Tuesday, December 7, 2010

30 Days of Christmas: 'How I Met Your Mother'...

When you're in your twenties, your friends are your family. Especially if you live in another state from those who share your bloodline; especially if you don't particularly like those who share your bloodline. That's why the next two entries in the week of family holiday extravaganzas are dedicated to makeshift families-- people who have come together due to shared interests and circumstances and chosen to spend their holidays together, not ones who were forced to by tradition.

How I Met Your Mother
features a family of long-time friends, and as such, they have created their own little traditions, most notably Lily (Alyson Hannigan) creating a full-on Winter Wonderland in the apartment, with plastic reindeer, paper cutout snowflakes, and many, many freshly baked cookies. But in season 2 's "When Lily Stole Christmas", they turned the traditions on their head when Lily hears an old message Ted (Josh Radnor) left for Marshall (Jason Segel) when he was trying to get over Lily.

He calls her a bad name that the show replaces with the word “grinch” throughout the episode and refuses to apologize for it, so she strips the apartment bare and it is up to him to get her to come back before Marshall knows anything is wrong. Meanwhile, Marshall is desperate to make sure his “perfect gift” gets delivered on time. Hmm putting aside differences for the sake of the kids, that’s what the holidays are all about, aren’t they?

Furthermore, in the first season, they took on New Years with a kickass episode (“The Limo”) set entirely in a limo. They have an encounter with Fake Moby (J.P. Manoux), Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) won’t stop playing the first few bars of “You Give Love A Bad Name,” and the gang races around the city to find the best party possible to spend the minutes surrounding midnight. But what you really take away from this episode is that it doesn’t really matter where they are as long as they’re all together. Because the true heart of this show lies within the ensemble and the deep friendship that they share.

It’s episodes like these that make me stick with the show because someday—maybe even as part of my Christmas wish—I just hope it will get back to what it was during these episodes.

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