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'How I Met Your Mother' finale meaningless to my 'demographic'

April 1, 2014 - Paul Giannamore
Confession: I never watched an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” after the first one in September 2005.

It’s not the show’s fault. I was predestined to hate anything that debuted on the Monday night CBS comedy block that fall because nothing ever would compare to my beloved “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Ray Romano and company walked away from their show after nine years and took my family (stylized just a bit but not too terribly much) off first-run TV.

Nothing that came on Monday night that year would have compared.

Indeed, I’ve only watched one of the “Raymond” cast members, Ray himself, in another show, the middle-aged man dramedy “Men of a Certain Age,” which failed to catch on with as wide an audience as “Breaking Bad,” which debuted about the same time. Seems a man getting sick of being stepped on by life by becoming a meth kingpin hit more of a nerve with audiences than one about a bunch of high-school buddies dealing with being in their 50s. It's not that I don't like Brad Garrett or Ray Romano, and I love Patricia Heaton, but they're always going to be Robert and Ray and Deborah to me.

The whole “How I Met Your Mother” thing hit home last night when I realized it’s been nine years since “Raymond” has been gone. Nine years. What does it all mean?

Well, like the “Men of a Certain Age,” I recognize I no longer am culturally significant. I’m moving beyond what advertisers consider their best target demographic.

I always thought hitting this point would mean I’d at least need a cane and more cardigan sweaters (I only own four and usualiy wear blazers or hoodies, so there!).

I love new Buicks, long the aging driver's stereotypical ride, but then again, I always liked them, from the Wildcat to the Centurion to the Regal Grand National and GNX. I think affording them only occurs after the nest is empty, thus the average age of a Regal buyer hovers in the late 50s. It's not the car's fault.

A couple of weeks ago, when it was supposed to be in the 60s on a Friday, I wore one of my usual Friday Hawaiian shirts, a staple of mine on summer Fridays since I came back to the newsroom a year ago today.

Our youngest in the newsroom, Ms. Dalrymple, suggested that I was being “intentionally ironic, like a hipster,” when she saw the Hawaiian shirt on what turned out to be a mid-40s and rainy day.

All I could think of was “Seinfeld” character Cosmo Kramer when he was called a “hipster doofus.”

I’m still, weeks later, analyzing the significance of her comment in terms of this whole “passing the significant demographic” thing. I will note that, for whatever reason, shows I watch tend to have a lot of ads for reverse mortgages, incontinence products, sexual dysfunction pills and high-tech canes.

I think those are missing MY target demographic because I still am not used to Tony Siragusa touting underwear protectors. I’m not planning on turning my house over to former Sen. Fred Thompson. I’m avoiding a cane as long as possible, thanks to my gym and personal trainers who worry about me. Target demographic my eye!

It’s no wonder I read more and more and watch TV less and less.

Still like the Regal GS Turbo, though.

And if it’s predicted to be remotely warm Friday, I’m dressing like Jack Lord on his day off.

And what does it say that I refer to Jack Lord as McGarrett instead of Alex O’Loughlin?

And that I’m sad that Michelle Borth isn’t coming back to the “new” “Five-0” next season because I think she’s pretty?

See? Mixed demographic messages here.

 
 

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