October 27, 2012 By D. C. Golightly
October 25, 2012 By D. C. Golightly
October 25, 2012 By D. C. Golightly
October 16, 2012 By D. C. Golightly
October 16, 2012 By D. C. Golightly
Category Archives: How I Met Your Mother
Barney takes over the group because Marshal and Lily make the final move out to Long Island. Even though they’re just a 46 minute train ride away (and, I’m sorry, but in whose world is that close?), they’re still bummed out. So, Barney takes the gang (what’s left of them) to a strip club.
While there, they run into the Russian stripper version of Lily. Remember her from a couple years ago? HIMYM is one of the few shows outside of Lost with such a tight continuity. She now comes complete with a Russian Marshal! Collect the whole set!
And while they struggle to find their way in life without getting killed in an underground poker ring, the real Marshal and Lily fend off guest-star Chris Elliot (who plays Lily’s dad). I used to really despise Chris Elliot, because aside from a couple funny moments on SNL and being the voice of Dogbert he never really did anything funny. In fact, he’s kind of gross. I’ve always enjoyed him on How I Met Your Mother, though. Maybe it’s due to the writers.
I’m a little shocked that Kal Penn is still on the show as a semi-regular. How long is that going to last? He has no chemistry with Robin. I like the guy, but his story was over a long time ago, and he never contributes anything to the group.
The episode starts out with the kids sitting on the couch as usual, with some narration. Only this time it’s Robin and Barney’s kids, with Robin doing the narration. So…yeah. I’m not braggin’ or anything, but I told ya so. Oh, wait…maybe not. Just when I thought I knew what was happening, and I had some respect for the writers to do something unexpected, they throw the plot in reverse. Props for being clever, jeers for pulling the wool over the viewers eyes.
(Yes, I know this is cryptic, but I’m trying not to spoil you too much. The story of the episode was pretty solid, and the double reveal throughout the show makes it worth checking out.)
I do find it funny that Ted, the supposed main character, one again sits in the background doing pretty much nothing. I’m not saying that every episode needs to be totally about him, but it seems like the majority of the season has had Ted with barely any lines to speak. He has a poignant moment with Robin at the end of the episode, but otherwise he was mostly absent.
Marshall gets goosed by a local neighbor kid. He’s a little too eager to be a dad and gets taken for a sucker fairly easily. I don’t know what it is about the character, but I love when he gets punk’d. He’s just big and goofy, and I love it when he gets taken advantage of. Does that make me a bad person?
An interesting little twist in tonight’s episode, playing off of the end of the last episode. How I Met Your Mother has always been a show that respects continuity, but we don’t often get a sitcom like this that ties episodes together with a cliffhanger/two-parter to deal with. Last week and this week both stood on their own as episodes go, but together form a fairly strong story.
That story revolves around Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders). Once again, Ted is shifted to the background, which is fine by me. He kind of whines a lot. Anyway, Barney and Robin have been dancing around each other all season. I firmly believe that they will be getting married by the end of this season. After tonight, it could technically go either way, but I don’t think that Nora, Barney’s girlfriend, will be coming back on the show.
The problem is this: if Robin and Barney do get married (and they will, I’m calling it!) then that leaves Ted all by his lonesome. He’ll be the only unwed guy in the main cast. That just won’t work. It’s depressing, and Ted is depressing enough as it is. Tonight’s episode actually proves that case.
While Barney and Robin were having their moral dilemma, Ted was getting high at a concert and wandering in circles looking for nachos. Yeah. If all of Ted’s friends are suddenly married to each other, what’s to stop him from finally giving up completely? We know he won’t because the whole show is about him telling his kids how he found true love, but still…wouldn’t that be the craziest twist if Ted killed himself from depression?
Diehard fans will remember the Slutty Pumpkin, Ted Mosby’s obsession for the last decade. Has it really been ten years? Well, not in show time, but in Ted’s past it has. Here’s the scoop: ten years ago Ted saw a woman dressed as a slutty pumpkin at a Halloween party, but missed his chance to be with her. So, every year since he’s gone to that same party, wearing the same costume (a hanging chad – a reference to the Bush/Gore presidential election), hoping to accidentally meet her again. Upon tracking down the source of the costume Ted finally manages to walk right up to his mystery woman’s door.
Good news: it’s Katie Holmes. Bad news: he has so little chemistry with her that it actually physically pains him to be near her. How I Met Your Mother is a sitcom that heavily embraces continuity. It’s an episode like this that makes the fans really appreciate what they have, but it’s a simple enough scenario that new viewers can instantly jump on board and feel like they’ve been a part of the show longer. It’s engaging.
The producers must have blown their guest-star budget on Katie Holmes this week, because no other big stars show up. Unless you count the woman who played Rachel’s mom on Friends, who makes a cameo as Lilly’s grandmother.
Barney is still sporting the ducky tie, and I really can’t wait for that annoying little piece of continuity to be over with. Sure, it’s cute, but it’s also irritating at how often it’s worked into a scene. Case in point: Barney discovers that he’s one quarter Canadian (much to Robin’s delight), and he has to wear a Mountie costume to their Halloween party. Instead, he dresses like Apollo Creed with a bare chest and USA boxer shorts…plus the ducky tie strapped to his bicep. See? Out of place and kind of annoying.
So, I guess that continuity thing is a double edged sword. I like that they stick with small plots for the long haul, like the slutty pumpkin and the ducky tie, but I also don’t enjoy having it constantly stuffed down my throat. Let’s be subtle about it.
Guest-stars galore this week on How I Met Your Mother. Let’s run down the list, shall we? Kal Penn returns once more as Robin’s doomed boyfriend (read past reviews to see why), Wayne Brady as Barney’s brother, Chris Elliot cameos as Lilly’s dad, Bill Fagerbakke pops in as Marshall’s dad, and Cristine Rose as Ted’s mom. Why all the parents all of a sudden?
The thought is put out there by Barney’s visiting brother that his new girlfriend, Nora, is way more like their mom then they might realize. In fact, it’s actually pretty creepy. This leads Marshall and Lilly to imagine each other as their father’s, leading the high point of the episode: Chris Elliot and Bill Fagerbakke coming within inches of making out. I know, it sounds gross, but it was probably one of the best moments of the entire season.
They say that you know when a show has really made it because of the guest-stars that they can pull. Well, if that’s the case, then HIMYM has really made it. Where else would you see this eclectic ensemble pulled together, outside of a really weird episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway?
The actual story part of the episode fell flat once more, as per usual. Sure, we get some nice moments between Barney and Nora, and Ted once more has a chick in the picture that undoubtedly leads to nothing. The show was created with a very specific end point in mind, and the producers are trying to delay that endpoint as long as possible. That means saddling us with episodes like this one, where the story doesn’t actually matter in the long run.
That’s okay for a sitcom, because we’re tuning in to see our favorite characters say funny things each week, not undergo massive development with loads of continuity attached. Is this was a drama, we’d be in trouble. But it’s not, so just relax and enjoy the twenty seconds of Wayne Brady for what they’re worth.
After a couple weeks of Ted being shuffled to the back of the story, he comes back with a vengeance this week. One of the charming aspects of this show is Ted Mosby’s constant search for the love of his life. As viewers, we know that he’ll get there eventually, but it’s fun to see who Ted has the “potential” to end up with every episode.
While guest-starring Kal Penn analyzes the rest of the gang, Ted goes on a date with a girl he picked up ala Barney from the bar. Apparently, anytime Ted gets a date the others Google her and learn all of her awful secrets, leading Ted to break up with her prematurely. I’ve never noticed this in almost seven years, but whatever. The suspension of disbelief is already present since Barney is still able to wear the ducky tie.
Ted and the girl agree not to Google each other and plan to get to know each other the old fashioned way. Obviously, as is bound to happen, Ted does look her up and immediately feels inferior. It’s a cute idea, but not one that most people can really relate to. Sure, we’ve all Googled ourselves and our loved ones, but would that really make it or break it on a first date? Aside from finding out your date is a seriel killer, I’m just not seeing it.
Of course, the joke is a play on today’s vapid appreciation of the smartphone and how we’re all constantly jacked in. Still…it’s a little preachy and heavy-handed. Oh, Lilly and Marshall also found out the sex of their baby, but I won’t spoil it for you. My wife tells me I’m happier not knowing.
Kal Penn came back! When the veteran comedy actor from Harold & Kumar popped up in the last episode as Robin’s therapist, I thought it was just as a cameo. Apparently the guy scored a recurring role this season. Good for him; I’ve always been a Kal Penn fan, even when he was on House and was vaguely condescending. Kal’s character and Robin begin dating, which allows her to move past Barney.
Don’t forget that Barney is supposed to be marrying someone before the season is over, and we’re still being led to believe that his bride is Nora. Barney and Nora overcome a small discrepancy related to her age and her hatred of the Ewoks (Barney has a flowchart to explain it all). Now that Robin is dating someone we’re being set up all the more for the “surprise twist” at the wedding ceremony. I’m still making the call: Barney is going to marry Robin in the season finale.
We also got a nice dose of Martin Short as Marshall’s boss in this episode. Marshall has been fairly annoying for years whenever he has issues with his job as an environmental lawyer. How many times have we seen him complain about corporate America? This time, however, I honestly thought it worked within the construct of the plot, as Marshall’s boss seems to have lost his way. It’s Marshall’s integrity that kind of saves the day (if you consider extorting money from a polluting company saving the day).
Has anyone else noticed that Ted Mosby, while the star of the show, has more or less become a background character? This entire series is supposed to revolve around Ted and how he eventually came to find the love of his life. This episode featured Ted wondering aimlessly around the city with his class in tow. He did nothing. Absolutely nothing. It’s like the writers just don’t have a direction for him, and maybe him wandering aimlessly was a bigger metaphor than I first thought.
And baby makes three! Or is it four when you count Ted Mosby? I’ve been wondering when they would get around to acknowledging that Ted is a third wheel on this show. Marshall and Lilly are the married couple, Barney is the perpetual dater, Robin has relationships that last more than a few episodes, and Ted…well, Ted can’t seem to keep a girl, now can he? Obviously, that’s the point of the show, and the writers want to keep the audience guessing, “Is this the one that Ted is trying to tell his children about?” But, after all these years I’m really surprised that this third wheel issue hasn’t been pointed out yet.
As Marshall and Lilly prepare for the baby by making their scheduled visits to their doctor, Ted disagrees with the doctor’s advice and pushes a little too far. He even uses grouping pronouns like “we” and “our” as if he’s one of the baby’s parents. Lilly freaks out, while Marshall defends Ted. The result is Marshall and Ted taking a birthing class together, sans Lilly. The issue is resolved by the end of the episode, with Ted backing off and giving the couple the space they need. I just can’t believe it took this long to make this point. Ted may date throughout the seasons, but he never really includes the women in their circle of friends, leaving him latched on to Marshall and Lilly in particular. It’s nice to see that the writers of the show are paying attention to their own characters.
Meanwhile, Barney gets more serious in his monogamous relationship with Nora, much to the dismay of Robin. We get serious insight into Robin still carrying a torch for Barney as she relays her troubles to a therapist (played by guest-starring Kal Penn). In fact, it was a nice change of pace to see Robin narrating the events instead of Ted, as Ted’s future kids don’t make an appearance in the beginning as per usual.
I can’t help but wonder how long this Nora thing is going to play out. We know from the season premiere that Barney is going to marry someone, but is it Nora? Standard misdirection practices in today’s sitcoms state that it can’t be. We’ll be seeing Nora so much over this season and be led to believe that it’s her at the altar waiting for Barney, but instead see the change-up at the last second and get Robin in a white dress instead.
But if Barney does actually marry Robin (or anyone for that matter), it will possibly destroy the show. Part of Barney’s big draw is his dating various women. While this episode pumps up Nora more and sets up the triangle with Robin more fiercely, if everything plays out the way we’re led to believe then the show will lose one of its main attractions. Plus, Ted will then graduate from being a third wheel into a fifth wheel.
At the end of the last episode Ted Mosby ended up bumping into an old girlfriend, Victoria, from six years ago at the Architect’s Ball. Those hardcore HIMYM fans will remember her as the baker that Ted cheated on with Robin. Ted claims a cool meeting, but it turned out more like a Benny Hill episode. Robin’s attempt to smooth the ice only made things more awkward. While Ted recants the story of spending more time with Victoria he reveals that she is now engaged.
Barney unveils a master plot nearly five years in the making as the group goes to a hibachi restaurant. Apparently, he’s been waiting for just an opportunity to trick Marshall into getting something he desperately wanted. Now that Lilly is pregnant her breasts are quite large, Barney claims that he’s been manipulating Marshall to get his to that particular restaurant, where he will then get him to bet with Lilly’s breasts as collateral.
Ted continues his story during dinner, and Victoria ended up getting on a bus to return to her fiancé instead of staying with Ted. She tells him that it would never work with them because of Robin. She firmly believes that Ted is still carrying a torch for Robin, making Ted wonder.
Barney ends up losing the bet (which was that he could do all of the typical hibachi cooking tricks) in a very ironic way. Just as he is about to complete the last trick, Lilly flashes him and he chokes. Since he’s lost, he is now forced to wear the ducky tie for an entire year. This was actually already spoiled for us in the first episode, because if you look quickly at one of the flash forward scenes you can clearly see Barney wearing the tie.
Victoria was one of the fan favorite girlfriends of Ted. It’s a shame that they didn’t work things out, although I suppose that only time will tell. We’ve seen girlfriends return for Ted and have it go better. Since the show is getting up there in age (as far as TV sitcoms go), how much longer can Ted continue to tell essentially one big story? Eventually we’re going to need to see some pay off as viewers. I’m not discounting Victoria yet, since she was popular and likable, and has just returned. If she jumped at Ted he would obviously take her back.
But, time will tell…