So in this thread, I talk about how I started Big Bang Theory. I’ve finished the first season and am on season two, episode four now.
I started How I Met Your Mother at the same time. I had seen neither of these shows before about a week ago…but have now also finished season one of this show. I’m sort of alternating between the two, watching two or three episodes each.
Anyway, what one of these two do you like best? Which do you think holds up better and is funnier? Are there any other things that factor into each one for you that gives one or the other a higher opinion?
Just, no major spoilers, please.
I’m enjoying both so far. I think both are extremely funny and I laugh out loud a few times every time I watch one of either.
I’m finding the story lines are deeper and more solid in HIMYM. It’s much more of a “The story continues into each new episode” than BBT is. BBT does have overall story arcs too, but they seem to be much more about overall, in general things rather than specific stuff. BBT seems to have more episodes that stand on their own and introduce/resolve the problem in one show.
I find myself being able to relate to BBT more, though…it’s a little funnier to me, whereas HIMYM has more clever/witty humor.
I’ve heard bad things about both, though…like how BBT gets a bit more stale after four seasons and how many people don’t like how HIMYM ended. Still, I predict that more people will say they like HIMYM more than BBT.
I don’t/didn’t like either of them enough to actively seek them out, but I’d occasionally watch some syndicated episodes. Among my lukewarm feelings for those two series, “How I Met Your Mother” gets the edge; “The Big Bang Theory” seems very hacky on occasion (Jewish mother jokes? How modern…).
I prefer all of the series mentioned by Left Hand of Dorkness above (although “Master of None” and especially “Community” varied widely in how funny they were).
I’m a big fan of Big Bang Theory, but I had to give HIMYM the edge, and I think that’s not just nostalgia because it’s gone. HIMYM was ridiculous in a lot of ways, but I think it had a core theme about love and friendship that BBT never managed, or wanted, to convey.
Although I was a little disappointed in the ending. Sure, Ted, go hook up with Robin one more time if you want–but don’t try to convince me Tracey wasn’t the love of your life.
I watch(ed) both shows all the way through (so far) and while HIMYM annoyed me much of the time (Ted is such a fucking whiny BIATCH!) I think I like it more than BBT. I think BBT is hokey and kind of boring, and sometimes HIMYM tried too hard. But HIMYM has more memorable moments for me. I had more fun going over the episodes on the board here than the BBT threads. I can see how people were picking apart HIMYM episodes for clues or pondering how the history affected the current show, but I don’t see how people are able to do that with BBT each week. Each week seems like a long conversation about a bowl of oatmeal.
BBT is kinda okay, but HIMYM was a show I watched every episode of up until around season 6 or so? The last season I saw was the one where Ted threatens his students with an F because he couldn’t control them if they liked him. Nothing in between–either hateful jerk or pushover friend.
Though I more left because I could not stand his girlfriend that season. They had her be horrible, then pulled of a karma Houdini to try and fix it. The comedy was starting to go downhill, too. And I’d learned about the series ending by that point, so I didn’t have the will to power through.
I don’t love either show, but I like them. HIMYM loses points for stretching out its mytharc too long and for screwing the pooch in its final resolution. It would be a wonderful series if they’d stopped the final episode with
Robin & Barney getting married and Ted finally meeting the Mother. The revelation that Tracey was dead all along and the series-long conceit of Ted telling his kids about her was really about his asking their blessing on his dating Robin, now divorced from Barney, felt horribly manipulative, even though in retrospect they did plenty of foreshadowing that Tracey’s death was in the offing.
Ted grows increasingly douchey as the series progresses. Sheldon is always a jerk, but his annoying habits are openly acknowledged by the other characters. Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) is far better looking than any of the other women on either series; Aly Hannigan is a distant second. And the early scene in which Penny gives Sheldon Leonard Nimoy’s autograph as an Xmas present was just wonderful.
I find BBT to be more about making fun of nerds than laughing with them, and so I never really enjoyed it - and actually felt somewhat uncomfortable watching it.
I really loved HIMYM, though yes it gets a bit stale in the later seasons, but I really enjoyed the serialized story and the constant call forwards, call backs, continuing references, fun with the unreliable narrator, etc. And there were some episodes that were just beautiful in explaining life - even in the last season (I’m thinking of the montage of ‘secondary people’ in your life).
BBT would profit from being a bit more consistently honest about Leonard’s douchiness, the way it’s honest that Sheldon, even if mildly autistic, is largely just an asshole. But it wins points for admitting that Bernadette is a bitch, that Howard and Raj frequently deserve a punch in the nose, that all four of the guys can be bullies in their own nebbish ways.
And I like the way Penny in particular simultaneously loves and hates Sheldon.
HIMYM has better arcs, references, and so on. It’s a much more ‘complete’ show. BBT is much more in the vein of a classic sitcom where the episodes are only vaguely tied together, but HIMYM would regularly callback something from multiple seasons, or reveal that it had been setting up a joke for years at a time.
The ending was weak, sure, but the show was overall much stronger.
You’re right that HIMYM was more creative and ambitious in its storytelling. But that’s why it was ultimately a failure. It faltered for years because it stretched the story out too long, then nearly redeemed itself with a mostly wonderful final season. But because it had raised the bar for itself so, it had to accomplish more to be ultimately worthwhile.
I watched/have watched all of both of those shows as they aired.
Were it an option, I’d probably check “I find HIMYM more interesting, I find BBT more likeable. Neither is going to make it on my ‘must watch’ sitcoms list”
Despite their both being half-hour sitcoms, they’re two very different shows. BBT is one of Chuck Lorre’s shows. He does very traditionally structured, traditionally written, multi-camera shows. They’re popular and do amazingly well in syndication, because they’re built that way. Over the seasons, it’s gotten into the ruts that most long-running sitcoms get into, but it still is about the same as it was when it started. It’s very comfortable tv.
HIMYM showed up the year after LOST. Like half of the other shows that showed up that year, it was a heavily serialized show that played with conventional narrative structure and timeline, required a deep investment into the show, and tried to reward audiences who were paying close attention to the details. Unlike most of the rest of those shows, it was a sitcom, not a drama. In early seasons, especially, they’re ambitious and experimental and it fails big sometimes - but when it works, it works really quite well. Eventually, though, there were diminishing returns and the quality fell off pretty sharply. Somewhere along the line, the writers/show runners made a couple of very bad decisions and stuck with them, and the final few seasons are not good and get very nearly unwatchable. (some shows make a comeback in their last year, and go out with a bang. HIMYM did not. It was not just the series finale, the whole final season was a mess.)
If it matters, I’ll rewatch episodes of BBT; I won’t rewatch HIMYM.
It’s more that I LIKE BBT more, because it has so far accomplished its aims more than HIMYM did.
In theory, I prefer lemon meringue pie to a no-bake cheesecake. But I’d rather eat a well-made example of the latter to an incompetently crafted version of the former. HIMYM left a bad taste in my mouth.
I love BBT. It’s getting old, but it sits atop all other sitcoms. I don’t like how Stuart became a parody of a bad joke and Sheldon could’ve been a bit more self-aware if only by the scientific method.
I watch HIMYM if it’s on, but wouldn’t even record the final 5 minutes if I had to leave and couldn’t watch the end. It has good moments but it’s usually only OK for me. Too much whining, Barney is usually a manipulative douche, Robin’s hot but the character stumbles. Too much self-pity, too many inside jokes. Perfectly watchable.
HIMYM builds–as the characters grow and change, the humor gets better and better. Until the last season or so of BBT, the characters had less depth than, say, Brady Bunch characters. The shows are funny, but I didn’t care too much about the characters until they recently started to let the characters grow.
And there’s a really bad dead zone of maybe 2, 3 seasons in BBT where they wouldn’t let the characters grow and they ran out of stories. Tough it out. It improves. Unlike every single other show Chuck Lorre ever did.