I am a huge fan of the sitcoms How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory.
However, I think most fans can agree that towards the finishing lines, they often lose their level of greatness and descend to being solely endured, rather than enjoyed.
I can say that only for HIMYM, for sure, though. We all know how it ended, and most agreed that the ending sucked. However, I think the whole last season sucked to a standard which wasn't in any way acceptable any more. I mean, the episode with the last slap? Embarrassingly pathetic.
TBBT is my favourite sitcom in the world - even far better than HIMYM in my opinion. I think what is so great about TBBT is that it behaves atypical to many other sitcoms as, with the years and seasons, it actually always becomes better and better instead of worse. Think about it, we started with four quirky nerds and a gullible, yet sweet girl and we loved it; however, throw in Bernadette and Amy (my personal favourite, to be honest) and it becomes just hilarious and awesome. Also, I felt that the characters of TBBT were developing in some sort of way, which is often unusual for sitcoms which are so humorous. Don't get me wrong, the characters in HIMYM seemingly develop, too, but do they really? Mostly (and also in the end, more or less) we have Lily and Marshal in love and Ted, Robin and Barney in a weird threesome situation (again), so actually, they haven't been really developing - they only got older. Throughout the series they are still co-dependent on each other to an almost unbearable extent and towards the end I, and probably many more, was just glad I didn't have to see them anymore as they were simply annoying me.
The last season of TBBT so far (10, if you haven't stayed up-to-date), started out pretty poorly, too, in my opinion. My man and I were sorely disappointed of many episodes and although it's been catching up in the last three or so, it just doesn't seem to work so well anymore.
I have a theory to this. The moment Lily and Marshal got Marvin, the quality of the sitcom started to drop. Now, Bernadette and Howard have a baby, and it happens again. Why is that?
Well, people who have babies don't meet their friends everyday in a tiny apartment and have time for the things Lily/Marshal and Bernadette/Howard seem easily to find (things like buying comic books, hanging out with their friends every day and sipping drinks).
HIMYM and TBBT base on groups of young people who come to a city where they have no family and find each other (more or less, of course some exceptions, but, hey, Howard is Jewish - his mother wouldn't let him go anywhere). It is fun to watch them have fun and do unspeakable things most of us can only dream of, which is why we love to watch it; however, throw in a baby in the equation and it suddenly just seems sad.
Lily and Marshal still hang out in the bar ALL THE TIME although they have a baby to look after. Bernie and Howie still have dinner in a teeny weeny apartment (compared to their house) and he seems to be free to play with his friends at the same time Bernadette meets with Penny and Amy.
I am, of course, not saying you cannot maintain friendship when you have a baby, but I doubt that young parents have the energy and time to spend so much of it with their friends, seemingly abandoning the baby in the process.
I have to admit, I like the way TBBT deals with it better, as it works in a different way than HIMYM (so profound, isn't it, but these really are the things I think about in my leisure time...sad). In HIMYM everything works over much more time frames and gives a more general insight into life whereas in TBBT we mostly see how the characters meet in the cafeteria or in one home, without really knowing how much time was in between (whether they eat together nearly every day or just every week). Therefore, it makes a little more sense to think they have just put their daughter down after they spent the whole day with her; still, the baby just kills the sitcom...or probably family does, as I hardly believe anyone who had a healthy, young family would spend so much doing things they did in their twenties...only compare to SATC, four young, single New Yorker women who constantly meet for cocktails? Alright. Four grown women who have children, work and other commitments? Sad.
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