How I Met Your Mother quite rightly gets compared to Friends as there are many obvious similarities. This is after all a sitcom about a group of attractive twenty somethings, who hang out at the same venue, who constantly discuss their relationships, is full of one-liners, has a character who is a womaniser……well you get the picture.

However here’s the thing, to the casual viewer HIMYM will always be the poor relation, a Friends-Lite if you will. But as any regular watcher will tell you, since Season One the similarities have grown less and less and HIMYM has very much grown into its own distinctive show. With a quirky story telling device that at first seemed gimmicky but now really makes it stand out from the crowd.

These are my seven reasons why How I Met Your Mother is better than Friends.

7. Surrealism

how i met your mother

One of my favourite features of HIMYM is its tendency to be zany and surreal. This aspect of the show does not get enough recognition but it is a key part of what makes it so special. Great offbeat humour that manifests itself in scenes like Barney’s “Suit Song”, or characters revealing that they have “the crazy eyes”.

Another brilliant example of this is the episode “Blitzgiving” with guest star Jorge Garcia (Hurley from Lost). Portraying the gang’s unlucky friend, Garcia is cursed with the title “The Blitz”, which means whenever he leaves the room, he misses something spectacular. As the episode progresses “The Blitz” turns out to be something that can be passed on to another. The whole episode is wonderfully madcap and full of delightful set pieces and one-liners and this is where HIMYM excels.

So maybe the initial idea of the show was to ape “The One Where” format of Friends, but now it has a stylistic flourish and subversive undertow that raises it well above the run of the mill sitcom.

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This article was first posted on February 27, 2013