For my views on the first season, click here.
Season One ended with your emotions confused and turned upside down in an instant; Finally Robin and Ted get together but then the very next scene you find out that Lily and Marshall have broken up. It was a great way to end the season and a great way to start off the sophomore season.
The one thing that this show does very well is balance heart and humor effectively. It never feels too mushy or too over-the-top ridiculous with jokes. How I Met Your Mother is able to establish that rare equilibrium, which is why this is such a fantastic show.
The second season begins with Robin and Ted’s relationship blossoming while Lily and Marshall’s is falling apart. This is the storyline for the first third of the season. While Robin and Ted go through the ups and downs of a relationship, Lily and Marshall try to get used to single life that benefits Barney. First, Barney takes Marshall out as his wingman only to steal all the girls with his magic tricks, and then Barney uses Lily as his one-night stand repellent. Eventually one of the cutest couples seen on TV get back together and by season’s end they get married.
I really enjoyed this season for a few reasons. One, because of the chemistry between Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Ted (Josh Radnor). They have a Rachel-and-Ross (Friends) type of relationship, though it’s explicitly stated that these two don’t end up together… but that doesn’t ruin how they seem perfect for each other.
Two, because of the witty writing and all of the memorable gags. For instance, the Slap Bet episode where Barney and Marshall bet on Robin’s secret. The loser of the bet gets slapped in the face. At the end of the episode, Barney lost and Lily (slap bet commissioner) ruled that he could either get slapped ten straight times, or five times that could occur anytime for the rest of his life. He chose the latter, which is brilliant because for the rest of the series there will be that anticipation for when Marshall will slap Barney… oh and Robin was a teen pop-star in Canada with a kick-ass music video.
Third, because of how close to home the show hits. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m familiar with the NYC area or because it contains a quite a few similar characteristics to a show I grew up with (Friends), but How I Met Your Mother was extremely easy to relate to. Whether it was their Super Bowl or Christmas traditions, Marshall’s car hitting 200,000 miles, or trips to Atlantic City… they just seem like they could be my friends. I guess that is why I am in the targeted audience for this show.
Finally, because of Neil Patrick Harris (and Jason Segel). NPH’s Barney is one of the funniest characters currently on television. He exceeds ridiculousness at a hilarious degree and any scene without him just lacks the crude, nonchalant and offensive humor that he often brings. Jason Segel, on the other hand, achieves laughs in a more subtle way. His charm and super sensitivity paired with his quirks occasionally steal the show.
Again, like I mentioned in the first season review, How I Met Your Mother is refreshing with its surprises and backwards storytelling. It’s truly an enjoyable experience watching the show for the first time, and even watching reruns is fun. It may not be the most popular sitcom on TV, but it sure is one of the best.