Monday, September 19, 2011
An Hour of Happiness with HIMYM
by Kelly Bedard
CBS's best comedy isn't what it once was- it's a little broader, a little less clever, a little lazier; but that's in comparison to what it once was, not in comparison to everything else. In comparison to everything else, it's still one of the happiest-making things out there. How I Met Your Mother makes me smile. Not in an "intellectually, I recognize that that was a well-formed joke" kind of way, in a "can't help but grin, butterflies in your tummy, sometimes you cry before you catch yourself and think 'dude, it's just a sitcom, calm down!', stop your game of tetris" kind of way. I'd managed to forget that over the summer. But it took mere minutes of the premiere for me to remember.
And though the episodes didn't resolve who Barney's bride is (though her asking to see Ted did point towards what I thought was the only theory worth having- Robin) and it didn't take us any closer to the identity of the mother, we were left with Ted's affirmation that he doesn't want a good-on-paper girlfriend he likes enough to date for awhile, he wants the sort of stupid love you know when you encounter. My thoughts exactly, Teddy ole boy!
And then, SPOILERT ALERT, we were brought back to the show's roots with the reintroduction of one of my favourites of Ted's many love interests- Victoria, the baker from season one (the always wonderful Ashley Williams). It's true that theirs was the sort of love Ted's talking about, but it was also too easily overshadowed by his love for Robin- not a good sign. But it sure was nice to see her again.
PS: in case you'd somehow managed to forget how much of a travesty it is that these actors were omitted completely (including NPH!) from this year's Emmy race- may I submit for your consideration Colbie Smulders' heartbreakingly funny "I don't want Barney back" arc and all of the premiere as a showcase for the epic Neil Patrick Harris: his comedy chops are out full force as he tries out girl-getting material at a wedding with a checklist for future reference, his dramatic acting flair pulled at heartstrings as he pined for Nora and worried if he was marrying the right girl, and his leading man charm was palpable in a hot dance number with Robin that showed off not only his magnetic pull but the chemistry between the two extroadinary actors. The Emmy Awards might have gotten a fair bit right last night but when it comes to the comedy categories, the nomination committee still needs a lot of help.