How I Met Your Mother is the exception to the rule. Actually it is the exception to several rules:
1) Sitcoms about groups of twenty- or thirtysomethings friends will never live up to the original.
2) Any TV show made post-90s starring Bob Saget must suck.
3) Jason Segel is always the funniest person in a room.
The key to this super-smart comedy is, of course, Neil Patrick Harris. Come to think of it, there's another rule/exception:
4) Child actors from late 80s TV shows cannot under any circumstances become successful and actually talented actors.
Every brilliant comedy seems to have one character who is, well, abnormal. Think about it: Dwight, Tracy Jordan, Buster, Screech, the list goes on. But what Neil Patrick Harris (along with the writers) does is create that abnormality without portraying a character who is clearly missing a few brain cells. Thus, I love Barney, and for some unknown reason, so do hundreds of other women.