My favorite TV show returns tonight with the first new episode since just after the writer’s strike began. "How I Met Your Mother" is probably the least watched show among those with high critical acclaim, and it’s a shame. The writing is very creative and often laugh-out-loud funny, and the premise is genius — a dad telling his kids the story of how he met their mother, shown in flashbacks.

The reason this premise is genius is because so many romantic comedy TV series start out with some sort of relationship that the audience is rooting for, and if that relationship doesn’t work out (or if it does, predictably), people lose interest and the show gets trashed. In this case, we know from the beginning that the character of Ted Moseby’s (Josh Radnor) initial love interest, Robin (Cobie Smulders), is not their mother, so the audience can just sit back and enjoy the plentiful laughs.