Tag Archives: How I Met Your Mother Review

HIMYM – How Your Mother Met Me (S9, Ep 16)

Now, no amount of greatness is going to magically give me back the time I spent luging through the first half of this season, but boy was this one good.

It both makes me angry and happy that this is what we got this week.  On one hand, this how-your-mother-met-me-yellow-umbrellawas the best episode in years, as the writers used their strengths to make it work.  They used their knowledge of the show, their solid emotional core, and the excitement of the new character to engage every inch of of viewing experience. SO WHY DID IT TAKE THEM THIS LONG TO DO IT RIGHT? I mean, come on.

But let’s just take this as a single episode. We got a break from the Inn, our no so favorite characters, and the whole wedding overall. In addition to this, we got to relieve all of the “gasp” moments from the last few years.  Obviously, we are drawn to the mystery of how they eventually meet and what the mother has been up to in the meantime, which makes this ‘shake up’ 200th episode all the more exciting. What makes it great is how good Cristin Milioti is throughout.

How-Your-Mother-Met-Me_FULLThey’ve written her character to be this perfect fit for Ted. No, like literally she is the perfect woman for him and a saint. It could be pretty off putting, even if it’s told from Ted’s point of view, but Milioti makes it all work. She even made Ted look great again. She easily uses the backstory given to her (the death of her love Max) and integrated it seamlessly into her entire performance. It was heartfelt and real. It makes me believe that these characters, as terrible as they’ve become lately, deserve all the happiness in the world.

We’ll have to see what comes next and how it plays out, but this got me excited, once again, for the end. If only the first half was told from the mother’s point of view. I want more time with her.

Keep On Watchin’!

-Bryan

HIMYM – Bass Player Wanted (S9, Ep13)

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Who would have thought that the “worst number,” 13, would produce the season’s best episode to date?  I am by no means saying that this was an all time great, but it was pretty good compared to recent efforts.

Marshall returned after meeting the mother.  It’s scenes like these that the season should be based around, but I’ll take them when I can get them. Andrew Rannells, who I really enjoy, served his purpose and the fights/make-up scenes made the characters look good for once.  They felt like a team of people who actually like each other again.

And of course, we end with a slap, so let’s hope this 2nd half can nail it.

Other thoughts:

  • Loved the “Pause” callback between Lily and Marshall.
  • Ted was the Ted I actually liked once upon a time.
  • Actually, so was Barney.
  • The mother is so likable, it’s silly to not use her.

This show executes the mushy, thoughtful moments way better than the funny moments, especially as of late.  The episodes surrounding these moments work so much better and draw on our love and inherent want for their success, so keep ’em coming if you can.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

HIMYM – The Rehearsal Dinner (S9, Ep12)

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

We got away from the Inn and Marshall was talking to other people we once cared about? This episode is already in the win column… I mean, the relative win column.

Barney and Robin make no sense to me, but I guess at this point I still have to accept it.  The twist was so absurd and overdone that I just couldn’t believe it.  Usually this show has nice twists based on actualities (that may be embellished), but this one takes the crazy cake.  Barney is insane and his actions are no longer those of a grounded character.  It’s way beyond what any person (Robin) could handle in a relationship and therefore not even working in what has become an absurdist sitcom.

Ted’s story, in keeping with the craziness, made little to no sense in the grand scheme of things for this character.  Remember when Ted was the main (grounded) character and that’s why all these supporting characters worked on their own specific levels of wacky.  Let’s just get this over with, shall we?

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

HIMYM – Bedtime Stories (S9, Ep11)

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I will always say that getting away from the Inn is never a bad thing.  This episode was extremely clever and did work on some levels.  On the other hand, it wasn’t very funny and it only prolonged Marshall’s return.

The continuous rhyming was clever and fun and didn’t get annoying as it had the opportunity many times.  Mentally it was a nice departure from what we’ve been getting.  I was happy to just sit back and enjoy, as the rhyming was a distraction from the mess that the show it now.

The thing is, all of the stories didn’t work for me, or at least only worked in places.  Robin’s cake story was by far the best of the three, but Barney is just too outrageous, even for a story that is purposefully over the top.  Once again, the mother wasn’t involved, so that was a disappointment, but all in all an adequate break from the usual drivel.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

How I Met Your Mother –

The Poker Game

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?

Other Thoughts:

  • 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.

Bring Back The Mother!

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

 

How I Met Your Mother – Last Time In New York (S9, Ep3)

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I’m always a sucker for a good grammar joke. 

Well, that was an improvement.

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.

Other thoughts:

  • 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.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan