Just a quick post before I dive into my last day of work before vacation.
It’s been a very hectic week, and so my TV viewing has actually been kind of sparse, as I’ve been busy packing, getting work done, plus living life (working out, working late, being tired, reading a book).
I want to talk quickly about two of the older sitcoms on TV right now, both of which I’ve loved to varying degrees over the years. Both have had good seasons, bad seasons, and GREAT seasons- How I Met Your Mother and The Office. Seasons 2 and 3 of The Office are some of the best ever, and HIMYM had a great start, but got a little lost in tone over the last few seasons.
I couldn’t help but think how both of these shows have changed into something slightly different over the years, and how both, every now and then, remind me of what they once were, back when they were great instead of good.
HIMYM straight up pissed me off this week. While it was clear that there was some kind of plan going on for Barney’s big night, it didn’t feel like an average play, it felt mean. Especially when Robin faked breaking off their engagement- too far. While HIMYM has always exaggerated this group of friends’ interactions and they’ve been tonally true to life while unrealistic enough to say, “That would only ever happen on TV,” I feel they went off the reservation in this episode. It neither felt tonally true to life, in which most people would consider Barney’s “friends” actions downright cruel, nor like true sitcom hijinks enough to make it enjoyable. It just felt mean, and not something anyone would consider “awesome.”
The Office, on the other hand, had an episode so like its earlier self, its great self, I almost wondered if I was watching an episode from season 2 rather than season 9. This show started out being much more like real life, which a very crazy, needy, insecure boss, mostly normal people just going about their business, and a couple crazies. Every office environment I’ve ever worked in has those personalities in one way or another (my current boss is awesome, not needy/insecure, and the crazy is mostly limited to outside my department.) It was sentimental, but not sappy. We got to see our favorites Officemates act like actual human beings again instead of caricatures. We saw them be compassionate with each other, friendly, supportive. Plus there were a few laughs along the way.
It’s just odd how the longer a show goes on, the less like itself it becomes, but every now and then, if you’re lucky, you get a chance to remember why you fell in love with it. Usually just in time for it to end!