Monday, January 08, 2007

HIMYM: Tales from the lobby

Spoilers for "How I Met Your Mother" just as soon as I figure out whether Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy actually have sex in "WarGames"...

Very funny episode, even if the insertion of Barney into the "Dirty Dancing" footage felt a lot funnier when Billy Crystal first did it (close to 15 years ago, and God do I feel old right now). "Falafel" as an "I love you" substitute, Marshall and Lily's semantic debate, Ted and Marshall accidentally giving the suicidal guy reasons to live, Robin's entire reaction to her sister's boyfriend ("You just say things!"), more of Flashback Ted being pathetic, more of Flashback Robin being oddly blonde... good stuff all around.

(I was especially pleased to hear Nada Surf's "Always Love" played over the climax. I love that song. Alex Patsavas, who picks the music for "The O.C.," "Grey's Anatomy" and some other shows, has called it "the perfect pop song" and yet has never found the right place to use it on one of her shows. I don't know if this was the 100% perfect place for it, but I just love hearing the band come in.)

Only one real complaint: it feels like forever since we've seen Future Ted's kids, and this is the episode they get brought back for? At some point, the writers really need to have Son or Daughter complain about how creepy it is for their father to tell them about his sex life.

What did everybody else think?

21 comments:

Jaynee said...

I thought it was a great episode! IMO, no joke fell flat at all and I loved the continuity (as you said - Flashback Ted's patheticness and FB Robin's blonde hair). And I like the closeout when Barney and the gang began talking about Dirty Dancing again.

Obviously the writers are my age because almost everything on this show "speaks to me" in my own pop culture language. Love it!

And I guess I should finally give up the hope that they EVER bring back Swarley or Slap Bet for continuity's sake.

Michaela said...

During the scene where Ted plays Sensitive Advice Man, I briefly had this twisted thought that Robin's sister could end up being Mom. But that would take a long time, waiting for her to become, you know, of age. Ahem.

DonBoy said...

You know what's unusual on TV, even in a comedy? A sympathetic adult saying that pot is ok.

Rick said...

Michaela:

I thought the same thing about Robin's sister, and hope/pray that she's just one of MANY sisters. There's a certain "Ewwwww" factor to the notion that's its just the two of them, if we're to believe the premiere's claim that Robin eventually becomes "Aunt Robin."

Kristen said...

I think "Aunt Robin" is not meant literally, since Future Ted refers to Lily as "Aunt Lily" to the kids too. They're not actually related in any way, they're just good family friends. I grew up with several people I called Aunt and Uncle who were no blood or marriage relation to me.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'm with Kristen. Future Ted refers to the rest of the gang as Uncle Barney, Uncle Marshall and Aunt Lily.

And I still find it creepy that he's telling his kids so much about his sex life. Then again, maybe Paris and Britney and Lindsay have so thoroughly destroyed the culture in the next 20 years that the stuff he's telling them is considered fairly mild.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, forgot to mention: in Barney's "freeway theory," he predicts that Ted and Robin will take an exit in seven months, which matches up with the theory that they were broken up a year from now in the "Single Stamina" flash-forward.

Roper said...

I've always thought that what we saw on screen was what Future Ted remembers and he may or may not be telling his kids every single detail. At least I hope so, because it would definitely be weird to hear your dad talk about his sex life with his ex-girlfriends all the time.

Also, the freeway theory was a classic barney and great foreshadowing to how this season could end (wouldn't the end of season 2 be about 7 months of robin and ted?)

Good episode but I'm with jaynee, they need to bring back swarley or the slap bet soon.

wonderbug said...

re: freeway theory
and, wouldn't seven months line up exactly with the season finale?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Swarley's done. Barney got a reprieve from it at the end of that episode.

As for the slap bet, everybody needs to be patient. Marshall already used one, which leaves four left for the rest of his life, and only three episodes have passed since "Slap Bet." The longer the writers wait to have Marshall randomly slap Barney, the funnier it's going to be.

Jennifer R said...

I thought Marshall had TEN slaps, not 5. The choice was "five slaps right now, or ten strung out indefinitely" and Barney chose the latter. So nine are left.

I am hoping for a random slap outta nowhere one of these episodes to come.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Nope, you have that backwards. The reason Barney chose the indefinite-period slaps was because there were only five of them instead of the ten he'd have to deal with immediately.

Toby said...

I'm willing to be patient for another installment on the slap bet payment plan. But at the same time, a slap administered right there in such a public place as the lobby of the Empire State Building - and with no reference as to what it was about! - would have been great.

Lindy said...

Another nice bit of continuity -- Barney's real "first time" story reminded me that he used to be a Peace Corps-joining hippie saving himself for marriage. I hope they show us the full story of the transformation someday. I'd love to see the first time Barney suits up.

dez said...

I'm with Roper. I think Ted omits the sex talk with his kids, but since we get to be in his head, we see everything he remembers but doesn't necessarily articulate.

I *hope*.

Anyway, I hope they save one of the slaps for whenever the series ends (which I also hope is a long way off). The final slap in the final ep of the series would be awesome continuity, especially if it takes place in Future Ted's house in front of his kids.

wonderbug said...

i'm with roper and dez.

ted has done it before (not retelling what actually happened to his kids).

when his ex-gf was leaving for germany...he tells the kids that they went to the library, the park etc..but, the episode shows them having sex the entire time.

Cagey said...

Good catch, Wonderbug on the "Ted doesn't really tell EVERYTHING to his kids".

Overall, this season has just been great TV. It's a shame that so many folks are buying the 1st season and saying "Whu?" because the show has really hit its stride in this 2nd season. I am also very weary of the Friends Comparison. Sigh.

Alan Sepinwall said...

HIMYM isn't exactly Friends 2.0, but it's close enough to make the comparison an easy one, especially if you're trying to describe/sell the show to the uninitiated.

Anonymous said...

Um.. what's this talk of the um... mention of falafel as a substitute for I love you?

LoopyChew said...

At the end of the cold open, Robin's building up to finally tell Ted, "I love you," but clams up and accidentally says "falafel" instead.

Pamela Jaye said...

not that anyone will see this years later, but I found the use of the term "freeway" odd by a bunch of people from NYC (isn't freeway a west coast term? In Boston we called 'em highways, and in VA, interstates)
Then I googled it and apparently Barney did not originate the theory? in which case, my argument is moot

calgo - my captcha word - take me away!