Monday, September 29, 2008

HIMYM, "The Best Burger in New York": Heads, tails or pickles

I probably won't get to "Heroes" until sometime midway through tomorrow at the earliest. (Please hold all comments, even vague ones, until then.) In the meantime, spoilers for a burger-iffic episode of "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I put on some Terence Trent D'Arby...

My dad was a scientist. He worked on the team that developed Valium, and was a leader on the team that developed Versed. He had an inquisitive mind, one that I inherited (though I apply it to a completely different -- and far more frivolous -- field), and he believed in being thorough about data, not just with his work, but with life.

One day when I was 11 or 12, I had a doctor's visit somewhere in lower Manhattan. It was a school/work day, and so Dad took the day off to take me. When we were done, we decided to stay in the city to get something to eat. Dad asked me what I was in the mood for; I said pizza. Now, if you've ever been to Manhattan (or watched Seinfeld, or seen "Homer Simpson vs. The City of New York"), you've probably noticed that half the pizzerias are named Ray's, or Famous Ray's, or Famous Original Ray's, or some combination thereof. The way Dad would explain it to me, there really was an original (lowercase), famous (ditto) Ray's Pizza that was so beloved, and yet so untrademark-able that every other place in town adopted some combination of the name in the hopes of fooling people into going there.

"Why don't we," he suggested with a grin, "see if we can find that actual first Ray's?"

I wasn't Robin levels of hungry yet, so I agreed, and we began our search the old-fashioned way: we started driving around in circles, and at every red light, my dad or I would lean out the window and ask pedestrians if they had any idea where the real, famous, original, classic, vintage Ray's was. Even though it was the '80s (the angry, pre-Giuliani New York), and even though we were clearly a pair of suburban dorks in an Oldsmobile station wagon, the natives were surprisingly friendly and helpful -- no doubt because they all wanted to prove that they were smarter and more New York-y than the rest, and did, in fact, know the location of the sacred, holy first Ray's.

The problem, of course, was that they kept giving us different locations; I think we went a half hour at one point without getting the same suggestion twice. But Dad made me dutifully log each one, and even though the locals couldn't agree on the exact spot, a specific neighborhood kept coming up, so we headed there and kept asking. Even there, we didn't get universal agreement, but after we got up to maybe 7 or 8 people mentioning the same place, we decided we were hungry enough to skip past some of the traditional experimental protocols and just eat at that place, dammit.

It was, without a doubt, the best slice of pizza I have ever eaten. After a couple of bites, we looked at each other and Dad said, "I don't know if this is the place all the other ones are named after, but it should be." We wrote down the location on a piece of paper, promised we would come back whenever we were in this part of the city again... and then I lost it. I want to say the place was on 13th and 8th, but I couldn't remember for sure, and the opportunity never presented itself for us to look again.

I tell you that story not because it's so unique, but because it isn't. Everyone I know around here has a story like it -- if not about pizza, then about a sandwich, or homemade ice cream, or french fries, or what have you. Maybe you went to the place once a long time ago, maybe you only hear about it, but you look -- you always look -- and sometimes, if you're lucky, you find it again.

And because of that, "The Best Burger in New York" really resonated with me. It wasn't the funniest "HIMYM" ever -- probably wasn't even as funny as the Barney half of the season premiere -- but there are times when the show really clicks because it feels like it's telling a story out of my life, even though it's the kind of story many people (including, presumably, Bays and Thomas) have lived through on their own.

And there were, in fact, a bunch of funny bits: Robin's ever-increasing despair over not getting to eat ("I will eat your hand!"), the discussion of the Underpants Radius, Neil Patrick Harris getting to ever-so-briefly bust out his Regis impression in front of the real Regis ("I don't know where it is, Regis! I swear!"), the notion that America is obsessed with a game show about coin-flipping (it's no dumber than "Deal or No Deal," which is essentially "guess how many fingers I have behind my back"), and Lily being offended that Marshall could offer such an eloquent defense of the hamburger yet needed to download his wedding vows off the internet.

One minor complaint: all the talk about how gloriously dirty and full of character New York was when Ted and Marshall first moved there is punctured by the fact that New York had already gotten the full Giuliani/Disney/corporate makeover by 2000.

What did everybody else think?

58 comments:

Jon Delfin said...

The place you found might have been that awful fake Ray's at 11th and Sixth Avenue? As the French say, tant pizza. The real Ray's has been established by many sources as being the one on Prince Street a couple of blocks west of Bowery. It's terrific, though I prefer Sal & Carmine's at 102/Broadway.

I thought I'd never find a bacon cheeseburger to top the one at the Union Square Café, but this new "brgr" place at 26th and 7th Avenue is darned good.

Oh, the show? All sit, no com. Hoping next week's will be funnier. It won't take much.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The place you found might have been that awful fake Ray's at 11th and Sixth Avenue? As the French say, tant pizza.

Again, it's been a quarter of a century, but I remember it being really, really good.

I'll have to check out the Prince Street one next time I'm in the city.

Myles said...

I think I had the exact opposite reaction, Alan - my picky eating habits make me the Anti-Foodie, so I couldn't really get into the whole pilgrimage aspect of the episode at all.

That said, there were some cute laughs here and there, and it's always good to just get some good five-way banter with plenty of puns and one-liners thrown in. Plus, it's always good to keep Marshall moving, storyline wise, even if the whole "Working with Barney" is anything but original for the series.

And while I agree that the lampoon of Deal or No Deal is right, it felt like too much of a Millionaire gag with Regis there - I'd have rather they just put him on the set of Super Password to keep it from feeling as dated as Marshall's original hamburger trip.

Nicole said...

While I understood why they wanted to find that special burger, I just didn't find it believable that Robin waited so long to eat. Not only that, but she would have passed the hungry point and would not have been hungry after waiting too long.

And although Marshall is working for the GNB - timely and let's hope it doesn't need a bailout anytime soon - I didn't hear what exactly he would be doing there. Was he going to act as a lawyer there? If not, he truly must be desperate because the one place more soul sucking than a law firm would be a large national bank.

R.A. Porter said...

I liked this one better than the season premiere, but I'm a fan of a noble quest. Tonight reminded me of the pilot in a lot of ways, with the gang (in that case just four + Ranjit) on a holy mission and talking about both the goal and minutiae while doing it. Its sort of Seinfeldian, in that it leads to a lot of talk about nothing important, but that's what makes it feel so real.

Also, the camera pullback to reveal Regis eating with them was reminiscent of the pullback that revealed Ranjit, so I wonder if there wasn't a conscious effort to pay homage to the pilot.

Everything about Robin's plight seemed true to me, though in my case it usually isn't debating what to eat for an hour before giving up, it's going to three or four restaurants with long waits before giving up and realizing we'd have finished already if we'd stayed at the first place.

Plus? NPH Singing. Can't go wrong with that.

Kyle Wasko said...

Dunno...this one kinda fell flat for me, with my biggest complaint (took all my will power not to go with "beef" there) being that the "5 people talking about how much they love their burger" wasn't funny enough to sustain one segment, let alone three. Also: Barney totally ripped off--and badly at that--Tracy Jordan's "I love Halo so much, I wanna take it out behind a middle-school and get it pregnant" line from 30 Rock last year.

Anna said...

I agree that it wasn't the funniest HIMYM but I enjoyed it for the New York references.

I've been in NYC for 5 years now. So I missed a lot of the inside NY jokes of first run Friends and Seinfeld. So I think that is one of the reason I really appreciate HIMYM and the NY references. A lot of the scences really ring true. I have had the best burger debate and like the show someone always brings up "Corner Bistro" and I have to shoot it down. (BTW I'm partial to the Shake Shack).

Roger said...

Good old wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray's_Pizza

"The oldest of the current Ray's Pizzas was opened by Ralph (Raffie) Cuomo of Little Italy, Manhattan at 27 Prince Street in 1959 near the country's first pizzeria, Lombardi's."

As far as tonight's HIMYM, I found it too Seinfeldian. (Is that a word yet?) You're absolutely right when you say the show is a lot better when it doesn't have the feel of a traditional sitcom, which was the case tonight. Regis guest starring seemed a bit forced, but had its moments.

For the record I too want to be a Harlem Globetrotter and get paid in candy.

kyle said...

alan,

while i understand how an episode like this could resonate with people from new york, to me, a life long LA soul, this episode just fell extremely flat. it felt to me, and another of my friends, like a half hour long inside joke that we were not in on, which was frustrating to say the least.

That First Andrew said...

Loved the Regis stuff. He was a bit cartoony for this show, but it was funny enough that I was OK with it. From the massive weight he was benching, to the mailbox he destroyed, and the fake game show, he nailed every scene. Also loved the fact that his picture was on every burger joint wall. Afterall, he was searching for the burger just like Marshall.

And how great was the "I love this Burger so much I..." one upsmanship?

R.A. Porter said...

Regis was good, but nowhere near as good as when he was on Mad About You.

"Hey, Regis!"

Allison said...

Marshall's passionate "It's not just a burger" speech sounded very much like something from Amadeus (maybe when he's describing the Act I finale of Figaro?).

This episode was much funnier than I expected, though I thought it was really stupid that not one of the group offered to give Robin their burger.

Kenrick said...

I can understand that you might like this episode since it resonates with your own personal experience. However, I thought this episode was really lame. It was one of the least funny episodes of HIMYM yet. I found Marshall to be incredibly annoying with his best burger hunt/speech. The running gag of Robin not getting a chance to eat was irksome and tiring - not the least bit imaginative. Barney going on and on about the bank wasn't funny either. Each of the running jokes lasted the whole half hour, but outstayed their welcome after five minutes in. I did laugh when they ran into Regis at the gym though, partly due to how extreme he was.

I don't know why I'm being so harsh on this episode. I think really HIMYM has been going downhill for me and I'm having trouble finding reasons to like it much anymore. Don't worry I still plan to stick around. Last week's episode was better.

Can someone remind me why Marshall and Lily are back living with Ted?

R.A. Porter said...

@kenrick, clearly this was a polarizing episode. Like I said above, I thought it was much better than last week's season premiere. Oh well, to each his own.

As for the apartment, without a job, Marshall and Lily haven't been able to afford all the work the place in Dowisetrepla needs.

dez said...

The running gag of Robin not getting a chance to eat was irksome and tiring - not the least bit imaginative.

I dunno, I thought it was pretty funny that she resorted to licking an envelope at the ATM.

But, it was kind of flat to me, too. A couple of laughs and Barney singing is not enough to make a good ep.

Kenrick said...

@ra Thanks for the clarification. I just sorta assumed they swept the whole Marshall and Lily owning their own place under the rug 'cause they had nowhere to go with the storyline. Actually, I still believe they had no idea where to go with that. I mean... a slanted house/aptmt?! Really!?

@dez It was just silly that no one else would offer her their food or even their fries at least. After the second burger joint Robin could have easily taken the burger with her. I know it's just a show, but buying into the gag was a stretch for me. I did chuckle when she was eating chips out of the garbage though.

Haha, sorry I feel like such a jerk. But I can't help but want to list my displeasure with the show, since I had held it in such high regard.

Oh lastly, the talk about the fake Ray's is interesting, 'cause during the episode I was wondering why the burger joint would openly admit to copying another burger joint. Well, at least now I know why they would copy it... why they would admit it... I dunno.

Oh lastly again. I never believe anyone when they tell me they've had the best burger ever or the best pizza ever. All good burgers and pizzas are about the same. Maybe it's sad that I think that way, since with that mentality I'll never find the best.

LA said...

Marshall's big speech sounded suspiciously similar to an Alan Shore summation in front of a jury. From vocabulary to passion to syncopation and inflection, Shore all the way.

Alan Sepinwall said...

And while I agree that the lampoon of Deal or No Deal is right, it felt like too much of a Millionaire gag with Regis there

Oh, obviously it played off of Regis' time on Millionaire. I'm just saying that these days, a Heads or Tails game doesn't seem that implausible.

Alan Sepinwall said...

while i understand how an episode like this could resonate with people from new york, to me, a life long LA soul, this episode just fell extremely flat.

I recognize that my personal experience colored my take on the episode (which is why I told the Ray's story in the first place), but I don't think it's necessarily a New York thing. When I lived in Philly, I was recruited for a cheesesteak walking tour with some friends. A friend in Chicago will discourse at length on how he identified the best deep dish joint. You'll find similar stories in most cities, depending on whom you ask.

Anonymous said...

Having no corresponding nostalgic experience, I found this particular episode to be overly sitcommy.

Bobman said...

Marshall's passionate "It's not just a burger" speech sounded very much like something from Amadeus (maybe when he's describing the Act I finale of Figaro?).

@Allison - YES. I had to rewind that scene because as I was watching it I kept saying "that's from something, isn't it?" and finally Amadeus popped into my head. Glad I'm not the only one.


Also, if I hadn't been watching this episode at like 10PM last night, I think I would have gone out and gotten a burger.

Jeff Martin said...

It was a cute episode, but I bet that, like me, most HIMYM viewers called the ATM gag before the reveal, and that was kind of cheesy.

It was a bit annoying that last week's episode was so Stella-centric but this one didn't even mention her. Presumably, this takes place after the proposal, but she's not even an afterthought. That's going to have to be fixed in upcoming eps.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"Presumably, this takes place after the proposal, but she's not even an afterthought. That's going to have to be fixed in upcoming eps."

Perhaps Stella ate a peanut butter sandwich died offscreen, thus sparing us from ever having to see her enormous buttery head ever again. And now she and Charlie Pace are in Dead Annoying Character Heaven eating Charlie's imaginary peanut butter forever.

Probably not, but hope springs eternal.

Art Fleming said...

That was an awfully unfunny episode. The burger stuff seemed sitcommy, Robin not eating made no sense (why didnt she just take a burger on the way or something?. This just seemed stupid and destroyed the joke for me). The only funny things were Barney and Regis for me.

Evie Garland said...

I liked this ep, but though Rege's guest spot fell flat, and NPH wasn't given enough funny stuff to do. At least Sarah Chalke wasn't in it....

R.A. Porter said...

@jeff martin, personally I thought they'd fixed the problem with the premiere being Stella-centric by, at least momentarily, turning her into Chuck Cunningham.

In my eyes, Stella gone = fixed.

Whether it was death-by-pbj, like @matter-eater lad suggests, or something else...it works for me.

Jeff Martin said...

See, but I heart Sarah Chalke. I don't care what you say.

Elsewhere in CBSland, "Big Bang" had me rolling last night. It was one of those episodes that really captured Sheldon the sociopath well.

Matt said...

Has "Big Bang" lost its utter contempt for each and every one of its characters yet? Because the couple of times I've watched it, that's what's stood out more than anything. "Penny's dumb! Laugh at her! The nerds are socially awkward! Laugh at her!" The theme song's catchy, though.

floretbroccoli said...

Perhaps my least favorite HIMYM ever. The search for the burger wasn't so very exaggerated. Didn't really bring the funny for me.

Yes, 2000 NYC was not the dark, scary NY.

And, if they've been in NY for eight years, and law school is three years long, what was Marshall doing for the other five years?

Bobman said...

The bulk of this episode occurred over the span of like, 5 hours. I dont' think it's that unreasonable to think that Stella wouldn't be involved.

dez said...

@dez It was just silly that no one else would offer her their food or even their fries at least. After the second burger joint Robin could have easily taken the burger with her.

Yeah, I did wonder why she didn't at least take a bite from one of the burgers or stuff some fries in her pocket. But I can see why the others didn't offer her theirs because they were caught up in Marshall's quest.

Dave S said...

Are Marshall & Lily ever moving into the place they bought? Did I miss something?

Ed said...

Best pizza in your neck of the woods, Alan?

Kinchley's on Franklin Turnpike in Ramsey. Take your wife and kids and enjoy a thin crust and a pitcher.

Even though I live in California now, whenever business takes me within thirty miles of the place, I'm there!

jana said...

I thought it was a hilarious ep, especially since I read this hamburger blog:
http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2008/09/how-i-met-your-mother-the-best-burger-in-new-york-episode.html
They gave HIMYM a huge shout-out!

Rev-Views said...

It was a pretty good episode, but as you say not hilarious.

Mind you, Robin licking the deposit envelope in the background was an excellent touch. You really have to be desperate if you're doing that!

Grunt said...

Oh lastly again. I never believe anyone when they tell me they've had the best burger ever or the best pizza ever. All good burgers and pizzas are about the same. Maybe it's sad that I think that way, since with that mentality I'll never find the best.

So completely and utterly untrue I cna not begin to fathum how someone can be so totally incorrect. I can tell you where I've had the three best meals in my life (actually, probably I can go to 10, with times and dates). I can tell you the best Pizza (V&T's before the fire, although I do love Sal & Carmine as the best day-to-day Pizza. That was my local joint growing up) and I can tell you where to get the best Hamburger (Happy Burger on 93rd and B'way before it closed).

I completely agree that the jokes weren't quite as funny and the plot was a little Seinfeldian (a show I did not like particularly. Perhaps because it was too New York and I lived next door to annoying people like that and do not find them funny in real life). But the storyline...it captured my heart.

And I adored the beginning. I remember Fez on 85 and Broadway, and it has turned into a Wachovia (Big Bank -- not for long though). And McHales...sigh...I had a drink there right before they closed, on 46th Street and 8th Ave. I think they're in the process of putting up new condos.

Anonymous said...

I agree, about everyone has been through this situation in one form or the other, even outside the great NY.

What rang wrong though, and kind of ruined the episode, was when they finally found the place. How this works in real life is when someone tells you they know the best "hamburger" "pizza" whatever, the other people always say its only OK.

Much funnier if Barney and the gang didn't actually like the damn hamburger.

Anonymous said...

Shake Shack and P.J. Clarke's ftw.

Does anyone know if Marshall's elusive burger joint is based on an actual place in NYC?

Anonymous said...

Loved this ep - although I did turn to my husband after the trip to the second burger joint and say "geez, can't one of them offer Robin their burger?!?"

Marshall channeling Alan Shore? Nah. That was F. Murray all the way, babe.

I lived in NY in 2000, too - fully Guiliani'd by then.

Is there any greater joy than watching NPH at work? Replayed his Exasperated Regis Outburst ("I don't know where it is, Regis, I SWEAR!") about 4 times and howled each time. And any lulls in this ep were redeemed by his tender rendering of the Goliath National Bank song ("Member FDIC").

Karen said...

Jon Delfin, I disagree (though I do like your French pun)--the pizza at the Famous Ray's at 13th and 6h Avenue (which I first had with my parents about 38 years ago) is AWESOME. Or it was up to at least 15-20 years ago, which is the last time I ate there. There was a NYTimes article several years ago about the competing claims of at least two of the Ray-variants to being the actual original, but the truth appears to be shrouded in mystery.

My family was particularly fond of that location's Sicilian pie, which was ambrosial. Or was, the last time I was there.

I loved last night's episode, by the way. It had maybe a touch more Regis Philbin than it needed for my taste, but your mileage may vary. I also thought Saget-Ted's closing voice-over was a bit banal for the wrap-up of that particular episode.

But for me, the best Robin-hunger scene was Robin licking the envelope glue at the ATM. Hilarious.

Travis said...

Nicole: Barney mentioned early in the episode that he could get Marshal a job in the legal dept. Not specific, but certainly not 'bank teller'.

best part for me what Barney shooting down all recomendations of where to eat with "I don't like chinese..." Otherwise yeah, the humor of burger-quest was missed on me.

But I still love this show!

Jennifer said...

I looked on TWoP this morning, and MAN, people are annoyed at Robin going hungry. I really didn't think so many people would be all, "Hey, what about logic?" on a sitcom.

I can see the writers thinking that her going hungry was funny, but...eh, we've seen it a million times on every other show. Would have been more entertaining to watch her bring along each burger and stuff herself, and then by the time the Ultimate Burger comes along, she can't eat it.

It was a so-so episode, and the timing of it with regards to the banks sure didn't help. Boy, is that the last thing anyone is finding funny right now.

mhbazzi said...

I cant believe nobody has picked up on this yet, as it hit me right when Marshall said it.... he said that (and Im paraphrasing) "it all started 8 years ago when Ted and I had just moved into our apartment."

Well my understanding is that they lived in a dorm throughout college, and so you would assume that they moved into that apartment, at the earliest, upon graduation at around the age of 21/22. Now considering they are now all supposed to be around the 28-30 year old range (I believe Lilly made reference to Marshall's age this very episode), this makes sense that they have been in the apartment for 8 years.

But what does not make sense is that law school is only 3 years, 4 if you are a night student attending part time (which he did not do). And as we all know, Marshall is a recent graduate, as he just took the bar not too long ago and only worked at his first job for a little bit of time. Therefore, by doing some quick math, I would estimate that there could not have been more than 5 years which has passed from the time Marshall started law school to yesterday's episode (you go to law school for 3 years, then take the bar that summer, start work in the fall while awaiting your bar results). But as stated above, Marshall claims they have bene living in the apt for 8 years. Thus, either Marshall did nothing for the first 3 years in the apartment, or he had some other job btwn undergrad and law school that we dont know about, or the show really really screwed up this timeline of events.

Am I wrong? Anybody else pick up on this?

Anna said...

mhbazzi,

I think your math is probably right. I picked up on it early on and it was confirmed at Ted's 30th birthday. If you go straight from undergrad you finish law school at 25. Marshall was probably 29. It's not uncommon to work for a few years or to get a grad degree in something else first. Perhaps Marshall was doing grad work in environmental science.

Bonneykate said...

It must be a NYC thing. I've lived here my life - pre-Giuliani, Giuliani and post-Giuliani - and have personally been on many a quest. So this episode resonated quite deeply for me. And the Goliath song was priceless.

FWIW, the best pizza has never changed for me: John's of Bleeker Street. The best burger chnages a lot since good places keep closing. But right now, it's Five Guys on 54th Street with Stand on 12th a very close second.

And I'm glad to hear I wasn't the only one who ordered a burger in the middle of the ep.

Kyle Wasko said...

I'll echo what someone upthread said: time off between finishing your undergrad and starting law school is not unprecedented. Personally, I was off for nearly 3.5 years--grad school, teaching in Korea, being extremely lazy--before going back.

No one else was bummed out by the poor man's 30 Rock stuff last night? I guess it was just me then...

Ed said...

I looked on TWoP this morning, and MAN, people are annoyed at Robin going hungry. I really didn't think so many people would be all, "Hey, what about logic?" on a sitcom.

I know! The payoff of the joke was eating filthy potato chips and licking the envelope! That wouldn't have worked if someone gave her some fries.

And besides, Marshal slamming her first burger to the ground had me rolling.

Nicole said...

If this was Robin, we could use Canadian math wherein she would have had to complete 5 years of high school (Grade 13) at that time and then add another year for bar ads and articling post law school and then you would be at minimum 27 before the call to the bar. However, it seems like an oversight, because they should have mentioned that Marshall took some time off between undergrad and law school. A Masters is normally one full year, maybe two, and that still doesn't help with the math.

LoopyChew said...

I've never been more envious of a deposit envelope in my life.

Kevin said...

Ed,

I second the Kinchley's comment. I only ate there once and after sharing one large pizza, I was ready to order a second. I remember seeing people already waiting to get in before their opening time. BTW, I live in California as well.

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to give kudos for the GENIUS Regis Philbin cameo, especially at the end... "Wait... This is it..."

And you just barely hear Marshall going, "You're outrageous Regil Philbin."

Soooo funny. To understand what makes this such a great episode is all the little details. The show's worship of guys like Regis and Bob Barker. The fact that Regis has his autograph at every burger joint in town because he was in search of that burger.

Anonymous said...

Good burgers are all alike, but every bad burger is bad in its own way....

Stef said...

I went out for a big, indulgent dinner with a group of 8 friends tonight, all of us HIMYM fans. When our meals came (a German restaurant, lots of things with wurst and kraut in the names), all of us kept repeating Barney and Marshall's lines about wanting to get the _____ pregnant and eat its ______ babies. Good times.

Anonymous said...

I thought that the 8 year thing was a big slip up, because if he did indeed take time off between undergrad and lawschool, I am certain we would've known about it.

Best burger I've had in NY was at the Burger Joint (I think that's what it's called) inside the Parker Meridian hotel.

I thoroughly enjoyed this week's episode, probably because like so many others, can definitely relate to their quest. Been out here for 6+ years now, and am constantly searching for the best "______" in NYC.

The whole Robbin not eating/complaining about being hungry despite having burgers all around her and could have easily taken a bite from another's burger thing did annoy me as well.

For me personally, sometimes this show can be a bit too, ummmmm, (how do I say this without sounding sexist)..... sometimes the show is just to darn girly. Does that make sense? Im sorry, I dont mean to offend any one, and I do not mean it be offensive in any way, but sometimes, especially the story lines which involve Marshall can be very Chandleresque. I feel like the show is starting to enter Friends (the later years) territory. I loved the show bc it was witty and fun (and let's face it, bc of Barney). No matter what ppl may think of Barney as a person, you cannot deny he is down right hysterical! In real life, Id much rather want to befriend a Marshall over a Barney any day of the week... but that's my point! This is a sitcom which I tune into for comedy (Barney), not those awful whiney ninny storylines.

Anonymous said...

Re: Amadeus. I picked up on the reference immediately. This was the scene I thought of... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxgZcMGmkkI. Funny to see another Amadeus reference so soon after "30 Rock" did theirs.

Nevin said...

Anon is correct, the best burger joint in the city is, the Burger Joint in Le Parker Meridien on 57th between 6th and 7th although rumor has it that the line is 30 mins long now during lunch. in '02-'04 you can get a burger and fries for $8, drink all the $2,50 sam adams drafts you could handle, and listen to Tom Jones on the stereo. Love that place...

Count me smack in the group that liked this episode a lot and smack in the group that hated NPH in the season premier...

Pamela Jaye said...

typing with stylus, forgive terse

when did Ted move to NY? where was the college ehere he and Marshall met? *not* NY?

R.A. Porter said...

@pamela jaye, I'm not sure they've ever said definitively what school Marshall, Ted, and Lily attended. I'm going to take a flier and assume Wesleyan (CT).

Middletown is definitely *not* NYC.