For those keeping track, Ted Mosby has now been telling his kids how he met their mother for seven freaking years. That’s seven years of irrelevant asides, infuriating digressions, and just flat-out avoiding of the point. Not that I dislike the show, mind you; I actually watch it regularly, and have from the start. Sure, Ted (Josh Radnor) is kind of a douche, but the rest of the cast, including love birds Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan), former teen one-hit-wonder Robin (Cobie Smulders), and Bachelor Extraordinaire Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) more than make up for Ted’s shortcomings. If you’ve never given the show a chance, or just want to revisit the series from the start, the first six seasons of How I Met Your Mother are now available on Netflix Instant Watch.

Following the adventures of a group of thirtysomethings living in New York City, HIMYM is technically a frame story featuring the Ted Mosby of the future telling his kids how he, well, met their mother. That element is shoved to the back burner more often than not, and that’s usually good for the show. There’s no way the show can definitively answer the question before they’re ready to wrap things up, so it’s like the core questions of Lost: it’ll keep getting teased and kicked further down the road until the end is in sight. That’s not that big a problem, however, because the show is often at its most fun when it’s just organically telling stories with its characters, rather than dropping hints to a mystery we all know is a long way from being solved. When it’s firing on all cylinders, How I Met Your Mother is reminiscent of Steven Moffat’s excellent British comedy Coupling, often playing around with structure and point-of-view in clever and entertaining ways. If you haven’t seen the show and have Netflix, give it a try. Just don’t expect to find out how he met their mother anytime soon.

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