September 20, 2005

TV: How I Met Your Mother

How can this show be on CBS? All of the show's characters are under 35.

Except for the narrator, that is. The show opens in 2030, as two bored teenagers listen to their father (the off-screen voice of Bob Saget) explain how he met Mom 25 years ago.

That father is Ted (Josh Radnor), and in 2005, he's beginning to worry that life is passing him by, a worry brought on by the engagement of his best friends Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan). Ted's hanging out at the local bar with pal Barney (Neil Patrick Harris, continuing to re-invent his image, post-Doogie) when he sees a beautiful girl across the room.

She's Robin (Cobie Smulders), and the tumultuous courtship of Ted and Robin will be our principal plotline, at least for a little while; it's clear by the end of the first episode that Robin isn't actually the "your mother" of the show's title.

The show is a little bit Seinfeld, a little bit Friends, and though there's nothing especially original about it, it's got a very likable cast (Hannigan, in particular, is just as adorable here as she was on Buffy, which is no small feat), and the flashback narration isn't overdone. The characters are realistically quirky, and it should be fun to watch the show develop the relationships among them. A solid B.

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