Monday, October 06, 2008

HIMYM, "I Heart NJ": I Hate Ted Mosby

Spoilers for "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I pay a good price for 12 pounds of nutmeg...

Ted Mosby, why must you anger me so? You're already the fifth most-appealing character in an ensemble of five, you're destined to age into Bob Saget, and now you spend almost an entire episode hating on my birthplace? Feh.

Actually, Ted's pathological Jersey hatred didn't bother me that much. After all, he had declared it previously (albeit in one of the worst episodes in the history of the series, last season's "We're Not From Here"), in part because I've encountered similar bigotry throughout my life. Hell, during the period when I lived in Hoboken, I was occasionally guilty of a niche brand of that same prejudice, as I would occasionally try to act like urban, NYC-adjacent Hudson County was somehow better than the rest of the state.

(Now that I live in the 'burbs, of course, I could bore you to tears with a discourse on the beautiful parks and scenery, surprisingly wide-open spaces, interesting backroads trips, and all the many ways that Stella did a poor job of selling the advantages of Jersey over New York, but that would be... well, boring. Either you live here and like it, or you don't.)

What bothered me about "I Heart NJ" was that it took Ted's simplistic view of Jersey and seemed to apply such broad, black-and-white thinking to everything. "HIMYM" looks like a traditional sitcom, but it doesn't usually act like one; this time, it did, and a mediocre sitcom, at that. The running gag about Barney's inability to put his arm down, Robin dancing throughout the entire part of the phone call about it only being a job audition, Ted not understanding that Stella was being sarcastic about moving to New York -- all of it sacrificed believable behavior for some jokes that weren't that great in the first place.

Even the big emotional moments didn't work. Robin's triumphant moment seems like the kind of thing that nobody really thought through -- sure, it's a rinky-dink local operation, but quitting in the middle of a newscast isn't the kind of thing that's going to look good to a potential new employer. And while Stella articulated a lot of good reasons for why she wouldn't want to move (if not why Ted might still enjoy himself there), I don't see how reading one bedtime story to her kid might suddenly sway him.

If it wasn't for some good throwaway gags like Barney's quest to seduce a lesbian, or the converted Jerseyans getting excited about dog shirts (note that Marshall was wearing one in the final scene), or the script acknowledging that Marshall (whom we already know isn't the kind of guy who likes being out late partying) would probably be a lot happier outside of Manhattan, or the use of Springsteen's great version of "Jersey Girl," I would have been extremely unhappy with this episode. Instead, I was just disappointed.

What did everybody else think?

62 comments:

Stef said...

I still say a so-so HIMYM is better than almost anything else on tv, so I'm game for tonight's ep. I loved Marshall, as always, and NPH could make me laugh just reading a phone book. I'm still waiting to see what will be the final straw between Ted and Stella, because I do not think she's the mother. But it's good to see Robin getting her chance to travel the world -- although she'll have to be back by Ted's next birthday, right? Something about a goat? :-)

Anthony Foglia said...

I really enjoyed it. I agree, it was very conventional, but it was well-executed (except for the Robin-racing-back-to-the-studio part). Then again, while you love Jersey, I feel trapped here, in the state of my birth. And I know that even living in Hoboken, I'd get fed up with riding the PATH all the time. :-)

But I also agree with Marshall, that all the stores in NY are tiny.

(Honestly, if I was married with children, NJ would be fine, but I'm single and childless, and there's no social opportunities in NJ.)

Anonymous said...

I think my issue with Ted's NJ hatred was that it really wasn't a hatred of NJ so much as a hatred of the suburbs in general. Which is fine, but then why pick on the Garden State? Would he have freaked out if Stella lived in Westchester or Long Island? I did laugh at his compromise of offering to move to Brooklyn, but given that Robyn made it back to her office in half an hour, how far outside the city could Stella have even lived? Probably not so far that most of Brooklyn would be any closer. Also, doesn't Stella work in Manhattan? I got the impression she had her own practice, so why would she set it up in the city if she hates it so much?

Alanna said...

One of the saving graces of the main plot was that at least the writers showed that Ted was being a jackass about the whole thing. His reasons didn't hold water compared to Stella's VERY valid ones, and they played less as NJ vs. NY as Ted's fear that moving meant he would become A Grown Up rather than the hip, fun-loving young turk (which he never really has been, despite his assumptions.)

Anonymous said...

Is Ted the fifth most appealing character or is it just that Josh Radnor is the fifth most appealing cast member? I imagine that if Ted was played by, say, John Krasinski he'd be a lot more appealing.

MCB said...

I have to agree with you, Alan. The Jersey vs. NYC stuff was just so tired and irritating. (Full disclosure: I'm a Colorado native currently living in NJ and I'm fed up with both parties. There is a whole world outside the tri-state area, show! New Jersey is not as charming or as far out there in the boondocks as everyone on the show seems to think it is.)

Even more irritating: that Stella and Ted wouldn't have had a serious conversation about where they were going to live! I've known people who got married after a whirlwind romance, but I've never seen anyone in real life be so stupid and clueless about what life would look like after the wedding. It makes it so hard to root for Ted and Stella, or even just for Ted, when the characters act this way.

I'm DVR-less and I spent the entire episode wishing I'd watched "Chuck" instead.

Bobman said...

I may read this blog a bit much; as soon as Ted started his Jersey rant I thought "boy, Alan's not gonna like that one."

Mediocre episode; not bad per se but not great either. I think I laughed more at Big Bang Theory tonight if you can believe that.

Anonymous said...

i thought this was actually the funniest episode of the season so far. i am from the suburbs (not new jersey), but i thought the fact that the show was obviously not on ted's side made up for the jerkiness of his anti-nj biases.

Anthony Foglia said...

Anonymous said, "Also, doesn't Stella work in Manhattan? I got the impression she had her own practice, so why would she set it up in the city if she hates it so much?"

I don't think Stella hates the city so much as she prefers raising a child in NJ. I'm sure that if she were single, she'd have no problem moving in with Ted in the city. I imagine she used to live there (or in Brooklyn) until she had Lucy, needed more space, and wanted a lawn.

MCB wrote, "I'm a Colorado native currently living in NJ and I'm fed up with both parties. There is a whole world outside the tri-state area, show! New Jersey is not as charming or as far out there in the boondocks as everyone on the show seems to think it is."

But NJ has great pizza! I was walking in Boulder seven years ago, and stumbled across a place serving great, thin, soft crust pizza. Living on the west coast at the time, I had to eat there. I looked at the menu, and read their other locations: Two other places in CO, and then three places in NJ! No wonder they knew how to make a good pie. (CO is much more beautiful than any state east of it.)

arrabbiata said...

It's always been hard to take Ted's hatred of NJ seriously, as he was born and raised in Ohio. I've lived in the midwest; he just doesn't deserve to be that arrogant. Does he have the same feelings about the suburbs in Connecticut and Long Island?

Of course this kind of thing goes both ways. We had a local mayor around here get into a bit of trouble for publishing his views of people from Staten Island. Don't know if Ted would count that as NYC or not.

Still, I had a feeling that New Jersey would win in the end (of this episode)- Thomas and Bays wouldn't dare risk the wrath of the mighty Sepinwall.

A mediocre episode, but still better than most of what is presented as comedy on tv these days. Think I'll skip the rerun.

Kensington said...

Well, they can't all be gems, but, yeah, this one was a real turkey. As a resident of New York City (but not native born), I find the sort of Manhattanist "pride" exhibited by most of the characters remarkably irritating.

Irrational snobbery in a heightened character like, say, Basil Fawlty can be genius; the same snobbery in a show like this is just kind of ugly.

The only saving grace was Marshall's delightful anti-New York monologue. The man spoke truths and had me cheering.

Kensington said...

One more thought, if you don't mind.

The idea that a cable news station like Metro 1 (which I assume is modeled on NY1) would not have several hundred other aspiring anchors ready to step in and replace Robin is beyond sitcom lame.

You can't have it both ways, acting as though New York is the center of the universe but then fudging some of the details to make it seem like some hick rube town. It just can't work in a nominally realistic universe.

Allison said...

The only redeeming moments of this episode were Marshall's rant about being too big for New York and the aforementioned use of "Jersey Girl." Otherwise it was an unfunny mess. Worst episode ever as far as I'm concerned.

Now I know Ted's not going to marry Stella because he's WAY too immature to be a stepdad.

R.A. Porter said...

A sad, weak episode. The only thing that could have redeemed this episode for me was if Brian Collins had actually been the substitute anchor at the end.

Then Stella's out-of-character "boom goes the dynamite" could have had a decent payoff, instead of the whimpering payoff they got.

qrter said...

The thing with Ted is - all of his likes and dislikes seem unbelievable or at least I don't take them seriously at all. Josh Radnor seems kind of passionless.

When he says he hates NJ, I don't believe him. When he says he love Star Wars, I don't believe him. In both cases Jason Segel (Marshall) is much more "into it" - his hate of NY seems believable, as does his love of Star Wars.

Radnor just can't sell passion, it seems.

dez said...

Maybe it's my West Coast bias against NJ *and* NY, but I thought it was pretty funny, especially Barney's nearly futile effort to get a fist bump :-) And no way is Stella the mother.

Nicole said...

Since I had no horse in this race, I thought of you Alan with the New Jersey bashing. Marshall's outburst was really the only fun thing about this episode, otherwise the rest was ho-hum. The city/suburb argument is pretty universal (or at least in North America) and while Stella's arguments make sense, she does work in the city and has to ostensibly deal with the travel herself, so living closer to the office would let her spend more time with her daughter. The fact that there was no discussion of compromise from either party and just threats of either/ or just confirmed for me that Stella is not the one.

SoCal said...

Maybe it's because i live in LA, but i didn't think the episode was that bad. Segal's monolouge about why he hates NYC was great and Barney's quest to get the bump was not vintage Barney, but nonetheless funny.

But i think the weakest part of the show is the Ted/Stella parts. She is clearly not the mother, and the fact that in the last few eps Stella has been in they have argued about stuff that any couple would discuss before getting married. I hope they resolve it soon and move on.

Either way, not the best but definetly not one of the worst eps

Anonymous said...

Okay. We. Get. It. The show is set in New York. If this show was less provincial about its setting and more focused on bringing the funny, perhaps it would return to greatness. Why the writers and producers insist on turning this into a show about the characters' choice of city rather than their interpersonal relations is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

No, a so-so episode of HIMYM definitely isn't better than anything else on TV---a root canal would have been more fun than this "so-so" episode.

erin said...

I thought this was pretty standard sitcom stuff, and as we've all discussed here, that's not why we watch HIMYM. Barney was completely wasted, and yes, I thought the same thing about Robin--I wouldn't give her a job either if I saw how she treated the last one. And I thought they were being particularly difficult about "partying" in Stella's basement--she's Ted's fiance, gang--show a little respect and enthusiasm, even if it's not your thing. That's what friends do!

However, Marshall is funny as always. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" was underrated!

And on a random note, I don't usually watch "Big Bang Theory", but I've been catching up with it based on people commenting on how funny it is from these last few HIMYM blog posts! And you know what? It IS pretty funny!! Thanks, various commenters!

Bobman said...

Yeah I found it odd that the gang was being so stubborn about hanging out in Stella's basement - they spend a LOT of time having fun while hanging out in their own apartment, and when they do go "out" it seems to be almost strictly to the same bar every time. I mean, I know that's just because it's a TV show and they have to use the same set, but still.

the2scoops said...

Wasn't their worst episode, wasn't their best. I was sort of hoping the Barney making lame jokes thing would lead to a "Barney's awesomeness weakens when he's further from New York" thing. But too many plot points depending on mis-understandings and stupid decisions.

zodin2008 said...

Sorry, Erin, my wife and I were very excited when we went to see "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" in May, and were completely disappointed...we hardly laughed at all. (and considering the pedigree of comedians in the film, very disappointing).

Yeah, this was not a good episode. I also didn't like the season premier with Barney acting out of character for Robin. Please let Barney be Barney - always and forever.

And really disappointing because last week's "Mother" was hysterical.

Kyle Wasko said...

S3: totally forgettable.
S4: 2 out of 3 have been out and out clunkers.

Starting to get very concerned that the brilliant S2 was simply an anomaly. That really bums me out...

Anonymous said...

I thought the episode was fine, not the best but not the worst. And for the record, the hatred of all things not Manhattan was completely believable to me. When I lived in the city (there's the first indication that people think they can call it "the city" and they certainly aren't referring to Queens) pretty much every native New Yorker was exactly like that. I had a friend who refused to go to a party in Brooklyn Heights even though it was closer to our work than her UES apartment. I always found it annoying but then started dating my now wife who lived in Park Slope and we had a number of "interactions" about how I didn;t want to go out there.

As for Ted being provincial and acting like a Manhattanite, he's been in NY for 8 years now, which is basically his entire adult life, it was totally believable. Now, he and Stella never really talking about where they'd live is another story...

Andrew said...

Compared with the last episode where HIMYM discussed NJ ("We're Not From Here"), this one was much better. It at least had some funny elements-- Marshall's rant about being too big for NYC and "Boom goes the dynamite." And that's about all I expect from HIMYM. Episodes like "Slap Bet" are the aberration, and generally the show doesn't click quite that well.

Evie Garland said...

OK, I live in Brooklyn and don't like the Jerse (sorry Alan), but hated this episode even more.

It's really frustrating because I've been trying to get my boyfriend into this show and this season has been pretty weak thus far....

What got me the most is how 2-dimensional all the characters were. Ted is supposed to be this caring guy, so I found it impossible to believe he'd think even for a second about making his girlfriend's daughter move away from her friends (to a place were getting into a good school is hard and very expensive!!). My bf actually thought that Ted as a character was supposed to be a huge jerk (ala Seinfeld) and that's where the humor was supposed to come from.

And as others have said, that the gang would be sooo resistant to spending ONE night in NJ with their friend's fiance, and much of the situation surrounding Robin's storyline, was just absurd.

I love HIMYM because it's funny and clever. While this ep had a few funny moments (thank you, Jason Segel) it was DEFINITELY not clever. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, any ep with Sarah Chalke in it is bad.

Matt said...

Part of the problem with the "foreign correspondent" storyline is that we know it's not going anywhere for two reasons:

1. They're not going to dump one of their principals.
2. It's already established in show canon that Robin is sharing the NYC apartment with Ted as of next spring (the goat/washcloth incident).

Therefore, we can guess:

A) Lily and Marshall are moving to Dowisetrepla sometime before the end of the season.
B) Robin takes the job in Japan, but hates it (and/or Barney's magical powers and connections sabotage it) and returns to NYC--having given up her apartment in Brooklyn, she moves in with Ted.

And the irony is that NY1 is actually a pretty good newscast--Pat Kiernan rules.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Matt, other Future Ted narration has made it clear that Robin spent a while as a foreign correspondent and lived in lots of different countries. I could see a scenario where she takes the gig but is back in NYC enough for the show's purposes, but not enough for her to keep her own apartment -- hence, she takes Marshall and Lily's room when they move to Dowisetrepla.

It'd be sort of the Everybody Loves Raymond approach to Ray's sportswriting career: the stories always took place when Ray had a day off. Not necessarily realistic, but workable.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, any ep with Sarah Chalke in it is bad."

Funny how that works. Chalke not only has no chemistry with the regulars, her performance seems beamed in from some other series. I just hope the writers are intentionally writing her and Ted as a couple with lots of issues and don't think this is a relationship that works, because that would be painful for us as viewers and anyone they might marry or date in real life.

LA said...

Between the weak script and the inherent unlikeability of Josh Radnor, I agree with everyone who thought this episode was an epic fail.

This season isn't really off to a good start. I'm starting to get concerned.

Jennifer said...

Well, as a native Californian who has never been to NY or NJ, I officially don't care! Woo hoo!

Honestly, I was dumb enough to get into an LDR/engagement with someone without having major discussion as to where we'd live, where the place I lived was awesome and he lives in Mos Eisley. But I was 23, not 30 and/or with kid. This is just here to show how they probably break up in the next episode. Whatever, I say.

That said, Marshall's "I'm too big for NYC" speech was certainly funny.

Barney's fist-bump thing was pretty dang lame, but I will admit that Lily giving him one did have some payoff for me. (Then doing the hand thing right after...not so much.)

Robin...meh.

zodin2008 said...

Wait a minute...where is all this Sarah Chalke hatred coming from? I am really surprised to see 2 negative rants againdt her here.

Not only has she been a hysterically funny part of "Scrubs" for 7 years and has had great chemistry with Zack Braff (even when it was annoying how often they got back together), I think her chemistry has been spot on with the HIMYM cast - this was the first episode where her interaction was less than stellar with them because of the NY vs. NJ deal.

Every review I've seen, including from Alan, has been pro Sarah Chalke. Add me to that list.

Anonymous said...

I agree with zodin2008. Sarah Chalke is not the problem here.

Jeff Martin said...

Agreed with the surprise at the Chalke bashing. I think the problem is that she's being written more and more to NOT be the mother, and it's starting to get telegraphed into the performance. I think she clicks well with the cast when she's allowed to.

Kensington said...

Loves me some Sarah Chalke, but Josh Radnor is getting to be like fingernails on a blackboard.

Kensington said...

Do we really need to even meet the mother? I can easily see that whole thing just being wrapped up in a coda or final montage in the last episode of the series. They wrap up all the final story lines, and then Future Ted voice overs about how it was at that moment tha "your mother" walked into the room, and they had a whirlwind romance and got married and then had kids. The End.

Maybe show a few quick clips of Ted and her courting during the voiceover. They wouldn't even need to show her face, or they could use an extra. It's not really that important to me. I like the core 5 and am happy enough to leave it with them.

LeeZy said...

The "boom goes the dynamite" phrase was only funny, if you watched the Family Guy season premiere and remembered what Cleveland says when he reaches climax during sex.... and then you hear Stella say it.... otherwise I definitely heard crickets chirping...

Travis said...

Like Nicole said, in North America this argument is very, very common. As someone in a relationship in which I live 'downtown' and she lives in 'the burbs', this episode was great, right up until Ted and Stella starting arguing points for and against NY/NJ. Maybe they were all too specific to the region for me to understand. Any arguments that my girlfriend and I have had over where to live have been about logistics (closer to work/parents/etc) rather than sports teams and boutique store locations.

After a while, you just realise that it doesn't really matter where you live, as long you get to come home to that person that you care about at the end of the day. And for that, an hour long commute instead of the 20 minutes from my apartment isn't an issue... the fact that Ted let the argument carry on for that long was idiotic. They lost me in those few scenes in the basement.

Everything else for me was great! I've been known to make some disperaging remarks about any place outside of downtown (and near Vancouver, everyone in the lower mainland knows 'downtown', so I love that I can say 'dowtnown' and not have to further define it) so Ted's references to NJ gave me some great ideas to prolong the joke.

Barney's arm situation was rather lame, though...

pdf said...

Reading these comments I'm almost sorry I didn't stick around until the end, but the NJ-bashing (I live in Elizabeth) drove me away at the first post-titles commercial break. (My wife and I had a DVD of the Keanu Reeves/Forest Whitaker movie Street Kings, which I highly recommend if you're a fan of The Shield or L.A. Confidential or the overlooked Kurt Russell movie Dark Blue - it's a great combination of all three.) Our reaction was basically, "F these guys." I work in Manhattan and wouldn't live there on a dare. In response to an upthread commenter, yes, the pizza is better in NJ than in NYC.

Karen said...

I can't believe no one has mentioned Barney's arm dropping like his face and, clearly, his heart at the news that Robin was leaving for Japan.

I lived in Jersey (Fort Lee) from ages 10-19 and hated every moment of it; couldn't wait to move into the city. For reasons too complex to describe, I moved back to Jersey (Jersey City) for two years three years ago. Only one of my friends ever came out there to see my fab apartment, and that one only came out the once. So I totally believe it that Lily/Marshall/Robin/Barney didn't want to go out to Jersey even for one night--Stella isn't even their friend.

But, as others have pointed out, it's not so much a Jersey/NYC thing as a suburbs/city thing. For me, having to own a car is like a prison sentence; having to care for a yard and manage my own home repairs as opposed to going to a beautiful park and having a super is just insanity. My brother (and my fab nephews) and my mom still live in Jersey, in Bergen County, and I hate going out there. The buses drop you half a mile from where you need to go and there aren't any sidewalks to walk on to get there, after you've crawled through every damn town to get there in the first place.

So, sorry, Alan, but I was with Ted on this one. It would be inconceivable for me to give up my convenient urban life for the suburbs. But I agree with the commenter who said that Ted's hatred for Jersey didn't seem to have any rational basis. The "I Hate New Jersey" t-shirt was just odd. He's not even from there--what's he know about Jersey??

I do get his conversion, though. He suddenly realized that the move was not about the where but the who, and he wanted to be part of this family. Unfortunately, that story line was already completely covered by the Miranda-moves-to-Brooklyn arc in Sex and the City. So, not only was it a kind of weird episode, but it was derivative.

Oh, and Matt is right: Pat Kiernan ROCKS.

Alan Sepinwall said...

So, sorry, Alan, but I was with Ted on this one.

I'm not saying that New York doesn't have many advantages over New Jersey -- and vice versa. My complaint, again, is the same one you make: that Ted seems to have no rational reason for his hatred, that he can't even articulate good reasons to hate the place (and believe me, there are plenty of those, as well), and that Stella doesn't do such a hot job of defending it, either.

(And, as others have said, Marshall and Lily have always acted like a boring married couple who would like nothing better than a Game Night in someone's basement, going back since before they were actually married.)

When "HIMYM" does regional material, it usually does a better job of being specific about it. This was just lazy on both Ted's part and on the writers' part.

Bobman said...

@Karen : There is convenience in living in the city, but no way is it for everyone. I've lived in both, and much prefer a more rural environemnt, for a lot of the reasons Marshall says. I like to be able to have a cookout, or have people over and hang out in the yard without all the vagrants that inevitably flock to a public park. It's nice to sleep through the night without the constant sound of traffic, or worse, emergency sirens (cop cars, ambulances, etc) every half hour. And yes, I love to drive, so I can't imagine not owning a car.

That's why they make chocolate and vanilla, I guess. :)

cashewdani said...

I think you captured the sentiment perfectly when you said last night's episode was like a sitcom. And if this had been an episode of any number of traditional sitcoms that I watch, I don't think I would have found it so blah. But this is HIMYM and I expect more from them!

And as for the NY v. NJ debate, I think both Stella and Ted were right for the places in their lives that they are. Stella is stressed by her job in the city, she's trying to raise her daughter on her own, and between the two, doesn't have much of a social life. NJ is the place for her. But Ted isn't at that place in his life yet.

And speaking of, the fact that Stella has a daughter is making this whole thing that much more uncomfortable to me. It's one thing to get caught up in this crazy romance when there's only 2 people involved, but she has a kid. How could they have not talked about where they're going to live, and how this is all going to affect the little girl and HUGE things like that?

Kenrick said...

I'll be brief:

The Bad:
-Marshall, Lily, and Barney were quite jerks complaining about spending time with Ted and his FIANCE.
-The Robin and puns running gag is and has been unfunny.
-The lack of discussion between Ted and Stella about where to move to seemed lazy and poorly reflects on both characters.

The Good:
I find Marshall annoying sometimes, but his rant at the end was hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Metro News 1 is TOTALLY NY1. There's even a cute brunette on NY1 who ends all of her stories with a pun.

Giselle said...

I have to disagree. While the last two episodes were uncharacteristically, well, un-funny and (in the case of the second ep) almost pointless, this one just felt like good, classic HIMYM. Robin's acrobatic bicycle move was a great narrative throwback to season one (when older Ted explains how Marshall and Lily escaped their own party). Yet another season 1 throwback was Marshall hating on NY while holding some olives. That was great. Barney's fist/high fave thing was pretty hilarious, though I admit a pretty pointless gag had it not come together at the end when he finally lowered his hand in disappointment that someone plans to move out of the country. I was also convinced that TED was convinced to move to NJ. Reading to Lucy no doubt reminded him that a family means more to him than all the appealing qualities of Manhattan, and if that means moving to NJ, he'll just have to take it.

Rachel said...

I actually really enjoyed this episode -- and I was born and raised in New Jersey, went to college in Chicago, recently moved to Long Island, and can only dream of the day where I can live in a postage-stamp-sized apartment in NYC with all the take-out menus I can find.

The problem is that Ted has done this at least four times with Stella; he takes an outrageous position, then relents at the end of the episode and has Learned His Lesson. Ted can be awfully inconsistent; he's said multiple times that he wants kids, but it seems like his reading the bedtime story to Lucy was the first "dad" activity he'd ever taken on. Robin was way more involved with the son of the guy she dated twice.

While I love Sarah Chalke and Josh Radnor on the show, Ted and Stella are an awful, awful couple, and rushed into the engagement way too fast. Damn season cliffhanger...

But the rest of the characters were hilarious, and I loved Lily teasing Barney.

dez said...

I like Josh Radnor and Sarah Chalke. I even like Ted and Stella. Definitely do not want Stella to be the mother, however.

Anthony Foglia said...

LeeZy said... "The "boom goes the dynamite" phrase was only funny, if you watched the Family Guy season premiere and remembered what Cleveland says when he reaches climax during sex.... and then you hear Stella say it.... otherwise I definitely heard crickets chirping..."

That was the point. She's so out of touch living in Jersey, she thinks "boom goes the dynamite" is still hip. Very sitcommy.

I think they need to find a way to have Stella in episodes that aren't about her and Ted fighting over something. The writers will need to give some excuse as to why her kid isn't with them. A good episode where they're secondary, and we can see them interact without conflict, will make Stella more enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

It makes me sad that so many people loved episode 2 (greatest burger) and dislike this episode. I guess viewers really do just want to be laughing for the whole episode at mindless garble rather than getting some actual content.

This episode was great, as was the first one. If we get any more episodes like ep 2 greatest burger I'll be switching off.

Mark B said...

She's so out of touch living in Jersey,...

That doesn't follow. She works in NY, but even if she didn't, New Jerseyans listen to and watch mostly NY-based media. (Assuming NY is what one wants to be in "touch" with.)

... she thinks "boom goes the dynamite" is still hip.

We're dealing with characters who think "awesome!!" is hip, when actually played itself out with Sean Penn in the ubiquitous "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" commercials in 1982.

Toby said...

The episode had me thinking of "Gavin & Stacey", in that it wasn't until the actual wedding day (or at least very close leading up to it) did they suddenly realize they hadn't worked out where they were going to live - Essex or Barry.

My favorite bit was Lily telling Ted that she would haunt him if he ever murdered her and buried her body in New Jersey. But she'd leave him alone so long as she was buried in NY. As for him killing her, she said he probably would have his reasons. Very funny.

Question Mark said...

Pretty average-to-weak episode, perhaps made worse by comparison of the fact that a potentially great story idea (Barney tries to pick up a lesbian) was just tossed out there and thrown away. For shame, HIMYM

Pamela Jaye said...

oh good, there's still someone here.
I'm not sure how I got there, but I ended upon the wikipedia page for DollHouse, which informed me that the show will be airing (midseason)

On Mondays
At 8

and yes, between overlaps I set on all my programs due to the Evil Network Schedulers, between Big Bang and HIMYM and Chuck and wharever else my DVR is set to record in that slot, the DVR is already pushing Chuck to Saturdays.

so, Groan
aren't there any other days in the week for this show?
Like Wednesday?

thankfully Sarah Connor is not my thing
alas, I read TV Guide last night (dodging the spoilers). Nice interview with Hugh Laurie and RSL (Wilson) and a note that Everybody Hates Chris (which apparently has not been cancelled but giben the worst time slot on TV (Friday on the CW) is going with a Cosby show retro thing on the 17th, as the shows' tume period is the same, and Chris has a date with one of the daughters)

Linda said...

I do like Sarah Chalke generally, but I just don't think the Ted/Stella relationship is working. It's not that I dislike her or the actress, but it's just...it's not doing it for me, the entire relationship. He doesn't seem excited about her like he did about Robin, or even like he did about Victoria. And she doesn't seem at all like someone who would go for Ted.

I've kind of suspected that they did want her to be the mother, and I really hope not. The whole thing of the mother has never really been my reason for watching, but I'd rather the mother weren't someone I specifically don't buy him with.

And I agree that the idea that they'd be this far without discussing where they were going to live is ridiculous to the point where it doesn't allow disbelief to be suspended.

Anna said...

Alan -

I have an 'off-topic' question. Are you going to cover Prison Break this season? It's been really good so far this year.

Sorry I didn't know where to post the question and thought that the best place was on a thread of another Monday show.

Anita said...

Not gonna' lie. I thought Barney's fist bump quest was comedy gold (of course, NPH can do no wrong for me...so...there's that to consider). The look of horror on his face when he tries to high-five Lily right after the release of his fist bump. Awesome. And Barney's arm slowing lowering after Robin's announcement? Tragic! Loves it!

The Stella/Ted arc has never been good for me. She is the LEAST favorite (for me) of Ted's past love interests. I liked S. 1 Victoria MUCH better than Stella. Am REALLY looking forward to this arc ending.

Gaius said...

Can anyone point me to the song that plays during the Robin-hating-her-job montage near the beginning? I know I’ve heard it, but I can’t put my finger on it.

Anonymous said...

I love this show! But, I must admit that I was a bit disappointed on the fact that Ted doesn't explain why he hates Jersey so much. I live in NJ my whole life, but I have been working in NYC for years. Yeah, I understand that it's basically a city/suburb debate, but Why does Ted has to only bash Jersey? Even in previous episodes, he pokes fun of Jerseyans, which is fine if the writers didn't overdo it. I have many friends who live in NYC and do come visit often.

There are good and bad reasons in any state, but why only bash Jersey? Why not Brooklyn or any other suburb in NY?

I guess everyone is different and prefers one place over another, but I wouldn't look down on people who doesn't like the Tri-state area.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little late to the party - just saw this episode (I'm catching up) -- but I didn't see anyone mention this...

How could they setup a potential comedic gold mine, but not pay it off with any other scenes?

I'm talking about Barney dressing up in an effort to pick up a lesbian??

I was so looking forward to a couple of scenes of Barney trying to seduce a lesbian, and then was very disappointed that no other scenes appeared. Big missed opportunity.