Tag Archives: Ted Mosby

How I Met Your Mother – “Old King Clancy”

himymtitle

“Old King Clancy”

March 23rd, 2009

As a Canadian, I’m kind of madly in love with the pastiche rendition of Canada that How I Met Your Mother has been propagating, in particular this season: between “Little Minnesota” and “Old King Clancy,” Canada has become something entirely unrealistic but, through the show’s sheer exuberance, a fairly powerful force within the show’s universe. When Barney, towards the end of this week’s episode, curses Canada for ruining what should have been a momentous story by making it as obscure and Canadian as possible, we fundamentally disagree: for us, it only makes it funnier.

That part of “Old King Clancy,” ostensibly the B-Story, was definitely its strongest, especially when combined with the latest viral website that the show has so wonderfully put together: CanadianSexActs.org. The rest of it wasn’t particularly inspired, but the show used its jokes to good effect, throwing enough of the show’s hallmarks into the equation that it never felt like a simple sitcom story, always maintaining something that makes the show distinct. The show was essentially doing its “economic downturn” storyline with this one, but it always felt like they were doing it in a way that only this show would do, and showing it to us in the most narratively interesting fashion.

Of course, considering that the Halifax Fudge Badger made it into the list of Canadian Sex Acts (I’m from outside of Halifax), I was going to love this episode regardless.

Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother – “The Front Porch”

himymtitle

“The Front Porch”

March 16th, 2009

In bringing in Karen, Ted’s ex-girlfriend from his high school days, How I Met Your Mother has returned to the temporality that often sets it apart from other sitcoms. The show’s basic premise is one of its defining legacies, as the very idea of this being one large story told by Future Ted to his own children has given the past (and memory, and revisionist history) a very important meaning. Even further, episodes on occasion create alternate futures, showing that Ted and the rest of the characters are just as concerned with their own prospective futures as we are about the future we know is inevitable.

“The Front Porch” is ultimately a mediation more on this last idea than the former, the past serving as evidence for the concern for the future. The result is an episode that is less about Karen and more about what Karen could represent, and a more subtle than expected refocusing on the answers to the episode’s central question: how does Ted, exactly, meet this mother? Flanked by some simple but effective little pieces of comedy, the episode avoids sending Ted into a place too annoying, and Lily to a place too mean, in its navigation of what is quite an important issue in the show’s future, and one that could well be heading to a conclusion before the season is over.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother – “The Stinsons”

himymtitle

“The Stinsons”

March 2nd, 2009

Listen to any fan of How I Met Your Mother talk about why they think other people should watch the show and, chances are, they are likely going to eventually say something along the lines of “this is not a traditional sitcom.” This is something that causes some people some doubts: the show has a multi-camera format and utilizes a laugh track, looking and sounding like any traditional sitcom they’ve ever seen.

Astute fans, though, will point out the show often evolves beyond its sitcom qualities through the use of things like the manipulation of time, copious amounts of flashbacks, and even the general conceit of this all being one big memory told by Future Ted. The show has a lot of tricks up its sleeve that, often, leave it looking nothing like a sitcom at all. There are other times, though, where these elements aren’t as present, and where anyone spotchecking the series for the first time might leave thinking that this is a funny, but not particularly original, sitcom.

“The Stinsons” is an episode that, if I had to put it into one of these categories based on its basic concept, would be in the latter classification. This is the very definition of a situational comedy: after Barney leaves the bar suspiciously, the rest of the gang follow him to the suburbs where they discover a secret about his life that could forever change the course of their lives…or, more accurately, the course of the following twenty minutes.

But what this extremely odd, but extremely entertaining, half hour does is prove that HIMYM isn’t just capable of fundamentally altering the sitcom DNA to make itself standout: in the development of Barney Stinson as a character, and through Bays/Thomas’ great grasp of the sitcom conventions, they are subversive just in delivering this scenario in the most dysfunctional but hilarious fashion. That the episode actually ends up boiling things down, even in its lunacy, to an important point of character realization is testament to the show’s strength: being awesome.

And that’s the Stinson family motto, after all.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother – “Benefits”

himymtitle

“Benefits”

January 12th, 2009

Ted Mosby is a jerk.

This is a fact that, when How I Met Your Mother addresses it, is one of the character’s most entertaining qualities. When Ted is held on a pedestal like the last great defender of romance in today’s young people, though, the show screeches to a halt: unless the result is as charming as “Ten Sessions,” it is inevitable that we will not feel nearly as in love with Ted as he and the show are in love with his view on love and marriage.

But when the show is willing to actively present Ted as a jerk, someone who is doing something that is kind of cruel, kind of mean, and ultimately hurtful towards people he cares about, I like him a lot more in terms of his role on the show. As Ted and Robin enter into a friends with benefits relationship, we know as an audience that this is hurting Barney, who is in love with Robin, and the show is smart to let that period linger in a series of entertaining montages as opposed to swept under the rug to keep our “good guy” from being sullied.

We know from moment one that this is all a monumentally bad idea, but letting it play out in “Benefits” (even if the conclusion could have been, well, more conclusive) gives us a great chance to see these characters in some of their best roles.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother – “The Fight”

himymtitle

“The Fight”

December 8th, 2008

After a season that got off to a bit of a slow start figuring out how to balance the arrival of Stella, and that has been much better in the aftermath of the broken off wedding than leading up to it, “The Fight” continues to demonstrate that the show is back in its sweet spot. Like “The Naked Man” before it, this week’s episode was democractic and monumental: this felt like one of those memories that the group would keep, it involved all of our major characters in some capacity, and it really hit some intriguing comic notes throughout.

The show is still content to play lip service to recurring storylines as opposed to really digging into them, but this feels like the right note for a show reaching its midseason break and heading into the second round metaphorically floating like a butterfly.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother – “Woooo!”

himymtitle

“Woooo!”

November 17th, 2008

Scoring its highest ratings since the season premiere, which were close to its series high levels, How I Met Your Mother has grown from a niche success to a bona fide comedy hit, scoring extremely impressive numbers in key demographics in particular. Whether it is the result of the recent stuntcasting trends, or just based on the show’s undeniable quality, How I Met Your Mother has in the span of only a year gone from a show fighting for its life to a show that CBS will be keeping around as long as possible to allow it to expand into syndication.

When that happens, I don’t really know if “Woooo!” is going to resonate very well as an episode of the series in terms of its broad strokes. While the titular expressions of happiness are, as the episode cleverly shows, veiled cries for help amidst a pool of self-pity, this episode lacks a certain level of depth that could help elevate it. The episode returns to the Barney and Marshall battle for Ted’s best friendship, but after last week delved into the question of parenthood this week we see very little on that level of character building.

Instead, what we get is an office in the head of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Strip Club in the Letter “N,” and let’s be clear: on that level, this was a very sharp and (when it repeats in syndication) thoroughly entertaining half hour.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under How I Met Your Mother