Tuesday, March 20, 2007

HIMYM: Provode?

"How I Met Your Mother" spoilers coming up just as soon as the second hand on my watch tells me 23 minutes have passed...

So good to have a new episode, even if we're back in reruns next week. Lots of funny stuff, which I'll list bullet point-style in a second (which is either my new shorthand for an episode too good to say anything else about, or else just a sign that I'm starting to phone it in), but also two important thematic elements.

First, another reminder that Ted and Robin aren't meant to be, and why. And the more I see of Robin independent of Ted, the more convinced I am that she and Barney are destined to be together -- though, given their obsessions with keeping their apartments just so, I imagine that they'll never actually co-habitate, just hang out for smokes, Laser Tag (and more potent firearms) and sex, then go happily sleep in their own beds.

Second, it established again that, while most of us could take or leave Ted, especially as the main character, Marshall and Lily and Barney all badly need Ted as he currently is to make their lives work. I guess the hug at the end said he was the inside tree, huh?

And now for the obligatory list o' funny stuff:
  • The 23 minutes flashbacks, especially the one with the woman looking to have revenge sex with Barney;
  • Lily and Marshall arguing about what they can say now that they can have loud sex (though I have a question: why did they bother to get dressed again in between the naked TV-watching and the sex?);
  • Barney's impression of the guy from "Saw," plus his Letterman top 10 list, which only former Letterman writers like Thomas and Bays should be allowed to do, since they got the whole structure right (the funniest jokes at the beginning, Barney repeating the joke that bombed) even before Barney broke the glass with the index card;
  • A callback to Robin's secret gun obsession ("A hand-grenade phone? Let me give you my work address") and her farewell smoke in the tub;
  • Marshall covered in wet toilet paper after his shower, and then the payoff when he failed to provode some more for Lily.
What did everybody else think?


Zodin2008 said...

As someone who has proudly never watched (nor will watch) a "Saw" film, I actually thought Barney was doing some Jack Bauer/CTU/24 thing so thanks for clarifying.

I don't understand all the 'take it or leave it' attitude about Ted (Josh Radnor). I like him and the character and he fits very weell with the group? I agree that Marshall and Lily are funnier, same with Barney, but I like Ted and I like Robin, but yes, the way the writers keep writing Robin, it's impossible to have her work out with Ted.

I think we can all assume by the season 2 finale, the two will be finito.

The Guns n' Ammo thing was very funny, as was the Barney 23 minute problem. This show always has so many highs.

Also...has anyone noticed what a pop culture trendsetter this show has become?

In season 1, it was "suit up" invading popular culture. In season 2, I think I hear the word 'cougar' now being used everywhere thanks to Barney's tryst with Jane Seymour.

Roper said...

Quality episode overall. Marshall has quickly become my favorite character this season. I only have one question.

Wasn't it just the last episode that established that Barney can't drive? So how did he move that truck?

I was waiting for the answer to that the whole episode and it kind of bothered me.

Anonymous said...

I did like this episode (especially thought the Top Ten list was hilarious) but the whole "Lily and Marshall can't live without Ted" plot seemed lifted directly from Scrubs -- except when Carla and Turk realized they needed J.D. in their lives, it made them recognize that their relationship needed work, and that didn't even seem to occur to L & M.

Robin continues to grow on me -- she has so many great quirks that seem human, not just quirky for the sake of quirkiness. And I hope you're right that she's going to wind up with Barney, cause that would be AWESOME.

Zodin2008 said...


So funny you pointed out the "Scrubs" thing--I made the same comment during the episode last night to my wife. She agreed...Ted/JD, Marshall/Turk, Lily/Carla. Identical relationships...the sword? It's the stuffed dog of the show, Rowdy.

jp said...

I liked the way Ted became wingman for Barney to get the phone number of the girl at the bar. The bet that Lou Ferrigno would pull a bus and the girl wonders why it looks so old and Ted says very Barney-like "it's because the TV is old."

- Don't call me to early because I have church

Anonymous said...

You're right, Roper -- Barney can't drive! That didn't even occur to me, but it's definitely a continuity slip-up. On the other hand, it's not that far from Ted's place to the alley behind the bar, so maybe Barney's Fiero driving lesson was enough.

HIMYM has done such a great job of showing why Ted and Robin are incompatible, without making us wonder why they're together in the first place. I don't think Robin will ever be ready to share her space or to rearrange her life to accomodate someone else -- or, at least, she won't be ready soon enough for Ted.

It's a good thing Marshall and Lily are getting married, if Ted owns all the towels and pots! The wedding registry should prepare them to stand on their own.

And just yesterday I got a mailer from one of my favorite stores advertising their new spring line of suits. The caption: "Suit Up!" I can't be sure it's a HIMYM reference but it made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the drive from the front of the building to the alley was probably easy enough for Barney to do with his one driving lesson. But when did he have time to DECORATE is my question!!

Great episode - I was howling during the Letterman bit at the end.

Isabel said...

The Letterman was DEAD ON!

Anonymous said...

I can usually take or leave Ted, but he had my favorite line of the episode last night. Something like, "I was able to do with no hands what usually takes me both hands to do."

We didn't laugh right away - after a beat my husband and I looked at each other a little confused, then started laughing uncontrollably...

The CineManiac said...

I'm glad I've discovered more HIMYM lovers. This really is the most underrated comedy on Television. I look forward to Mondays each week because of all the great television (Heroes, 24 - sometimes) but HIMYM is consistently one of the best things on TV and really makes my Monday nights.
Also this truly has been an amazing season between Robin Sparkles, The Fiero, and so much else going on, this show has hit it's stride.
And definitely the best thing from this episode has to have been the Top Ten List. It reminded me so much of the real Letterman I tivoed it just to see that night's Top Ten List (HIMYM's was better) And the broken glass - brilliant.

Anonymous said...

There's a bit of a rumor that HIMYM is facing cancellation. Any truth to it, Alan?

Thanks, some anonymous person

Alan Sepinwall said...

Chances of HIMYM not returning are virtually nil, from what I know of CBS' thinking.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Barney and Robin hook up. They both have a subverse sense of normal that I love. The two of them together would be LEGEN - wait for it - DARY!

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