I know what you’re really wondering: Is the end of “How I Met Your Mother” finally the end of sensitive-guy architect heroes?
Romantic comedies are often teased for assigning their characters certain adorable, nonthreatening, not-at-all-common-in-real-life professions, like gallery curator or bookstore owner. People in these occupations always live much more luxurious lifestyles than their chosen careers would likely permit, and the occupations usually come with lots of tired tropes that double as shorthand for character traits. Perhaps no (serial) rom-com was a bigger offender in this regard than the recently departed “How I Met Your Mother” (R.I.P.).
Among the professions of prominent HIMYM characters:
- TV journalist
- (Aspiring) artist
- Kindergarten teacher (same character as the artist)
- Environmental lawyer (temporarily, anyway)
- Man of mystery
And of course, the star is an architect, a career that connotes creativity and sensitivity but — in contrast to other artistic careers — not pennilessness. (The unemployment rate for architects outside of rom-com/sitcom land, however, is actually quite high.)
To its credit, the show recognized, in its own way, the architect-as-chick-magnet cliche:
For the reasons Barney describes, you may also recognize the profession from “Love Actually,” “(500) Days of Summer,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “The Lake House,” “The Last Kiss,” “Three To Tango,” “My Super Ex-Girlfriend,” “Just Like Heaven,” “It’s Complicated” and “You, Me and Dupree.”
My favorite fictional architect, though, is this one:
After nine seasons of Ted the Sensitive Architect, perhaps comedy writers will start looking for a new default protagonist profession. Food truck chefs, anyone?