Spoilers for the latest "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I open my moon roof...
When my wife and I started dating, we lived in a city with a disproportionate number of VW Beetles, and because we're both basically 12-year-olds at heart, we began to play the magical game that is Punch Buggy. And as dating turned into co-habitation, then engagement, then marriage, we kept right on playing. But every now and then, one of us would ask the other, "What happens when we stop playing? Does that mean all the romance is gone? Does it mean we're just bored with each other?"
Eventually, we wound up moving out to suburbia, where people drive SUVs instead of cute little German imports, and so the choice was kind of made for us. Now, on those rare occasions when we drive past a punch buggy, we look at each other, confused, and sometimes one of us will rap the other in the leg, and sometimes not. And I tell myself that the romance isn't gone -- I just bruise more easily these days.
Now, a running game of Punch Buggy isn't quite on the level of Marshall and Lily's airport ritual involving a chauffeur's cap and local microbrews, but what real-life couple can hope to stack up to that amount of schmoopy? The point is, I get where that story was coming from, because I've lived it on my own immature level, and the conflict felt real to me.
Unfortunately, it was the only part of "Three Days of Snow" that did. Barney and Ted with the bar may be the single dumbest "HIMYM" plot I've ever seen -- and that includes the infamous "We're Not From Here." At the very least, if the writers felt compelled to do a "Cocktail" homage/spoof, they could have at least remembered that Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown did their famous drink-juggling act to the tune of"Hippy Hippy Shake,", not "Kokomo" (that was part of the drippy love story with Elisabeth Shue). If you're gonna reference a cheesey '80s movie, get the details right, or don't do it. Next thing you know, they'll be doing a joke about Arnold Schwarzenegger starring in "Over the Top."
And glad as I was to see Ranjit for the first time this season, the moment where he ditched his passenger at the airport to help Lily complete the ritual rang almost as false as the Ted/Barney plot. This is what I'm talking about when I complain that a "HIMYM" episode feels too sitcommy: behavior that has no basis in reality, and that makes absolutely no sense except in service to a joke that isn't very funny in the first place. There was a lot of that in this episode, enough that even the sweet climax with the marching band wasn't enough to compensate.
Ah, well. What did everybody else think?