Tuesday, May 01, 2007

HIMYM: Come on down!

Spoilers for "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I play a round of Plinko...

Poor, sad little Barney. Brilliant, hilarious big Barney. Not since Norm Peterson and Cliff's mom were guests on "The Tonight Show" in a latter-day "Cheers" episode -- and possibly not since Cliff asked Alex Trebek, "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?" -- has a sitcom featured such a funny, albeit cross-promotional, salute to a TV institution. Barney's complete dominance of "The Price Is Right" was hilarious, especially him deliberately making a way-over bid on Over/Under so he could waste most of the 30 seconds showing Bob childhood photos. (Though, as Fienberg points out, how can Barney be so obsessed with the show and his "dad" and yet not know that the wheel spin and the Showcase Showdown are the same thing?)

The wedding build-up stuff wasn't quite at the same level of awesomeness, but it still had some highlights: Robin bullying Lily into eating ("You gonna cry? Skinny little baby's gonna cry? Well, eat, baby! Eat!"); the oral sex flashback; Ted's sanitized toast in which Marshall and Lily got caught "holding hands" (plus the way Josh Radnor tried to make his narration cadence the same as Bob Saget's); and the fact that they even gave us a little taste of the wedding before jumping back to the "TPIR" stuff.

I've had a DVD of the two-part finale sitting in my bag for weeks, and I've been waiting until I saw this episode to watch it. And now I can. Woo-hoo!

What did everybody else think?

19 comments:

Curious George said...

Alan, I have to say that I have eschewed traditional sitcoms for years (unless they are on HBO, Showtime, or are Arrested Development). However, after reading a number of your HIMYM posts, I rented the first season and really dug it. Very amusing, and it breaks some sitcom conventions while still clinging to some genre conventions. Anyway, I wouldn't have found it but for your blog, so Thanks!

Nicole said...

Ted and Robin never explained why they were covered in dirt at the beginning of the episode. Something tells me that they actually broke up when that happened and that they are keeping it quiet until after the wedding.

Barney at the Price is Right is no Robin Sparkles, but it's still pretty good. Not wanting to find out whether Bob Barker really was his father added poignancy at the end of an otherwise silly excursion.

Gary said...

It wasn't dirt. It was sauce. Looked like tomato sauce.

R.A. Porter said...

They're almost definitely broken up. We "know" they're going to be done as a couple by the wedding of Barney's brother, which in himym-time should be about five or six months off. Breaking up now would also fit in with Barney's predicted seven-month exit. The next exit on that free love freeway isn't until 18 months.

electricia said...

R.A. - how do we know they're done as a couple by Barney's brother's wedding? I don't recall that. And what is Barney's predicted 7-month exit? I'm confused!

anon said...

Electricia,

Barney, from the episode where Robin's sister visits:

"Relationships are like a freeway. Freeways have exits, so do relationships. The first one, my personal favourite, is 6 hrs in. You meet, you talk, you have sex, you leave while she's in the shower. The next exits are 4 days, 3 weeks, 7 months, then a year and a half, 18 years, and the last exit, death. Which, if you've been with the same woman all your life, it's like 'are we there yet'?"

And the breakup is a reference to Robin and Ted dancing at Barney's brother's wedding, which we saw in a flashforward, which Barney suggests is something only singles do -- couples, being too tired, just sit at the table (which is what Marshall and Lily are doing in the flashforward). Barney phrases this much better, of course. There's probably a discussion of this in Alan's archives on the show.

Anon

wonderbug said...

alan - the wheel spin is what happnes BEFORE the showcase showdown.
they are two different things.

Alan Sepinwall said...

No, I believe the final event is just the Showcase, while the wheel spin is the Showcase Showdown. Look here or here for support.

Isabel said...

I have to admit that TPIR is equal to the awesomeness of Robin Sparkles. The rest of the show wasn't that great...but damn, Barney is a HIT. He is the best thing about this show. More Barney, please.

I hadn't thought about Ted and Robin being broken up already and just not admitting to it yet. Interesting.

The end video of the goodnight song was a trainwreck. I can't believe they got the actor to do that. He is very brave (and also very funny).

And now I'm off to watch clips off last night's episode on youtube.

Lindy said...

Loved this episode -- I have fond memories of watching The Price is Right when I was home sick from school. Has anyone heard anything about whether HIMYM is being renewed?

libby said...

Alan--You are sooo lucky! Wish I was a TV critic! DVD of the finale, indeed! Maybe it will explain Marshall's HAT.

Jesse said...

For me, he best part of the "goodnight video" was that Ted was filming it, *and* jumping in for a duet.

anon said...

libby,

Yes, more than the story about the tomato sauce, I want to know what's up with Marshall and that hat.

Anon

Joel said...

People always confuse the final Showcase with the Showcase Showdown (the big wheel). I even hear people on the CBS local news stations say things like "We'll be on right after the Showcase Showdown."

I wrote about this a few months ago; glad to see that you and Fienberg are anal about that detail, too.

I was stupid enough to watch the last two episodes before this one, so I already knew the answers to some of this episode's little mysteries. I should have known better; Carter and Craig love referring to little details like that in subsequent episodes.

Kyle said...

Isabel,

If you think the good night song was bad, you should check out Jason Segel's love song to his girlfriend on Freaks and Geeks, "Lady L." He not only performs it (terribly) but wrote it as well. I think part of the reason everyone loves him as an actor so much is that he is, indeed, pretty fearless.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Guys, I've been pretty clear about this. No spoilers on this site, warning or no.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for posting that, Alan! I found your blog via Throwing Things today and had no clue that spoilers weren't allowed. I apologize!

Homertojeebus said...

Damn! I missed this ep. I switched out DVR's while the show was in reruns and never set it up again.
This show is 70% awesome, which is a home run for a network sitcom. It took awhile to get it's legs, like a lot of recent comedy hits. Alan, do you get any sense that the networks are learning a lesson from this, "Office", "30 Rock", about letting a show build an audience? What ever happened to the Seinfeld model?