Spoilers for "HIMYM" and "Studio 60" just as soon as I call all of my Canadian cousins to ask them whether, in fact, 1986 didn't arrive in Canada until 1993...
Vis a vis "How I Met Your Mother," turns out Robin and I share both a Canadian heritage and a refusal to go to the Willowbrook Mall -- though, unlike Robin, I was never a pop star. I just have too many bad memories of what a bad, generic mall Willowbrook was. But it was the nearest mall growing up, dammit.
Another hilarious episode, and one that has me increasingly convinced that this is the show CBS needs to air after the Super Bowl. That timeslot's not the ratings magnet it use to, but it still has the potential to expose the show to 15-20 million people who have never seen it, and if there's a show on CBS that needs non-CBS viewers to know it exists, it's this one.
On any other show, the video no doubt would have been the highlight, but here it had to compete with both of Marshall's slaps of Barney. Is there anyone, anywhere, who doesn't think Barney made the wrong choice with the 5 vs. 10?
And just as it took America's 1987 six years to get across the border, "Studio 60" is showing that it's taking 2001 five years to enter Aaron Sorkin's consciousness. Sure, Fox scheduled "The Tick" in a much different comedy climate, but would any network bother with "Peripheral Vision Man" today, let alone give Beavis and Hackboy the budget to hire the huge, untalented writing staff we've seen in the two or three scenes set in The Room? And Matt's brief attempt to hold the two under contract after humiliating and marginalizing them since his return didn't make him seem noble; it made him seem like a bully.
I suppose this was an improvement over the Pahrump episodes, in that the lecturing about how Hollywood and fundamentalist Christianity relate to each other was limited to one subplot. But when the show's not being simple-minded and preachy and obnoxious, then it's just dull. Maybe if I liked the characters more, I would enjoy a straightforward inside-baseball episode like this, but nine episodes in, the only ones I still have affection for are Jack, Cal and Jeannie, and they exist on the series' fringes (or, in Jack's case, disappear for entire episodes at a time).
As for the Harriet storyline, there were so many things wrong with it that I don't even care about Aaron's ongoing therapy about his break-up with Kristin Chenoweth. First, if this takes place on the same day as the Nevada trip, Harriet got this offer, agreed to it and let the word spread all within a few hours? Woman works fast. Second, she can't possibly be so naive that she doesn't understand either the lad mag's desire to put her in a photo shoot or one of the reasons she's so valuable to "Studio 60." It would be one thing if she felt offended because Tom and Simon were making it sound like that was the only reason they kept her on the show (i.e., belittling her talent), but she reacted like this had never ocurred to her before. Every time Harriet opens her mouth, I like her less.
What did everybody else think?