Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lily, oh Lily…

By Erin Jackson

I like How I Met Your Mother about 75% of the time, and I guess that makes sense since I like about 75% of the main characters, or at least find them to be well rounded and flawed enough to be amused by them.

The 25% I can't stand? Lily. I feel so bad for Alyson Hannigan because she is amazing and she brings a lot of heart to her, but the character is so beyond bland that nothing she gives her can be enough to make up for that.
Take for example the past Monday's episode. Lily and Marshall go outside for the first time without their new baby and realize that death is all around them, so they go home to write up their will (on a website, even though Marshall is a lawyer?) and Lily cries the whole time because she is a mother and that's what all mothers do all the time apparently. They have trouble deciding who should be their son's godparent and so Marshall ends up creating a game show to chose between their three best friends.

What bothers me is that this is the second time that Marshall has created a game and so this is his thing. It's also Lily's dad's thing. So, why give this trait to Marshall and not Lily? I think it would have been great if Lily was really amazing at coming up with board games or game shows and that her dad was still horrible at it. It would have led to some interesting character development. But, nope. They went with the creepy "every girl ends up marrying her dad" thing that is done to death. They have stopped giving her any personality trait or quirk unless it reinforces her being a stereotypical mother or wife.

Lily hasn't always been passive and bland. In the first season, she had doubts about marrying her only serious boyfriend, even though she knew they were meant for each other. She felt conflicted since she had always planned on living her life in a different way since she was an ardent feminist and artist. She didn't want to lose herself for someone, even if she loved them. She and Marshall broke up for a while, then got back together, and since then, her fears have been proven to be well founded. Her art became a joke, any ambition for anything other than being a wife and mother disappeared (I'm talking no hobbies or interests or anything, not just that she gave up a career, which would have been fine) and she became a walking caricature. Last season she got "pregnancy brain" and was bumbling and incompetent for a while. She is still easily distractible and overly emotional, though it is not acknowledged by anyone. Apparently her best friends aren't concerned by any of this and that really really irks me. Unless they pull a "Everyone Says I Love You" and it turns out she has had a brain tumor that has zapped her personality and it's removed and she's an interesting, multi-faceted person again, I sadly have to bid adieu to the potential that was Season One Lily.

Erin Floyd Jackson has been BFFs with TV since she was a wee one when she would play TV Network Executive. She went to school to learn about how and why TV is the way it is and hopes to someday tear someone's creative vision down and re-edit it to her liking. In the meantime, she and her husband live in Huntsville, Alabama and they occasionally "blog" here ( when they are not geeking out over all the SCIENCE! in the Rocket City.

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