Spoilers for "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I swing my flail...
Admittedly, I'm in a grouchy mood because the Giants are stinking it up in Cleveland right now, but "Intervention" really didn't do it for me.
Early last year, we spent a lot of time talking about the "HIMYM vs. Sitcom" issue, where the closer the stories, the dialogue and the characters' behavior resembled familiar sitcoms, the weaker the episodes were. When the show came back from the strike, this wasn't a problem anymore, but it's starting to become one again over the last few weeks.
While the "HIMYM" characters aren't the deepest on television, or even in the half-hour format, there's a certain level of recognizable, relatable behavior that Ted, Robin, Marshall and Lily generally achieve that makes the comedy work. Barney's the only character who's supposed to feel like he's on a sitcom; that's the point of Barney. (He would be flattered if you said he was like Fonzie.) The idea that the others have a friend like Barney who would dress up like an old man just to prove a point (and get lucky) is funny; it's when the others start becoming as broad and silly as Barney that things start to get uncomfortable.
There were certainly funny moments in "Intervention." Robin's drunken, out-of-control Canadian-ness (pictured above) may be the single greatest Robin Scherbatzky scene that doesn't involve beaded denim and jelly bracelets. But to have it in the same episode as Ted being particularly douchey about pronunciations, and dressing in RenFair gear, and Lily speaking in a bad Cockney accent, and Robin reciting a Dr. Seuss-style poem to express disapproval about Marshall's hat, and Lily accidentally sending her letter home with a student, and Ted not letting the woman he chased out of their booth retrieve her cell phone, and... well, not to sound too much like The Colonel from Monty Python, but there was altogether much too much silliness in this one. I started miming rim shots after a while. (I think it was around the time Robin showed up in the spray-on tan.)
Sure, I'm enough of an addict that the flash-forward at the end had me searching for clues about whether Ted married Stella, whether Robin is the only one living in the apartment (as Future Ted mentioned in "The Goat"), etc. But we're four episodes into the season and I'm still waiting for an episode that feels quintessentially "HIMYM." I had these same concerns last year and they turned it around, so I'm not too worried. But I'd like a really strong one sooner rather than later.
What did everybody else think?