Tuesday, October 23, 2007

HIMYM: Meet cute or meet crazy?

Spoilers for "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I eat a sandwich...

Whew. Crisis averted, at least for one night. Because that? That was the "HIMYM" I know and love. A plot with all five characters just hanging out at the bar and telling jokes at each other's expense, multiple flashbacks (often to the same event), Future Ted finding creative ways to work around parts of the story he doesn't remember (Blah-Blah) or can't tell the kids (eating sandwiches), another Barney theory on dating (complete with visual aid this time) being proved correct and an extended appearance by Ted's Jewfro. (Though it's not actually supposed to be a Jewfro, as Ted's a gentile.) Hell, even the flashforward to Combover Marshall and Nancy Reagan Lily, which was so depressing the last time (save the "NYC Lawyer Captures Nessie" headline in the background) was upbeat and funny this time.

So it's clear Bays and Thomas still remember how to do it right; they've just been going too far in focusing on the new Ted and Robin status quo. Hopefully, this one wasn't an aberration but the start of a resurgence.

What did everybody else think?

24 comments:

Donlee said...

Legen-and I hope you're not lactose intolerant because the next part is-dary.

Matt said...

Agreed. It's also worth noting that this episode featured (by far) the least Robin of any episode this season. She wasn't in a single one of the flashbacks, which were the majority of the running time, and didn't have a whole lot to do in the "present" aside from the brilliantly delivered "no, no, no." I'm still not confident they've figured out a way to keep her in week to week. Maybe they need more of her at work, or a rabid Robin Sparkles fan offering her big money for an appearance at a mall (today!).

And the World of Warcraft joke? Perfect.

Alan Sepinwall said...

She wasn't in a single one of the flashbacks

No, she appeared very briefly in a clip from the pilot, when they ran through how Ted met Robin. Not new footage, but technically a flashback.

Amy said...

Loved it. It is coming back to the show we all found and loved. I hope they keep it.

Quotable, suspenseful, hilarious. AND with visual aids!

Lindy said...

Great episode all around. Blah's jealousy of Robin was hysterical and I loved the college flashbacks and learning how everyone met Barney. I still giggle every time I think about the "flashback" to Ted and Blah-Blah meeting in the World of Warcraft universe. Now that's my show!

Bill said...

Talk about a relief. I don't know if it was quite a home run, but I'll settle for an RBI triple considering how flat-out dull the season to date has been. It's been a pretty disappointing couple months for TV, barring Mad Men.

I continue to love gags like the sandwiches, and the revisited flashbacks. Not only has the conceit of Future Ted's narration not worn thin yet, it genuinely brings something to the table. I remember being sure I'd be sick of it by the end of the first season.

I agree with Matt: I'd like to see a return of Robin Sparkles in one form or another. With the number of flashbacks the show does, they really wouldn't have to go out of their way to make that happen.

DonBoy said...

I believe that Ted's sandwich, in the second college flashback, has a small bowl attached to it, right about where it should be. Or else it's a bread wart designed to suggest same.

Tom G, ballssticksstuff.com said...

Great episode, loved the "Vicky Mendoza Line"

Pirate Alice said...

The best so far! Ted never struck me as a WOW kinda guy, but that was the PERFECT "meeting online" joke.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

DonBoy,

I think that was an olive.

CM said...

It was cute, but... nothing happened! No part of the story was advanced in any way. At least the other episodes, even though they were a little lackluster, went somewhere.

Tom said...

It was funny, but...

I can certainly buy a gorgeous, stylish New Yorker who's neurotically insecure. Or I can accept a neurotically insecure young woman who also plays Warcraft online. But when you have a gorgeous, stylish, neurotically insecure young New Yorker who ALSO happens to play Warcraft online --you've crossed a line. Call it the Blah-Blah Line. She's no longer a believable character, but a contrivance to set up jokes (albeit good ones).

I'm sure Barney could plot all this on a scattergram, or whatever.

Andrew said...

Does an episode of HIMYM need to advance a plot arc?
This had Barney illustrating the Crazy/Hot graph!

Kensington said...

Two other running gags that I appreciated:

- Ted leering like the Grinch at Lily and insisting that they'd made out by repeating "come on" three times in a conspiratorial yet patronizing tone (and Alexa mirroring that same technique on Ted in 2020); and

- the running gag about Ted as a guy who kisses with too much tongue. It was funny the first couple of times, but when Alexa confirmed it in 2020, it was comedy gold. Great use of a peripheral character to elevate a couple of decent gags.

Gerrie said...

This was superb. I was giggling and laughing and I never stopped. Great return to form. This is the Mother we all love.

I felt the hint of future Robin/Barney moments in the 16 nos. That might be a way to utilize Robin without the lame B stories.

Chris W said...

My favorite part of tonight was a near throwaway line:

In the "How Marshall Met Barney" flashback, when Ted explains to Marshall who Barney is and then adds, "He's kind of a jackass."

That was awesome to me. It's not very often that TV show characters acknowledge the jackassery of their "funny friend." While I love Barney and his Barney antics, yes, he is a jackass. Everyone has a friend they like to hang out with because they're a jackass.

(Oh and BTW: I was the one after the first episode of this season to ask if I should see Season 1 and Season 2 and I thankfully took your advice, Alan, and did a near marathon via Netflix. I was amazed at how much I loved this show. I wasn't sure if, other than Seinfeld, I could ever love a three-camera sitcom. This show proved me wrong. As long as this season starts being a lot more like last night's episode).

PamelaJaye said...

Is it sad that, while watching, I thought "well, Alan will be happy"?

I managed to get through Chuck in under two hours for a change and therefore got to watch this last night. And yes, it was fun. You didn't mention the sign language, did you?

DonBoy said...

Off-topic, but we're not getting a topic on Samantha Who? so I should say that I saw the second one last night and I liked it. Joy Osmanski from The Loop as...wait for it...a put-upon secretary! Plus, my big laugh of the night: Sam is trying to find out what her job is from her (ex-?)boyfriend:

BF: Every time I asked you what you did for a living you started talking really slowly to me like I was a monkey.
Sam: There's no reason to speak slowly to a monkey.

jcpbmg said...

donboy, i watched samantha who as well, and while it was definitely an improvement over the pilot it still felt a little bit over the top.

however, barry watson is definitely working extra-hard to make up for those 7th heaven years. I never realized how funny he (and his facial expressions) was.

Zach said...

I loved this episode, but I predicted this one would be better than the previous weeks' because the previews showed that it was a flashback episode. Basically, when they're not exploring Ted and Robin's new relationships, it will probably be great. If they continue down the Ted/Robin path, it will likely keep being uneven. Robin essentially needs to stop dating, because she's much funnier that way.

For the episode itself, I LOVED the World of Warcraft gag. I had to pause my DVR to laugh when the hot blonde said "I'm Ted." I also loved Ted, Lily, and Marshall eating sandwhiches in their forties. And Marshall trying to hide a sandwhich from Ted, whom he thought was the dean (and actually believing that the dean could be assigned as his roomate). Barney following Marshall around for a week because he kissed Lily at the bar was classic.

Anthony Foglia said...

I'm with tom on the WoW joke. Not only did it not seem in blah-blah's character, the joke was obvious way before Ted identified his character. Otherwise, a good episode. Not as hilarious as the tricycle, but more interesting character-based humor.

Re: Samantha Who A little better, but still another mediocre ABC single-camera comedy. (Best line: Andrea about the secretary, "She's diabetic.")

ant said...

Did anyone else think that college Ted looked a lot like Bob Saget?

Courtney said...

Why is Barney busting Ted's chops about meeting girls online? He has meet girls online before.. IE: the Lemon law episode.

LoopyChew said...

Courtney, somehow I don't think Barney cares about whether his girl du jour is crazy or not. In Crazy Eyes, he said Marshall would probably have wild monkey sex with Chloe five or six times and then dump her, which to me sounds like a perfectly Barney thing to do, except for the "five or six times." Unless you're counting the multiple-entry visa.