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Barney Stinson and the Bad-boy Complex.

Barney Stinson and the Bad-boy Complex.

By Rachaita Hore

The legen-wait-for-it-dary sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” came to a close yesterday concluding a successful run of nine seasons. The show gained mass appeal and drew many comparisons with the other iconic household name “F.R.I.E.N.D.S”. The “Bro Code” and a “suited up” Barney Stinson are golden pop-culture references every youngster is aware of. The series’ popularity is further emphasized by the likes of Bob Barker, Britney Spears, Billy Zabka and other showbiz A-listers who made guest appearances in various episodes.

The show ended with Robin Scherbatsky, the cigar-smoking scotch-drinking butt-kicking single woman being won over with the symbolic “blue bugle” by Ted Mosby. Ted Mosby, the charming geek and unceasing romantic finally working up his courage to approach “Aunt Robin” five years after the mother’s death with a little help from his children. Barney ends up with a broken marriage and a daughter begotten off one of his many one-night stands. Despite all the inappropriateness in Barney’s disposition, Neil Patrick Harris was propelled to overnight stardom essaying the character. Many of HIMYM’s fans were unhappy with their favourite character’s fate in the show. Personally too I must admit although I always wished to find my very own Ted Mosby, it was Barney I was rooting for in the end. I wanted the guy to have a happy ending, get the girl, nevermind his man-child tendencies.

This got me thinking. I was not the only female viewer that wanted to see Barney and Robin happily wed. Almost every other woman I spoke to, did. Some men did as well but they were in the minority. The two contenders for the heroine’s hand were on the polar end of the personality spectrum. While Ted was the shy underdog, Barney was the ruthless womanizer. Both belonged to stereotypes highly appealing to women. Yet it was Barney we cared for more.

This generalization did not limit itself to the particular sitcom however. It is as old as Rome itself. Remember Elizabeth Bennet fell for the cheat Wickham first before Mr. Darcy exposed him for the scoundrel he was. It was Bluntschli who won Raina’s heart. Who could forget Rhett Butler? Didn’t Scarlett start secretly coveting his attention when he made his appearance? Ashley was dear to her still. But less dear than the seemingly incorrigible brute that was Rhett. What is it about these rascals that capture female hearts so effortlessly? Is it really simplistic and biological? We see an evil rake and want to reform him with our mothering? Oestrogen cannot warrant for all absurdities of female nature now, can it? Perhaps we are all in wait for that frog-prince. Looking for familiar complexity where there is naturally none. Since, we do know a thing or two about appearances and deception. Maybe it is just a woman’s denial of failing to acknowledge that we really know very little about the other sex. Men are from Mars; women are from Venus, isn’t it? Or so they say.

Meanwhile, one awaits amore scientific explanation in this age of advancement. If not, atleast one comparatively less ridiculous.

She is a second-year English Hons student at Lady Brabourne College, Calcutta University. She is a wannabe-writer/journalist and has been authoring articles on and off for The Times of India since her first-year. She has also had her fictional pieces featured in various national magazines, online and offline, notably Kindle Magazine and Youthopia. Feminist, Hipster, Oddball are all labels that have been used at some time or the other to describe her. To start a dialogue, drop her a mail at [email protected]

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