Among my 6 must-see sitcoms each week is How I Met Your Mother —hilarious, kitschy at times, slapstick in all the right ways, and two words: Barney Stinson. Neil Patrick Harris is a ridiculous comedian: timing, physical humour, inflection...he cracks me up every time.
But tonight's episode had a curious twist: a countdown. In the background of several scenes, numbers appeared on various props—a beer can, an apartment door, a medical folder, a news channel, and 46 other random things. I was over-thinking it (as per usual) and figured that the items on which the numbers appeared could be combined to convey some kind of message. I was wrong. I followed the countdown eagerly from 50 down to 1 only to discover that the episode was counting down to the death of Marshall's father.
It seems sinister for a sitcom to run an episode-long countdown only to reveal the death of a cursory (yet beloved) character. There must be something more to this. Maybe it's a tribute to something that happened off-screen, like the loss of a set-dresser's loved one? Or a writer's family member? I can't accept that the How I Met Your Mother countdown was solely devoted to counting down the final minutes of Mr. Erikson.
Does anyone else who watches the show have any thoughts? I'm assuming they're going for the "with death comes new life" thing—Marshall's dad dies, but now he and Lily get pregnant with a son of their own. But what of the countdown? What else was the show trying to say?
2 days ago