Monday, April 09, 2007

"The five of us are going to be sharing a 102-ounce steak from a cow that I picked out on the Internet.": How I Met Your Mother

Instead of discussing a pretty good but not quite great episode of How I Met Your Mother, we're going to discuss 10 reasons why CBS should not cancel this show, as they are possibly rumored to be considering, as exemplified by tonight's episode.

10.) Even the minor bit players are well cast. Obviously, the ensemble is great and the BIG! SPECIAL! guest stars are all cast well, but even the tiny guest parts go to good actors who are probably just looking for that big break -- witness the stripper tonight (who got the chance to be hot and funny) and Lily's grandmother. Heck, even the recurring bit players (like the first seasons Ranjeet and Marshall and Ted's families) do great work.

9.) The show's not afraid to go for the dramatic moment. Barney flying to San Francisco to tell Lily that she couldn't leave Marshall forever and had to come back was both unexpected and somehow completely in character. What's more, it made us understand Barney better -- he's not a secret romantic, but he is smart enough to know what's best for his friends. Hence, the best man.

8.) Cobie Smulders has gotten better and better. When the show started, I thought that she, even more than Josh Radnor, was the weak link in the cast. But tonight, when she played her scenes mostly in the background, she was spot on. She's that rare thing -- a gorgeous funny person.

7.) The deployment of double entendres gets better and better. Seriously, that long speech by the grandmother who thought she was giving Lily a sewing machine and did not know that a, er, sex toy was in the box was hilarious. And I don't usually laugh at that sort of thing!

6.) But they're not afraid to go for the less-obvious. Of course we assumed that the old biddies would be shocked by the presence of a sex toy (that was basically the whole joke from the time Robin walked in to the wedding shower), but it was even better to twist the scene in another way -- where the old biddies had all seen Sex and the City (on TBS, of course) and were well-acquainted with the ins and outs of vibrators.

5.) Neil Patrick Harris has perfected his character to such a pinnacle that he ranks with the best characters on TV in this decade. No joke! And I was late to the Barney believers club.

4.) Alyson Hanigan's face when she opened the package and had to look to her grandmother in an entirely new light. Hugely expressive face. Should have 500 Emmys.

3.) Look, the bachelor party subplot was kind of lame, but, hey, at least that one guy who married the hot chick and Marshall's guy friend from earlier this season were back. And Future Ted's deconstruction of the kinds of guys that show up at bachelor parties was spot on. And, hey, bonus points for never letting me look at one of those bouncy ball thingies (they're really called hippity hops?!) in the same way again. At any rate, not just introducing two random friends but instead bringing back two old ones was some good continuity, something this show is excellent at.

2.) Marshall's excitement at getting to eat a 102 ounce steak. Finally, a TV character I can relate to!

1.) Best. Inside joke. Ever. That shot of the Golden Gate Bridge from the airplane that opened the Barney/Lily flashback? The stock footage? Same stock footage that opens Full House. Go ahead. Turn on Nick at Nite because it's probably on right now. Compare. You see? I'M RIGHT. (Bob Saget, the show's narrator, was, of course, the star of Full House.)

Add other reasons and favorite lines in the comments.

1 comment:

whatigotsofar said...

A very funny 'sode last night.
I agree with much of your ten points. However, I knew the old people would not be shocked by the vibrator. The references to S&TC being on TBS was the unexpected thing to me.
Here's an eleventh reason: the writers manage to reference all sorts of other things in pop culture without having to explain them. They are all simple and obvious without having to directly copy the works of pop culture. I think that is a mark of good writing. Example: Smurf penis. We all know what a Smurf is, they don't show a direct comparison involving a French animation and a French horn. (Wow, I never noticed that before, both are French, hmmm...), the audience is allowed to compare in their own minds, unlike more popular programs like Family Guy and South Park.