Robin Scherbatsky

The Non-Conformist View of TV Characters

When you look at the popular sitcoms; Friends, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory etc., you can instantly say which characters from these respective shows are the most adulated. For instance, I can say with confidence that of the aforementioned shows, Joey Tribbiani, Barney Stinson and Sheldon Cooper are the most popular among the masses. But why does the common viewer find them so engaging?

Popular… Joey is one of TV’s most favoured characters despite his many personality flaws.

If I run with the three characters I’ve already selected then we can see huge flaws in each’s personality. Starting with Joey, he is moronic, selfish and gluttonous. He often acts with little thought for consequence and goes in to Monica & Chandler’s apartment with the sole intention of gorging himself on their inventory.  Barney Stinson is similarly self-centered. He also shows signs of narcissism not to mention his horrendous promiscuity, a characteristic he shares with Joey too. Sheldon is not comparable with either predecessor in that way, but from what I have seen of The Big Bang Theory (which isn’t that much), he is conceited and cold towards people, even his friends. For all their criticisms, these characters each have positives to go with them but it certainly does make you wonder whether the average viewer would warm to them as much if they knew them in real-life. I do actually like Barney’s character for the most part and can see why people are drawn to this larger-than-life, abnormal persona that they present – entertainment. But at the same time, isn’t it kind of irresponsible to promote such negative personality traits?

Authentic… Lynette’s palpable realism is not rewarded in fans.

Like I say, I do like some of these popular characters but in all honesty, I tend to favour the underdogs of television. A list of some of my favourite TV characters in recent times consists of Super Claire Dunphy, Lynette Scavo, Edie Britt, Jane Kerkovich-Williams, Robin Scherbatsky. What do you notice? All female, all usually unpopular. Now, I don’t really think gender has any dictation on my preference of TV character – it’s merely a coincidence. But what I do see from this list is realism. These could all be real people. If I walk down the street, I could easily bump in to one of these characters. I’m not going to come across a suit worshipper, a ridiculously imbecilic lothario or a big-headed physics snob. Personally, I like to be able to relate to the characters on screen, I like to see myself and others in them. Lynette Scavo and Claire Dunphy are frighteningly realistic and could represent 70% of mothers in Western society, something that cannot be said of their eccentric co-stars. Other characters such as Edie Britt and Robin Scherbatsky, although presented as strong independent women have so much depth and vulnerability especially for two shows that rely on comedic elements.

To be frank, I can’t really fathom why these brain-dead, offbeat types are preferred to the brilliantly observed realistic characters on the box. I think you have to appreciate how much harder it is to write a character in a relatable way. It’s easy to exaggerate mannerisms and actions of a character to the point it becomes ridiculous but to pair the dramatic twists and turns of the small screen with believable characters is well and truly skillful. In fact, it’s a surprise in a generation fascinated by reality TV that these characters are less welcomed but maybe it’s because we hate the fact that these characters remind us… of us.

Advertisements

Who is the Mother?

In a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother Ted speaks directly to the mother with tear-filled eyes promising that he will love her for the rest of days and beyond and how he cannot wait to meet her in 45 days time. That episode, ‘Time Travelers’ aired in the States on 25th March. Forty five days after that date is the 10th May, three days before HIMYM’s season 8 finale airs. It’s now looking likely after 8 years of waiting and funny tedium, the mother is finally going to be revealed. Once again, begging the question just who the freaking hell is she?

The Mother is dead Theory

How Your Mother Met Her Maker… Is the Mother dead?

It wouldn’t be laughable to think that the mother, the fans have pined to be introduced to for the last eight years is in fact dead. We never see her in Future Ted’s world and we never see her in flash forwards, not even her ankle or anything annoying like that. It would also answer why Future Ted is telling this story to his kids, I for one have never really wanted to know how my parents met. So, although it is quite possible that she is dead, it still doesn’t reveal her identity.

Status: LIKELY

The Half-Sister Theory

Popular… The half-sister theory is looking more and more unlikely.

Many HIMYM fans believe that Ted’s wife is Barney’s half-sister. It made sense, she was an Economics student at university, the class Ted accidentally taught. We know the mother was in that room. It also made sense as to why Barney was called ‘Uncle Barney’ and Robin was called ‘Aunt Robin’ in the future, meaning they wouldn’t just be honorary titles. But, *SPOILER ALERT, UK VIEWERS* the popular theory has since been quashed, as Ted dates Carly in the Season 8 episode, “Ring Up!”, meaning she is almost definitely not the mother.

STATUS: UNLIKELY

Victoria?

Con… Has Ted already met their mother?

If we overlook Queen Scherbatsky and Stella, the only other significant romance, Ted has had throughout the series is Victoria. The two never really left on bad terms and in a surprise twist, he could have met their mother in Season One. She’s already been brought back once…

STATUS: POSSIBLE 

The “Her Name is Tracy” Theory

Tease… Is The Mother’s name Tracy?

A weird one to say the least. In Season One, Ted visits a strip club where is approached by a stripper named Tracy. Future Ted jokes and says “… and that’s how I met your mother”. His kids are taken aback, but why would they be if Tracy isn’t the mother’s name? Another thing to dwell on is the Tracy in the Season 4 finale. After Robin tells Barney that she ‘loves’ him, Barney finds a woman named Tracy who he subsequently tries to seduce, how can Ted know she was there if they never actually met in that episode?

STATUS: UNLIKELY

Robin?

Dammit Patrice… Robin is marrying BARNEY.

IT’S NOT ROBIN! For goodness sake, she’s marrying Barney, he refers to her as Aunt Robin. Ted has kids, she can’t have kids. His kids have drawn pictures of her and them together. There are so many flaws yet still people won’t accept it. What is that all aboot, eh?

STATUS: IMPOSSIBLE

The “Ted’s Perfect Match” Theory

The one… Ted wrongly chose Robin over his ‘perfect match’… classic Schmosby

Remember in the season one finalé, when Ted ditches his ‘perfect match’ because he’d rather have had Robin? It seems quite possible that his perfect match was in fact, the mother. Although, surprisingly Future Ted never eludes to that in narration. However, that would have given it away so it is definitely still a possibility.

STATUS: LIKELY

The “Bump Girl” Theory

Haaave you met Ted?… Because the mother may have

This one is probably the sliest of them all. In Season 3, Barney takes Ted to a St. Patrick’s Day party. Future Ted tells us that the mother was at that party but he didn’t meet her that night, and he’s glad he didn’t. However, when Barney calls Ted over to the bar, Ted bumps in to a girl and apologises and nothing is made of it, not one single acknowledgement of her or that incident, meaning he may have ‘met’ the mother. Being fair, I don’t think bumping in to someone constitutes meeting them, so it could possibly be the ‘bump girl’.

STATUS: LIKELY

The “Ted is Dead” Theory

*SPOILER ALERT*

Ted and gone… Is Mosby dead?

This is the darkest mother theory. Although, again it doesn’t reveal the identity of the mother, it gives us insight in to the background story. This theory is once more fuelled by ‘Time Travelers’, when Ted goes to speak to the mother in the episode, he says with tear filled eyes that he wants an ‘extra 45 days with her’ and that he would love her “for the rest of his days and beyond”, implying that Ted is actually the one that is dead or at least, one of them is. By the same merit, you could say that it would be unlikely for a sitcom to have such a grisly ending and honestly, I’d tend to agree with you.

STATUS: UNLIKELY