two when I went to layovers in Jakarta or Riyadh. I'm a fan of TV series and I particularly like the ones which are light-themed. But so far, the only one I was really able to watch and enjoy from beginning to end was Friends, not only because I think it was well-written and really hilarious but also partly because it was an addiction I shared with my own best friends when we were in college.
Since then, I was quite resolved that Friends was the greatest TV series I'd ever seen and was ever going to see. I loved Ross, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Monica and Rachael so much that it felt as though having another favorite was some kind of a betrayal against them.... until I got acquainted to HIMYM, which, incidentally is dubbed as "the new Friends".
Coming from an overdose of The Big Bang Theory (Yup, I adore those four nerds too but that's entirely another story and maybe I'll share my fondness of them next time), at first, I found HIMYM rather cheesy. Just the plot itself and the main character Ted plainly spelled c-h-e-e-s-e. It seemed too that among the mainstays, Neil Patrick Harris was the only one who can deliver a funny punchline. But somehow when I was halfway through the first season, I started to appreciate the catchy storytelling, laugh at Barney's banters, notice how cool are the music playing in the background and realize that Josh Radnor is actually quite charming! ;-)
They won me before I knew it and soon after, what was cheesy at first began to be awesome instead. ;-) I found myself trading sleep for some laughtrip experience "that's going to be legend... (wait for it... and I hope you're not lactose intolerant 'cause the second half of that word is...) dary!"
I like how HIMYM reminds me of Friends but still gives off an entirely different feel. Although they were often compared to Friends, it has managed to prove that it is not merely a copycat. The fact that it has fewer main characters, I think, worked for its advantage. Most of all, I love how it's funny at several points and in another, and almost suddenly, it's already sharing a poignant insight on relationships in a very simple yet thought-provoking manner (yeah, that part where I sometimes make the puppy eyes, twist my lower lip and say 'aaaaww!'.)
I know I'm addicted to a series when I get sad thinking about running out of episodes to watch, when I trade sleep for it, when I just finished all the episodes yet I immediately set myself to watch reruns. But more than Ted's quest for the perfect girl, I guess what actually got me hooked is that feeling of delight that watching a well-crafted, funny series gives me after a tiring flight or a generally rough day.
Friends is still numero uno for me, but while Ted and the gang make me doze off with a smile on my face, they will remain to be my favorite nighttime entertainment. ;-)