How I Met Your Mother: Everything Must Go
May 12, 2008

CBS, Mondays at 8:00PM

Genre: Sitcom

Conceit: 20-something.

Britney Spears returned as Abby the receptionist tonight.  Initially infuriated by Barney sleeping with her and never calling again, Abby and Barney bonded over the fact that both have been jilted by Ted.  (The one thing I couldn’t figure out was whether Spears was playing a part or just playing herself.  I expected the latter, but, was it just me or did her voice sound different?)  Barney decided to show Ted what he looks like by proposing to Abby, who doesn’t realize its part of the game.  Barney resolved this by tell her that Ted truly loved her, further increasing her stalker behavior.  Thought Spears didn’t bring much to the ep, I wouldn’t mind seeing her again.

Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily are desperate for money so they can have their apartment floors fixed.  Marshall decides that Lily needs to sell her expensive clothes to make it happen.  As a guy, I have to admit that I would have gone the same route.  Lily, appalled by the idea, suggests that she instead sells her paintings.  At that point, Marshall’s mouth outmoves his mind as he blurts out that her paintings aren’t “real paintings” and thus won’t make any real money.  And the bet was on.  After several misses, Lily sells her painting to GCWOKs (Gay Couple Without Kids).  This didn’t really work out, but in classic HIMYM style, one thing led to another before Lily finally found her target audience.  Whenever you have some free time: http://www.lilyandmarshallselltheirstuff.com

Final Grade: B

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How I Met Your Mother: Rebound Bro
May 5, 2008


CBS, Mondays at 8:00PM

Genre: Sitcom

Conceit: 20-something.

Barney is on the hunt for a new wingman in the wake of the end of his bromance with Ted.  After a series of failed requests including Robin, Barney takes Randy (SNL’s Will Forte), who applied before the job was even available.  He had to learn.  Apparently you can’t use the word “bro” in the name of a failed Democratic vice presidential candidate (Broseph Lieberman).  But Barney was ready to take him under his nurturing wing.  Forte really steals the show in a series of horrible misfires, the best one being when he tells a girl his favorite part of a Koala bear.  Robin comes along for exposition sake and tells Barney what we all know: he’s coping with losing Ted by jumping back into the bro market.  The show does pair up Barney and Robin again.  It may have been really as friends, but I think they’re leading us to somewhere we already know.

Sarah Chalke returned as Ted’s ladylove, Stella.  Things are going great between the two, with one qualification: they haven’t been intimate.  When pressed, Stella admits she’s nervous because she hasn’t done it in a long time.  Ted thinks she’s been dormant as long as he is: 5 months.  Its actually that times twelve, which places a lot of pressure on Ted.  That pressure was relieved when Stella finds out that Ted told his friends about her drought, much to her embarrassment.  In Ted’s defense, its really not something a friend should blurt out knowing to a friend’s girlfriend (that MUST be in the Bro Code).  Ted calls out Stella’s reaction as merely looking for an out.  Turns out she’s right and eventually they go further than they had before (though not how you’d think…well not initially).  I’m curious to see how Chalke fits into this show.  Part of me believes she agreed to the guest spots when it seemed like Scrubs was going off the air.  Now that its renewed, I wonder if the writers have to change things up.  It would suck, because Stella and Ted work well together.

The problem with tonight’s episode was that it was terribly formulaic.  This is the problem with HIMYM.  It uses different plot devices to keep things fresh.  But at times you feel the devices are done too often.  That is until they go straightforward old school multi-camera sitcom.  And then you really want the devices.  A double edged sword it is.

Final Grade: B-

How I Met Your Mother: The Goat
April 28, 2008

CBS, Mondays at 8:00PM

Genre: Sitcom

Conceit: 20-something.

They brought the Barney.  There were many reasons that I didn’t like last week’s episode.  One of them, probably the most resonating, was that Barney’s characterization seemed like it happened just for the sake of the episode.  This week, the good Mr. Stinson returned.  And he brought the Bro Code with him.  Barney was freaking out in the wake of sleeping with Robin because he knew that he betrayed Ted.  He hired Marshall to comb over the the Bro Code (which his ancestor, who was a contemporary of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington D.C., wrote) to find a loop hole to alleviate his guilt over violating the “You Never Do Your Bro’s Ex” article of the code.  When he couldn’t Barney tried to butter Ted up by taking him to Vegas for his 30th birthday before dropping the bomb.  Unfortunately, Robin beat him to the punch.  In classic Ted style, he told Robin that it was no big deal.  We expected this.  Ted’s always been able to rise above.  Unfortunately for Barney, he couldn’t forgive this Bro Code infringement.  Ted actually reacted very honestly, and within character.  He cut Barney out of his life.  But the real winner of this ep was Barney.  He really showed his devotion to Ted in his desperation for forgiveness.  Moreover, when Ted wouldn’t do it, Barney really seemed like the teflon man finally got scratched.

On a side note, there was the running gag with a goat which was going to do something absolutely “shocking”.  I kind of figured that the buildup was all schlock and that either the goat doesn’t do anything, or we wouldn’t see it.  I was right with the latter, as future Ted told us that the goat wasn’t at his place for his 30th, but instead his 31st.  While this could easily just be a gag, it was an easter egg.  At some point in the next year, Robin moves into Ted’s apartment.

Final Grade: A-

How I Met Your Mother: Sandcastles In The Sand
April 21, 2008

CBS, Mondays at 8:00PM

Genre: Sitcom

Conceit: 20-Something

Huh.  If you had told me the end of this episode at the beginning of the episode, I wouldn’t have believed you.  But more about that later.

Going into tonight’s show, there was one real draw: Robin Sparkles.  The first music video of this little known Canadian pop star was pretty amazing.  If you haven’t seen it, you must:

So Robin’s Canadian accent was creeping back, and so was an ex-beau.  And as the gang pointed out, whenever you see an ex again, one of them has to “win”.  This is one of those great truths that the show pulls out.  The second proof that they addressed is that we see those we once admired as if we were seeing them in the past, and so while the gang saw that the ex was balding, overweight, and stuck in a delusion of making it as a rock star, Robin was stuck in her own delusion of who he was.  This story pretty much went the way you’d expect.  Actually, it went exactly how you’d expect.  And it wasn’t exactly interesting getting there either.

Meanwhile, the revelation of the ex also brought up the existence of another Robin Sparkles video.  Which set Barney off on a task to find it.  This was the only draw of the episode.  We knew if we stuck around long enough, we’d get to see the video.  Barney walks in on Robin, who just got dumped.  And guess what: he was caring.  And charming.  And completely un-Barney.  And it really worked.  And exactly as you’d expect, Robin let him watch the video.  What a disappointment.  Whereas “Let’s Go To The Mall” was fun 80’s garbage, “Sandcastles in the Sand” was…nothing at all really.  It was so underwhelming that it took the air out of a rather aimless episode.  But Barney and Robin kept watching it.

And then they kissed.  Which honestly, even if you had a feeling it may happen, didn’t seem like it was going to.  But when it did, something about it felt…right?  The thing is, I don’t know how much that has to do with it actually being right, or with the writer positioning Barney as charming and consoling so it would be right.

Regardless, that was the only highlight of the rather bland episode.  Here’s hoping the show goes somewhere worthwhile from here.

Oh, here’s the new video:

Final Grade: C+