This was a far better effort this season and so instead of saying the same thing over and over and over again, I’m gonna try and stay as positive as I can. So, here goes.
Among all of the outrageous things happening this season, this episode turned those things into nice HIMYM-esque moments. From Barney’s mom and Robin having a moment, to the ‘what we know about Robin’s mom ‘flashbacks’, to the final scene that finally brought back the mother, this episode had pockets of moments that were grounded in a show we once loved.
Granted, it’s still a shadow of what we once knew, but episodes like this make the final season bearable. Call backs to earlier episodes (ala “The Proclaimers” in the car and Ted’s mom) will always make me smile as I can think back to a time where this show always clicked.
I have no idea what these writers are doing. Forget that all these episodes stupidly take place on the same weekend at the Far Hampton Inn. Look away from the characters that are all larger than life mockeries of what they once were in earlier seasons. Disregard the fact that Marshall is away and the bickering between Barney and Robin is unbearable. Ignore the broad humor that doesn’t fit the characters anymore. All you have to see is that these episodes aren’t funny.
When it comes down to it, this show is a half hour TV comedy and it is no longer funny. Sure everything I told you to forget factors into it, but the jokes just fail. We are asked to rely on our understanding of these characters for the laughs, but these are no longer the characters I want to see end happily ever after. The one liners are dumber than ever. The humor is so far below par that I don’t think it can be saved.
Bring back the mother OR bail on the Far Hampton idea. The thing is–it may be too late.
So… it wasn’t awful. It really wasn’t. I mean, it wasn’t great, but it was fine.
Even though these characters are falling way out of character, this week’s episode did two things for me that made me not just put it on in the background. It called out Barney and Robin and utilized some fun shticks.
Calling Out Barney and Robin: They are a despicable couple, but when it came down to it, this episode highlighted that gross aspect. As they listed all of the things that we are supposed to “love” about them in front of the Priest, I was reminded of how much I dislike them again. This time, instead of listening to them, the Priest died. In an attempt to add sentiment to who they are as a couple, the Priest died instead of following through listening. That wasn’t funny as much as understandable.
Things HIMYM used to do, but now only sometimes do: The Last Crusade reference and ongoing joke was fun. It wasn’t hilarious, but it kept me engaged, especially in the useless Ted plot line. Please. Please. Please bring back the mother. The “re-imagined” first meeting flashbacks were actually quite funny and enjoyable. It’s something that felt very HIMYM-esque and it worked. Additionally, the car sequences with Marshall and Daphne acting out the Lily scenario were as good as that road trip is going to get. The thing is that I feel taken advantage of as a viewer if the writers believe that I think Marshall wouldn’t have thought about Lily before this faux-conversation.
I still have the same complaints, but I wasn’t as offended this week. Woo?
Sooooooooo, where’s the mother? But seriously, don’t introduce an important factor into the mix, that substantially makes everything better, and then not use it at all.
Otherwise, this episode highlighted both the good, the bad, and the Ugly of why HIMYM works and doesn’t work at this late stage.
The Good: The jokes kinda/actually worked. Everybody hiding and eavesdropping was pretty funny. The flashbacks, for the first time in a long time, were pretty tightly wound into a story and even included some nice easter eggs (Katie Holmes as Slutty Pumpkin). Additionally, the pizza joke, although outlandish, definitely made me smile.
The Bad: You really do wonder how this group of friends stayed so tight for so long, as they clearly hold so many passive aggressive grudges. I understand that it is all for the sake of comedy, but there comes a point where “too much” has happened for ignorance to take over. These character have become more and more insufferable to each other. The evolution of the show’s characters and relationships should not be considered one of it’s strong points.
The Ugly: Barney and Robin, the center piece of what is presenting itself as a LONG season, are a terror to watch as a couple. Barney’s realization when talking to James in the show’s emotional climax (like a Journey song) was actually quite nice. Then, in recent HIMYM fashion, they deem his discovery obsolete by having Barney go way to far with it, throwing Robin under the bus. Past versions of Barney would have learned his lesson and it would have ended with that, which is why we always believed him to be more than his disgusting self. Now, he’s just a joke through and through. And we already have Lily versus Marshall’s red-headed mom. Do we really need another one?
Even though Robin has had some bad relationships in the past, most have been better than the way Barney treats her. I have a hard time believing that despite having a ton in common, Robin would tolerate this behavior. The stretches back a few seasons now.
Douche Ted was held to a minimum, but ultimately saved by the back and forth of the Thank You Note jokes.
I like that James is actually a pretty bad/selfish guy. It adds a little bit of dynamic to he and Barney’s relationship.
Marshall NEEDS to be off that road trip. I just can’t do it anymore.
I don’t know if I can do it any longer, even in this final stretch.
All of the jokes fell flat and because of my lack of interest in the Barney/Ted/Robin triangle, this episode had nothing going for it. Even if you like the triangle, if THAT was the conclusion to the tension, then woof. Lame, totally lame.
Miss Miloti needs to come back ASAP because I’m quickly forgetting that these people are friends who want to hang out voluntarily. I’m beginning to forget why I want to watch them every week voluntarily. The season started with promise and has plummeted downward ever since. I want to see flashbacks and flash forwards of The Mother and Ted. I want to see their interactions, so I can root for them to meet with feeling, not obligation.
Please bring back Marshall in real life. I hate this road trip stuff. It was probably a filming conflict, but it’s awful.
Robyn not having any friends of the female persuasion was just lame. It has promise at certain points, but it made me realize how different this version of Robin is than the original one that was in love with Ted. She has evolved into somethingundesirable.
I’m over Lily. Is that a weird thing to say? She’s just too all over the place and needs Marshall to balance her out.
This “one weekend” season is already wearing out its welcome. It’s moving so slowly and every little plot development feels fake. We are constantly reminded of what these characters are “planning”: moves to Rome an Chicago. Thing is, nothing actually happens with these plans to progress the action. It’s because they’re stuck in this weekend.
This week I actually laughed and felt rays of early season sentiment poking through the cloudy storytelling mechanism.
While trying to escape the zombie hoard of old people, Barney and Robin look for a place to prove they aren’t going to be a boring old couple. As Marshall, the die-hard Vikings fan, drives through Packer country, Lily discovers Ted’s New York City bucket list.
Let me just start by saying that I forgot that Ted decided to move to Chicago because I don’t really care. We know he’s most likely going to stay, so it’s literally a waiting game until he meets ‘the mother’. If they’re going to engage an audience, the writers will have to reassess these characters’ stakes versus what we know about the ending. What saved that story line was Lily’s genuine, although very scripted, response. Ted’s douche level was still evident (the scotch tasting jokes), but not nearly as high as current episodes. Regardless of my feelings towards individual characters, it’s still nice to see how much this group of friends cares about each other.
As you know, I wasn’t a fan of Marshall’s road trip scenario, but this week they spiced it up enough. They cut down on the shenanigans of his driver and focused on his relationships to the people in Farhamption. By using pre-existing information about Marshall’s football tendencies (obsessions really), the NFC North rivalry jokes really landed for me. Though, the longer they keep Marshall away, the staler his storyline will inevitably become.
The flashbacks to April 26th and its two destructive sword fights also really worked, as the childish best friend camaraderie of Ted and Marshall paired well Lily and Robin’s attempt to color correct the bottle of scotch. The juxtaposition of their sword fights in relation to their friendships is an example of how this show used to work. The jokes used to be more grounded in characters and their interactions, not broad humor. This week it was evident when it was working.
You know what else is funny? Old people jokes. Mandy Patinkin was very popular over the course of the episode, but the pull power of his name made me smile more than I thought I would. All of the elderly likes and dislikes were well written, but James giving himself up to save his brother was a highlight. A rare bit that worked on all levels
The ending, however, felt very abrupt. It doesn’t seem as though Ted has been ignoring Barney, even if they haven’t shared much screen time together. I also don’t buy that Barney would be sitting on the carousel information, all of the sudden confronting Ted about it in that moment. It seemed too convenient for plot purposes, regardless of it being a TV show that needs those ongoing obstacles.
This late in the game, I probably want more ‘mother’ in the mix, but this episode was a nice departure.
Marshall in the Packer’s swag and Ted in the 1920s swimwear were a nice visual gag combo.
Ted’s vignettes of list flashbacks were a bit lackluster. Has Josh Radnor’s comic skills gotten worse or was he never that funny to begin with?
I appreciate the ongoing ring bear and Lily drinking jokes, as it is all the same day. While not that funny, the consistency keeps up the smiles.
As good as this episode seemed to be, I’m afraid that we won’t see a better one than this. I hope this “season in a weekend” can stay fresh.
This is going to be a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong season.
For a show that used to thoroughly engage me, it’s amazing how far it has fallen. Forget the fact that it contains no stakes and is stretching out a weekend over an entire season, the bottom line is that: This show isn’t funny anymore.
These two episodes demonstrated that humor defuses the scenes, as opposed to being the glue. Robin and Barney as cousins? Marshall on the plane? Ted as a lonely single Inn guest? The Russian Curse? Nothing worked. It’s a shame.
I have no attachment to Barney and Robin as a couple, so this weekend holds no real importance. The show has handled them so poorly over the years, especially last season when Barney continued to be the douche that no woman would tolerate, not even Robin. Barney’s emotional moments don’t ring true anymore, even if NPH nails them. He’s become too outrageous and cartoonish otherwise for these supposedly ‘raw moments’ to ground him.
Ted Mosby is the reason I decided to continue on with the show after the pilot. I felt connected to his plight. Josh Radner played an excellent everyman, but over the last few seasons I have become disenchanted with him. He’s evolved (or devolved) into a narcissistic annoyance who is so high and mighty that enjoying him is close to impossible. He is mopey 24/7 and needs a swift kick to the gut. At this point, he doesn’t deserve “the mother,” as she seems too good for him. I wouldn’t want to be associated with Ted and neither should mom.
Christin Milioti showed that she is going to be a great addition to the cast. The thing is, since we know the end game, “finding of the mother” has to be more engaging than what we’ve seen in these two episodes. Hopefully the use of flash forwards is better than what we saw at the end of episode two, as it was almost too cheesy and forced. I can’t watch an entire season of near misses.
I still watch How I Met You Mother because in the overall scheme of things I still want to see what happens, even if the quality is substantially lower.