So, it’s been awhile with this whole blogging thing and am still experimenting with the genre and what it is I am trying to do with it. The following post is such an experiment. As much as I love reading and writing, I have always been an observer and student of media and have equated television, film, comics, etc. to a new form of dispersing the myths and narratives of old. With this in mind, I decided to try some posts on the lessons that can be derived from contemporary (and maybe not so contemporary) media and see how that goes. I will be calling these “Lessons From…” and hopefully they will be both entertaining and slightly educational. Alright, the inaugural post of this series will be on one of my favorite television series, How I Met Your Mother. Quick note, you can expect this show to come up again from time to time. It is awesome, full of intentional/unintentional wisdom, and, like I said, one of my favorite shows.
The preceding clip is from the Season 3 Episode 5 titled “How I Met Everyone Else”. Now, let me get this out of the way: Yes, the clip, as well as the Barney character, can be seen as sexist in it/his explanation. Trust me, it isn’t. Watch the whole episode, really the whole show, and you’ll see why such a simple characterization of Barney doesn’t really work. Also, the show is just good and you should watch it. Anyhow, I will take your choice to read this far as an assumption that you are giving me the benefit of the doubt and will continue to read…alright, moving on.
So, what can this clip from HIMYM teach us besides the often touted and stereotypical message that men are shallow and will put up with quite a bit of “crazy” to be with a “hot” woman? Well, big reveal time…that is the takeaway lesson from this clip. No, seriously, that is the lesson. Men will put up with a certain level of crazy to be with hot and yes it does function on a scale.
To be fair, every individual man’s definition of hot and crazy will differ, but each one has their limits and set ideas of what each constitutes. Essentially, what I consider to be hot (red hair, freckles, etc.) and crazy (liking 1D and Justin Beiber, mostly kidding) might be slightly different than your definitions, but they are present and functional; as well, we will both adhere to our scales based on our preferences. The scale might not even be “hot/crazy”. It could just as easily be “hot/dumb”, “hot/boring”, or “hot” and any other undesirable characteristic.
HIMYM, through Barney, eloquently put this notion into actual words and presented it in a comprehensible and, more importantly, non-judgmental way. Let’s be honest, we all have, at the very least, had a crush on, an individual simply because of how they looked in spite of other traits. It is not something to be ashamed of, but instead a fact that should be acknowledged and even perhaps embraced.
HIMYM also acknowledged that this was not simply a male performance; women also adhered to such a scale, though theirs might function a bit differently. I prefer to call the female version of the “hot/crazy” scale the “cute/creepy” scale. It works in the same way as the male version, but this video might best articulate it:
Apparently, women can be just as shallow as men and that is the real takeaway lesson from How I Met Your Mother. What?! Surprise moment? Oh Yeah! For all the literature, films, television, and music that tries to create these weird diverse boundaries between men and women, ultimately, we are really just the same and sometimes those similarities are found in the level of shallowness both sexes can have.
So, in conclusion or TL;DR, men and women can both be a bit shallow and selfish at times and that isn’t always a bad thing. It just depends on the circumstances and that is a Lesson From…How I Met Your Mother.