Monday, January 18, 2010

How I Met Your Mother, "Jenkins": But, um, bum

The last day of press tour began with a visit to the set of "How I Met Your Mother" where we got to watch the cast do a table read of an upcoming script ("Hooked, the episode that'll feature Carrie Underwood) and it's close to ending with me packing for Jersey - which means I don't have time or the brain capacity to formulate thoughts on Amanda Peet's drunken sluttiness, whether Robin and Ted fairly assessed Lily and Marshall's relationship, and whether "But, um" is a conversational tic of Cobie Smulders' that the writers worked into an episode, or just something they thought would be funny to saddle Robin with.

So I leave it to you guys. What did you think?

35 comments:

Myles said...

I'll go with, in order: pretty hot, yes (although not in a bad way), and I'm hoping it's the former.

Simple episode, and one that didn't do as much as say, "Three Days of Snow," to make Marshall and Lily's stability particularly eventful, but Hannigan and Segel got some fun material towards the end.

Ben said...

Love me some Amanda Peet and the drinking game bit reminded me of games we played in my younger days.

But overall, kind of a "meh" episode. Not enough NPH for starters. Robin's interaction with the college students was a little too sitcommy. Again, not bad, but not an episode I'll remember much either.

Then again, I have already texted an ex who watches the show and tagged her with the "reacher" tag (kidding of course, sigh) so maybe that will be a thing...

Eric said...

@Ben NPH actually directed the episode, which probably explains most of the non-NPH parts.

Definitely a bit of a more loose episode with the action, but the gags (Lily's slow boil at the end, for one thing) made it alright.

RD said...

I thought it was an alright episode, definately not their best. They needed more NPH. The only part that stood out for me was when Lily punched Amanda Peet in the kisser.

Also, I realized that when Ted is the main focus for the comedy, the episode is not as funny. I much rather prefer him being the lead romantic guy and for him to remain a secondary comedy piece. NPH and Jason Segel, I believe, are better at carrying the comedy than Ted.

Billiam said...

Ted should not be drinking with his students, and he certainly should not be saying that he would during class.

Matt S. said...

definitely a meh ep. i was hoping that the whole lily doesn't believe that amanda peet kissing marshall plotline would've been somewhat better then it was. I mean it was revealed that she had no interest in marshall and that it was just her being drunk anyways---seemed kind of half assed an explanation--but all right i guess.

ditto the but um plotline---altho my dad frequently says umm no a lot

love the show and feel the show's been bringing it just fine this season (and is def worthy of playing in late night syndie for the next 30 plus years, etc, etc but this is def not one of the eps for the ages.)

also what's the deal with accidently on purpose? i read that its gonna be moving to Weds at 8 30 to take over Garry Unmarried's timeslot come April--but how is that even possible with their total ep order being 18 eps and Garry having a full 22 order? also does this mean that cbs is done with garry or does it just mean cbs is trying to find another night for accidently (which if they are--why exactly??--are they trying to test the waters to do an all wed night comedy lineup in the fall like i suspect they want to? cause they could easily move 2 and a half men to their wed at 9 slot and not miss a beat.)

renton said...

My wife and I watched this together and she informed me that she was the settler and I was the reacher.

Dascenzo said...

Wouldn't you rather be the "reacher" than the "settler"?

BigTed said...

I don't believe Marshall is a "reacher" and Lily is a "settler" -- and I don't think the writers ever set up their relationship to be that way. Lily is cute, but not the perfect creature Marshall thinks she is because he loves her. In addition to her all her good qualities, she's a compulsive shopper who got them into horrible debt, a would-be artist who left Marshall to pursue her dreams and then gave up on those dreams when they didn't pan out, and, as we learned recently, a practically sociopathic meddler in her friends' love lives.

Marshall and Lily are such a great couple because they're so in love and seem so perfectly matched. You could say, on the other hand, that in some ways Ted was a reacher and Robin was a settler (after all, it's the reacher who would say "I love you" on the first date), but their relationship wasn't written as a lasting one.

Anonymous said...

A simple, but a pretty funny episode. It sold me on three things - Marshall's scream in response to the kiss, Robin's but-um clip show, and Lily kicking Jenkins' ass at the end.

There's a particular scene with the harpsicord music and Marshall's 'old English' speech that might have been too much like another show.

Mike F said...

one of the strongest episodes of the season...a lot of laughs...and gotta love skeeball

Bobman said...

Ted should not be drinking with his students, and he certainly should not be saying that he would during class.


Uhh, why not? Assuming his students are of age, it's college. Who hasn't had a professor that liked to booze it with students?

Christian said...

The whole "Jenkins is a woman" storyline was very predictable. I knew it once Marshall talked about her only as Jenkins for the third time. But I still enjoyed seeing her doing the same things the male fantasy Jenkins did.
Other thant that, I thought the episode to be enjoyable, not great, but good enough for a couple of laughs.

mrsb said...

The only part of this episode that I really liked was at the last scene, when Lily starts handing things to Barney, and taking off her earrings. I knew she was getting ready to kick some skank butt.

erin said...

i actually really like Amanda Peet and would like her to stick around on the show...am I the only one? She kind of gave me a Courtney Cox "Friends" vibe. I'm curious as to how she'd interact with Ted, but i guess she couldn't be the mother...

I thought it was cute. I actually love the idea of the reacher and the settler, and think it happens often, but more from the POV of a couple's friends and family. They can easily point out which is which in a couple, but maybe the people in the relationship wouldn't identify themselves as such. As a woman, I think a lot of women are looking for a man who works just a little bit harder in the relationship (like Marshall seems to), thus making him the reacher. And women often look beyond just superficial things like looks, picking partners for all kinds of good reasons that may not seem obvious on first glance. So as usual, I thought the show spoke to me about people my age and how they think/behave in a very relatable way.

Thought the but, um part was cute. Nothing way out there, but a good solid show.

Ben said...

I like this idea as to where the genesis of "but um" comes from. As someone that watches Big Brother (yes, I admit it), the comparison rings true and is notivce by all...

http://www.cinemablend.com/television/Did-HIMYM-Poke-Fun-At-Julie-Chen-Tonight-22324.html

Matt said...

I'll agree that the episode suffered from a lack of Barney, though I think that can be helpful to the show--they sometimes lean a little too hard on NPH to carry everything. Also, the construction of the episode reminded me a bit some of the best episodes of Seinfeld in how all the plots wound up coming together off the "but, um" drinking game. More often, there are two parallel plots with little or no intersection (see also The Simpsons of recent vintage), and construction in this way is much more impressive.

Jaymii said...

Actually, I thought this was the second or third best episode of season 5 thus far. It's very typical HIMYM but I enjoyed it, and really didn't notice from a lack of NPH.

All the Robin moments I could imagine Jennifer Aniston doing on Friends, so, you know, that isn't a good thing. Not in HIMYM anyway.

Scone said...

I think my favorite part of the show was Robin veeery subtly gesturing to Ted and herself while discussing the "reacher" and the "settler."

dez said...

Uhh, why not? Assuming his students are of age, it's college. Who hasn't had a professor that liked to booze it with students?

Um, why not? Because you could lose your job, that's why not. It's why you don't date your students, either (at least, while they're your students!). It's basically the same thing as dating your boss (unequal power relationship).

Dave F said...

BigTed is right that Lily is not the settler. Besides shopping/debt and looks, Lily has major father issues. Yes, the father was terrible, but that has to make her damaged (at least slightly- for example, maybe she spends so much because she can control what she buys and couldn't control her dad's love/support) whereas Marshall has a loving and intact family.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that Ted not longer is "vomit-free since '93"?

Blair Waldorf said...

The fake college bar looked just like Ace Bar. And I know that because, sadly, I've been hanging out there a bunch lately. I went for the skee-ball and then noticed that everyone in there seemed really young. But, hey, I like skee-ball!

srpad said...

I don't know why but I really liekd thsi one.

Who can't say "Big Fudge" without giggling? Barney scrambling out of a room in a frenzy will never get old, we got more relationship wisom with reachers and settlers and Amanda Peet took her top off. Sounds like a winner to me.

jenmoon said...

Ted already ruined that vomit record.

I really enjoyed Robin in this episode. I've missed seeing her spunkiness, and enjoyed a non-guy-related plot for her. That was my favorite bit. Wasn't so caring about the Jenkins plot since you could tell it was leading to another girlfight.

Sean said...

Not a lot of NPH in this episode but it was still pretty good. Plus, he did that whole musical number about suits in the last episode. He deserved a bit of a break.

Anonymous said...

Ted shouldn't be drinking with students because just last week he was confronted with a situation where the appearance of impropriety could cost him his job. He decided to ignore it then because he thought the girl might be "the one", but is he going to ignore it now just to spend more time with...Scottie?

It's just the internal inconsistency that bothers. I had drinks with severals profs in college.

Also, just to amplify BigTed's point, one of the things I like about HIMYM is that Marshall and Lily have not been written in the reacher/settler format, like many other sitcom couples are. The reacher/settler format need not be bad -- it applies to The Simpsons and The Honeymooners -- but it is pretty stale -- see According to Jim and the King of Queens.

The reacher/settler thing works on a superficial level at best, if you think Hannigan is better looking than Segel. But _Cougartown_ already made a better version of that joke when Andy (who has married "up" in prettiness) stared down some guy at a restaurant who had married "down".

Jordan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WhatTheFDidIDo said...

"Ted should not be drinking with his students, and he certainly should not be saying that he would during class."

Meh. Senior year of High School I was at a party with a teacher, and everyone was drinking. And this was 5 years ago. But then again I am from Wisconsin.

Mark Russell said...

I used to go drinking with several professors in university. Some of my favorite memories from school. But that was in the early 1990s... Maybe the fun police have shut that down since (as they have most fun and interesting things.

Evamarie said...

There is "having a drink with profs". Which I have done. Then there is drinking until you puke and pass out with students - inappropriate. Need professional distance.

I was sad that Robin was a drinking game, she needs some validation for her career.

Ok Marshall is SO the settler! Awesome job, wonderful guy! Lily is cute, but bossy, controlling, carries all that debt. She doesn't need to get jealous because Marshall can't even FANTASIZE about other women. The not believing him thing was egotistical, and if your partner asks you if you think you are settling to be with them, even if it is true, you lie. Who would want to be in a relationship where you are openly aware of settling anyway?

I don't remember Robin saying but um before, but I never listend for it. I've had profs who do that...

Loretta said...

@Jenmoon: If I'm not mistaken, Ted did not in fact break the vomit record. In the "vomit free since 93" episode, he thought he had broken the record because he blacked out and ended up in a bathroom. But someone later told him that when he got in there, he didn't end up vomiting.

So this really was the end of an era. :( Sadly, it seems that they forgot about that episode.

Stephen said...

Ted ends the streak during the Re-return when he vomited on Robin's welcome mat.

skittledog said...

Of course, yes. Knew he'd properly broken it, but couldn't remember when...

I found this to be quite a solid and enjoyable episode. For some reason I found Jenkins to be refreshingly un-stereotyped and unexpected - she was a lawyer, (right?), she got drunk, she slept around accidentally, and she treated it just like one of the guys would have done, and the show went along with that. The "great, now I have to have two awkward conversations today" line was excellent. And I'd just been internally cringing and waiting for the point where it was funny that she was a female lawyer, or a bit slutty, or whatever, and - she was just her own slightly made character. It was nice. But I don't quite know why I've fixated on it.

And I actually didn't notice the lack of Barney (unless feeling that the episode was shorter than normal counts). I'm a bad fan...

Rick said...

I DVR'd this one, so I just saw it today, which means there likely won't be anyone reading this, but:

It was pretty clear to me that Barney had sex with Jenkins.

Here's my timeline:
1. Barney learns about the "but, um" game from Ted & Marshal at the bar.
2. That conversation turns to Marshall & Lily's situation, which ends with Barney's plan to sleep with Jenkins, and rushes off.
3. Barney takes Jenkins out to the suit bar (notice everyone at that bar is in a suit) and teaches her the game.
4. Barney & Jenkins head back to the mailroom at GNB and get it on.
5. Barney somehow convinces a very drunk Jenkins that she has been with Marshall all night (I'm a little unclear on this step myself)
6. Jenkins shows up to the conference room at 8 the next morning with the same outfit and obvious "sex hair".

I was amazed when the episode didn't end with this reveal, since it is the most HIMYM-possible way to end it.

Anyone reading this... validate me!