Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Barney, please!

Old King Clancy
How I Met Your Mother: Season 4, Episode 18

Canadian sex acts. Architectural dreams. I didn't expect an HIMYM show about both, but that's what we got this week. We also saw a Ted who was more "inspired" than usual, and that, at the very least, was good to see.

At the bar, Lily, Marshall, and Barney played a game of "Clue," trying to guess what celebrity Robin almost hooked up with, what collection he enticed her with, and what kinky sex act he wanted to do; to make their guesses, they used the handy-Website, canadiansexacts.org. As with any referenced Website on HIMYM, the site is up and running - except the descriptions of the sex acts which are indefinitely "temporarily unavailable."

Okay, back to the point of the show. Wait - was there a point to this show? Oh, yeah. Ted and his lofty ambitions for the new GNB building that Bilson keeps squashing.

At the beginning of the episode, Ted learns that Bilson scrapped the plans for the building a month ago, and Barney and Marshall have created an elaborate lie - complete with a fake task force that loves every single one of Ted's ideas - so they wouldn't have to tell Ted that he was fired.

Naturally, Ted is upset. To make amends, his best friends get him hired for another project that involves creating a room to fire people, just like the one two floors below it. Surprise, surprise. After Ted presents his plan for the room, complete with a grief counselor, Bilson fires him, again. At least this time Ted had his revenge, as he hits Bilson over the head with a chair.

Alas, with the GNB project gone, Ted is let go from the architectural firm, but he's no longer upset. His plans for the GNB building inspired him; he's determined to start his own firm. Go Ted!

Overall, I found this episode disappointing, even if it was kind of nice to see a bit of "personal growth" in Ted. Now, if only, Ted could get his personal life together as well!

A couple highlights from this week's show:

  • Marshall says that Lily would be the celebrity he'd want to nail. Then, Lily says, "Hugh Jackman."
  • Barney casually firing people, in a security video montage, with a simple wave of the hand.
  • Lily getting so excited about Robin almost-sleeping with a celebrity, that she gets uncontrollable hiccups.
  • "I have to think of ways to put my wood into Bilson's dark atrium," Ted proclaims, while discussing his architectural plans.
  • The Canadian jokes, both Barney's quips and the listing of sexual acts that are named things like the "Reverse Rick Moranis" and "Two-handed Zamboni." But...

... the Canadian sexual acts got overplayed. I had hoped for a stronger storyline for Lily and Robin, as we had last week, but they got stuck with the silly storyline that really went nowhere. So, who was the Canadian celebrity that Robin hooked up with? The Frozen Snowshoe, a Canadian wrestler that the gang has never head of. This joke fell flat, just like the pants story did two weeks ago. All hype; no payoff.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. With the exception of last week and learning Lily's relationship manipulating ways, the Barney-centric episodes (and scenes) are often the best. Call his womanizing character what you will, he is by far the funniest character on this show.

Please, let's see something more with Barney, so we can get back to some classic HIMYM.


Michael B. said...

Seinfeld is probably the greatest sitcom of all time. One of the reasons was that despite Kramer being such a fans favorite and several times, the funniest thing about the show, they gave him to us in short and sweet doses instead of making him too central to the show.

I love Barney, but I think the show is running the risk of turning into the Barney Stinson show, instead of the tale of how Ted meets his kids' mother. Another show thats dangerously treading this line if The Big Bang Theory (the second funniest sitcom on TV). Sheldon is a great character, but this season has focused too much on him.

Remember Steve Urkel and Family Matters?

Liz S said...

I don't think this show has to be the "Barney Stinson show," but as of late, Barney has had the best storylines.

I think my problem lately with the show has been the way Ted is portrayed. He is a down-to-earth, mostly sensible guy, who is likeable but not all that interesting. (In that way, I think that's Leonard's problem on Big Bang Theory, too). Normal = not interesting.

The writers have been trying to make Ted more interesting, by giving him more issues - with work, with dating pretentious women - but it's still not doing much for his character. I liked Ted a lot better when he had his stuff together and was dating girls like Victoria. I'm ALL for him returning to the quest of the "Mother."

One last note: I did love "The Front Porch" episode, and that wasn't a Barney-centric episode at all.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Michael!