By: Chaveli Concepcion, Kevin Currie, Morgan Gruber, and Alexa Young
There are many sites out there on the web about HIMYM, and we thank you for stopping at ours, but we’d like to take a moment to talk about other online discussions:
The official HIMYM website run by CBS allows viewers to comment on each episode and also includes a section called Barney’s Blog. Websites such as Facebook, tv.com, Wiki, Twitter, You-Tube, Reddit, and the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) also provide forums for conversation and discussion of the show. The wiki contains a specific blog section where people create blog posts about something having to do with the show and others can comment back and begin a conversation. Unlike Wiki, the IMDb takes an informative and almost authoritative approach to the show while still allowing for opinion via the viewers’ comments.
TV.com has very consistent, organized, and comprehensive forums in which viewers can give their opinions and read threads of conversation for every episode ever aired. In addition, viewers can vote for their favorite characters of every episode and rate each episode overall. The HIMYM wiki seems to be the most popular discussion site. It dates from the very first episode through present day and is overflowing with information about the show from the die-hard HIMYM fans. A popular question that has been asked has been, “So is it final that we’ll never get to know where the pineapple came from?” in reference to Season 1: Episode 10 in which Ted gets black-out drunk and wakes up with a pineapple next to his bed. On You-Tube, the comments on HIMYM videos vary on an individual basis as they are not in a central location. These discussions are very casual and revolve around spoilers of the episodes.
A database like IMDb can be very informative for viewers of all levels of loyalty; it is full of reviews from current viewers about favorite and least favorite aspects of the show. The user review section on the HIMYM IMDb page is simply a series of posts; however, what differentiates these posts from other blogs and websites is that they are independent from one another. They do not create a flowing discussion, but rather a place to discuss opinion. The majority of the conversations here are about the characters in HIMYM. Most of the contributors to the user review pick one character that they either extremely relate to or do not relate to at all and that is their topic of discussion, along with whether or not they enjoy HIMYM.
Similarly to IMDb, TV.com has a section on the HIMYM page that is specifically dedicated to fan reviews. These reviews are very much like the IMDb reviews in that they are not discussion based they are merely opinions. They consist mostly of opinionated character analyses and thoughts of the storyline. TV.com also contains a page called “The Forum”. This page is completely discussion based—anyone can create a discussion topic and anyone can contribute. The character discussions date back to Season 1 from 2005. TV.com is a very interactive website and a great place to not only get information about the series, but to get involved with the series as well.
Overall, these websites’ users vary from fans-for-life to harsh critics. There are varying opinions discussed throughout the websites and numerous discussion topics to get involved in and read through. This variation of conversations is helpful in understanding how a television show that has been around for almost a decade has developed over time. This wide range of online discussion, review, and ranking systems highlights HIMYM’s popularity and captivating nature.
Some particularly gripping events around which much discussion is centered are sometimes referred to as “bright spots” in the world of academia. Bright spots in television are moments, themes, questions, topics, etc. that generate a significant amount of viewer attention. Conversely, blank spots are incidents that are more or less neglected by the viewing community. In both of these cases, the interest level, or lack thereof, can be drawn from one thing—ability to relate to the audience. In HIMYM, there are no spots that can be determined universally; however, upon researching texts, resources, and websites, it is much easier to compare and identify the moments that received more or less attention. The moment when Ted Mosby reveals how he met his wife could be seen as the series’ ultimate bright spot or “hot topic.”
A majority of the buzz online about HIMYM focuses on interpersonal complications—drama. In any case, the progression of a show, and in turn the progression of lives and relationships, will draw a viewer in for the ride in a rather personal manner. As a result, any major character or relationship transformation will naturally resonate with the audience. Whether it is a breakup, a new relationship, or a death, the viewers are essentially losing or gaining a part of themselves, along with the characters. One may call it living vicariously, but when drawn far enough into the series, it is almost unavoidable.
Conversely, certain aspects of HIMYM do not resonate with the audience whatsoever. This is known as a “blank spot.” Just as the show’s relationships are known for their heavily discussed and controversial nature, they also have redundant tendencies. Being that HIMYM has aired for nine years, it is expected that certain themes will recur; however, when the same characters get together and then proceed to break up repeatedly, the exciting nature of the occasion is lost. In this light, otherwise exciting happenings are neglected by the viewing audience, leading to blank spots.
This literature review revealed how the massive fan base of the popular sit-com, HIMYM, has been discussing, critiquing, analyzing, and rating the show’s content since its original air date in 2005. A general favoring trend that complements the show’s popularity and numerous seasons can be seen in the online literature across these various mediums. It has become evident that a few situations or episodes have been receiving a disproportionately high level of attention—a phenomenon known as “bright spots”. It is on these aforementioned sites that one may find the information necessary to engage in trending discussions about HIMYM and truly become immersed in the literature of the popular culture.