First up, today's column link, in which I marvel at the level of thievery going on with CBS' "3 lbs." ("House" by way of "Shark" by way of "House") and ABC's "Show Me the Money" (leftover scraps of "Deal or No Deal," "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and "Dancing with the Stars"). The column kind of gets away from me at the end with the "Jerry Maguire" digression, but by that point I was more interested in figuring out whether my editors would let me print the phrase "Shoplift the Pooty" than I was in either show.
Spoilers for "HIMYM" and "Heroes" coming up just as soon as I try to cleanse my brain of the image of Ted wearing The Shirt...
Overall, not the greatest episode of "How I Met Your Mother," but there were two bits of genius: Ted's increasingly creepy attraction to The Shirt and the entire sequence with Barney playing that bizarre game. (Bonus points for Marshall figuring out about the jellybean. He is, after all, the creator of Marshgammon.) I know these recent episodes were written and produced well before NPH felt the need to come out, but I wonder if they're going to start cooling it on Barney's metrosexuality for a while. (I kept waiting for Ted or Marshall to make a joke about Details being the gayest magazine ever.)
Boo to whoever wrote the "face of evil" description of HRG in the "Heroes" teaser. Either it was someone at NBC who's not paying close attention, or it was someone at the show who decided to throw all the ambiguity about his motives out the window. That tracks with certain parts of the episode (Parkman and Radioactive Man both getting uncontrollable power boosts after their abductions) but not others (HRG's speech to Isaac about how his actions are often "misinterpreted," which also explained how he came to adopt Claire). I don't mind if he's good, or evil, or, as the late J.T. Walsh liked to say of every character he played, morally ambiguous. But don't have the narrator make an explicit declaration, especially if it's not the right one.
The Mohinder scenes lost my interest after a while, so I'm not clear on whether he has some kind of Dream Girl-esque power, or if the soccer ball kid is someone else entirely who's dropping by Mohinder's dreams. Still, they're introducing a whole lotta new "heroes" in a very short span, which both keeps things interesting and also gives them license to get rid of a character or three if need be. (As it is, we only seem to get about half the characters in every episode, with Hiro/Ando and Claire/HRG as the only constants.) The shot of Charlie opening the can while Sylar did the same to her skull was suitably creepy, and I like the idea of Hiro being stranded in Charlie's past for a while. (If nothing else, they could use it as an excuse for his inevitable English language immersion and change of accent.)
Side note: a friend at work pointed out that Clea DuVall's partner/boss is played by Stacy Haiduk, who played Lana Lang on the syndicated "Superboy" show (and also from "SeaQuest DSV"). I wonder if that was an intentional wink at the fanboys or if the producers even realized. (Given Jeph Loeb's involvement in writing both this show and the Superman comics, I'm guessing the former.)
What did everybody else think?