7 Things Friends Did Better Than How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother and Friends are two of the most famous sitcoms in TV history, and each of them was able to do some things better than the other.

 Did Better: Dialogue

Sitcoms are like joke machines. The trick with sitcom dialogue is to seamlessly move from joke to joke without losing sight of the fact that you’re writing a conversation. Due to How I Met Your Mother’s penchant for cutaway gags, the show’s dialogue often felt disjointed.

The writers of Friends, on the other hand, did a fantastic job of jumping from beat to beat in their dialogue. There were plenty of jokes laced into each scene, but the dialogue always felt like a more-or-less naturalistic conversation between friends.

Did Better: The Womanizer

Joey Tribbiani and Barney Stinson are the “womanizer” characters of their respective shows. Joey was hardly a perfect role model – he once seductively said, “How you doin’?” to baby Emma in a video that was going to be shown to her on her 18th birthday (when he would be in his fifties) – but he was nowhere near as depraved and disrespectful as Barney. Barney’s treatment of women was downright creepy.

Did Better: The On/Off Romance

Both Friends and HIMYM have an on/off romance between two of its lead characters. Friendshas Ross and Rachel, while HIMYM has ted and robin. Arguably, the TV viewing public was way more invested in Ross and Rachel than they were in Ted and Robin. Every Ross and Rachel development was a shocker: the Xerox girl, “Take thee Rachel,” the pregnancy.

Fans were hooked by their relationship right up to the end of the series. Meanwhile, Ted and Robin just kept breaking up and then kissing and getting back together and then breaking up again. It got to the point where fans would just roll their eyes.

 Did Better: Series Finale

The series finale of HIMYM is infamously terrible as the (SPOILER ALERT!) death of the titular mother is brushed over in a single line of voiceover narration after we’ve just spent the entire ninth season of the show getting to know her. Robin and Barney’s divorce is brushed over in a single scene as well, after we’ve just spent the entire ninth season waiting for their wedding.

Friends’ finale, on the other hand, is one of the best ever made. It might be a tad schmaltzy for some, but we get closure on all the characters’ journeys and we leave them in a happy place. That’s all fans ask for in a finale.

Did Better: Long-Running Storylines

Okay, the whole of How I Met Your Mother is technically a long-running storyline, beginning with older Ted telling his kids he’s going to tell them the story of how he met their mother and ending with (SPOILER ALERT!) her demise. But what Friends did better were multi-episode story arcs that spanned maybe ten or twenty episodes. How I Met Your Mother had a lot of those that did not land.

Fans who rewatch the series find themselves groaning at certain points in the show’s timeline – ‘oh, great, it’s the Stella storyline’ etc. There are only a few of those in Friends (the Emily storyline being one of them). Most of them – Phoebe’s pregnancy, Ross dating one of his students, the trip to Barbados etc. – work really well.

Did Better: Originality

One of the main things to consider in a debate of Friends v. HIMYM is that HIMYM ripped off FriendsFriends came out of the gate in the ‘90s as a fiercely original series about a bunch of twentysomethings in New York. While the premise was similar to Seinfeld, the characters and their relationships were all original.

HIMYM, meanwhile, did shamelessly steal a lot from Friends. It was like a simpson  thing. The originality is a huge point in The Simpsons’ favor, and the same goes for Friends. Obviously, Friends gets points for being the one that’s not a rip-off.

Did Better: Ensemble Cast

Friends was always praised by critics for being the first true ensemble show, with no one character getting precedence over the others. Even when Jennifer Aniston became an A-list movie star, Rachel didn’t get any more screen time or storylines than characters played by actors who weren’t made as famous by the show, like Joey or Phoebe.

HIMYM, meanwhile, does definitely prefer certain characters over others. Ted is the lead, but the show doesn’t work as well as Friends that way. And there were stretches where characters would be absent entirely, like when Lily disappeared to San Francisco for a few episodes.

Author: Admin

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