Each month I look at a different TV-related pop culture event, last month focused on NetFlix, December surrounded HolidayClack, November looked at actor identification, and October described writing for CC.
For this week’s monthly pop culture musing, I link How I Met Your Mother with Archie comics. But, I have to confess something. *Pauses … inhales … exhales* Are you ready? Okay. Here goes. Please don’t hate me. Why? Because I once hated HIMYM. In 2005-2010, I viewed Barney as the only decent character, lamented the loss of Alyson Hannigan’s talent, and didn’t find slap bet funny. I figured people only watched the show because, without Friends, we didn’t have any more sitcoms about attractive white people in their twenties living the high life in Manhattan. The only thing I high-fived surrounded Robin Sparkles.
Yet, recently, I found myself drawn to the repeats and loving it. After a crazy night including a HIMYM marathon and a stack of Betty and Veronica comics, I hit on it — maybe HIMYM didn’t resemble Friends so much as Archie comics. Before you call me crazy, let me give you evidence based on decades of Archie comic reading –
Ted is Archie Andrews
Both Ted and Archie are the average looking nice-guys next door. They aren’t wildly handsome, rich, or successful, yet they find no difficulty meeting the girl of the week. At the same time, they’re uber-sensitive push-overs who inexplicably pine over the girl who eventually and repeatedly stomps on their hearts.
Barney is Reggie Mantle
That’s pretty much a no-brainer. Barney and Reggie are the hottest, richest, most egotistical, well-dressed guys in the neighborhood. Neither has met a mirror they haven’t loved or a girl they haven’t boffed. Although both are womanizing pranksters who destroy their friend’s pants or chances with the pretty girl, they’re still a part of the gang. When push comes to shove, Barney/Reggie will have Ted/Archie’s back while serving as the ultimate wing-man.
Lily is Betty Cooper
Lily’s totally the idealistic, artistic girl next door. Depending on which Archie comic you read, Betty’s either an artist, a writer, or a moralist parading in favor of the whales, the environment, or something else entirely. Sure, Lily had that grunge phase, but in terms of idealism Lily and Betty seem pretty close. Plus, Lily’s the moral backbone of the gang and not just due to her role as slap bet commissioner.
How much more obvious can you get than Lily’s job? Even if you forget that hideous 1990 NBC Archie comic movie, Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again (which I’ve tried to do many, many times), almost every other Archie comic features future Betty as a kindergarten teacher. Sure, Betty had a mad-on for Archie, but Lily’s crazily overprotective of Ted, sort of like a mother hen on crack.
Robin is Veronica Lodge
Both are brunette heart breaking bombshells. Both women bounce between the adorable Ted/Archie and the raffish Barney/Reggie. Both had careers as teen music idols and, no doubt, Veronica will live down the hideous “Sugar, Sugar” video in a future life. Both love the spotlight. And, potential careers for future Veronica include reality TV star, television presenter (ding ding ding), model, or trophy wife.
Marshall is Jughead
When you consider Marshall can kick a Dr. Seuss hat like Jughead rocks a Burger King crown, Marshall’s uber-loyalty to Ted (and, ability to assist him on everything except woman-hunting), and Marshall’s occasional quirkiness, you’ll have to agree that Marshall serves as Jughead’s doppelganger.
Sure, Jughead’s an avowed woman-hater, but, come on, Marshall didn’t have any other girlfriends outside of Lily (and, no, I don’t count that tart from elementary school or that high school Jezebel who ignored his crush).
Based on my decades of nerdy reading, Betty, the cool girl next door, proved the only girl Jughead actually tolerated. It’s possible the two would have eventually hooked up. My proof spans the decades including Jughead and Betty rocking a candlelit steak dinner in the fifties, Jughead and Betty going on a friend-date in the eighties, Jughead serving as Betty’s occasional date from the sixties-on, and Jug telling Bets in various Archie and Little Archie incarnations that “if the time should ever come that I would willingly kiss a girl – it’ll be you.”
So, do you agree/disagree? Any other shows you see containing a HIMYM connection?