And with it a paradigm shift is often forced upon the beholders. And that is what I needed to pick your brains on.
In 1994 started one of the most popular television shows of all times, the one which connected through viewers globally, becoming one of the first examples of a mankind partnership around the earth. And yes, I am indeed talking of Friends. And we had in it six friends, hanging around a coffee house and where every episode started with “The One…” Friends came to a dignified end in 2004 after completing ten amazing seasons. We all cried.
And then in 2005 started the new hit show, How I Met Your Mother. Now this show had 5 friends, and they hung around at a bar, and none of their episode titles started with “The One…” How I Met Your Mother is currently running strong in its 7th season, tying up loose ends one episode at a time.
But there are two characters, one from each show I just mentioned, who intrigued me. They are both quite the same in their nature…well, not really, but they are both the same in the department they are meant to portray. And while How I Met Your Mother has Barney Stinson, Friends had Joey Tribbiani.
Let’s start with the frontrunner first.
Joey Tribbiani. An out of work actor (most of the times), Joey is an avid womanizer. He has women flock around him in every direction, he sleeps with them and then doesn’t call them back and he’s quite happy that way. He falls in love once, and that too with his friend who had just delivered the baby of another friend (Ross and Rachel for the uninitiated) and that was the end of it, romantically, for him. Joey is mocked at by his friends for being the kind of person he is and he always found ways to deflect their ire.
Now, we catch up with the times.
Barney Stinson. A mighty successful corporate honcho in a working-for-Satan bank is a lady killer… or so he believes. The point is that he has a “playbook”, which lists every single trick in the book to get a woman in bed. He always wears a suit (as a matter of fact his favourite term is “Suit Up”, something that he tells all his friends to do) and more importantly, thinks he is “Legendary!” and is the epitome is “awesomeness”.
Now on the face of it, these two characters look to be quite the same, but then they are played in two very different ways by the two actors. Matt le Blanc, who played Joey Tribbiani successfully for ten years (well actually for twelve, considering the spin off Joey that ran for two years more after Friends came to an end) tackled the solution of playing Casanova with a fresh joy of innocence. It was more like, “Sure, so I am good looking, the ladies all like me, so well, I’ll take everything that I can get.” Sure, he didn’t bother calling them back and he just went from women to women – but the point I am trying to make here that we all loved him. We didn’t much care, we didn’t bother about how he wanted to tackle his love life. As a matter of fact, we loved the way in which he stole a woman’s heart and then just walked all over it. Because he did it with a kind of innocent elegance.
And now consider Barney Stinson for a while. Neil Patrick Harris, who by the way is a declared and proud gay individual, is lewd about the entire way in which he goes about “banging” women. He is proud of the way he is insolently arrogant, and he also takes pride in believing that women are the second sex and therefore, lie in perennial servitude to men. And that besides, Barney Stinson cares about nothing.
Now all that I have done is list out these two characters who inhibit the same kind of characteristics in a time warp. But yet they are different in the way the actors play them. The point is that does this refer to the emancipation of society as a whole, pushing forward the levels of banality? Kind of a juxtaposition, I know, but then, that’s what we bloggers do. We ask questions regarding the shifts on celluloid. And this is how we figure out if we have readers. Because we expect them to help us find the answers.
Happy commenting everybody!
- Barney Stinson – thumbs up… (stustake.com)
- Matt LeBlanc Says There Are No Plans For A Friends Movie…Not That We Were Expecting One (lukewilliamss.wordpress.com)
- Neil Patrick Harris Wins at People’s Choice Awards (celebs.gather.com)
- LeBlanc: ‘I Could Use the $’ (foxnews.com)