'How I Met Your Mother': So you had a bad day
Maybe it's because I'm not much of a sports fan, but I wasn't feeling this sports-metaphor-laden episode. Perhaps some of you out there were excited by the guest spots from New York Yankee Nick Swisher and CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz, but they didn't do much for me, especially since every time the episode cut to Nantz and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), it seemed like an awkward break in the flow.
My apathy might also have to do with the fact that the episode revolved around every character having a horrible week. It didn't exactly make for happy, celebratory laughs. Even Barney, Mr. Always See the Boobs at the End of the Tunnel, is trying to land the Perfect Week -- seven girls in seven nights -- only to dull his worry that he's going to be fired. He recounts his plays in an interview with Nantz, who calls Barney a champion in the “sport of sleeping with random hotties” before listing his sex stats. Trying to forget their own horrible weeks, the gang cheers Barney on, even Lily (Alyson Hannigan). She thinks it's a cry for help at first -- then “Barney's whole life is a cry for help,” Ted (Josh Radnor) points out -- but eventually joins in. Ted even helps Barney pick the stupidest girl in the bar on night six. I object to it being the sliders girl. There is nothing stupid about delicious little sliders. But Barney's perfect week is put into jeopardy on night seven when the Yankees' Swisher walks into the bar, immediately drawing the attention of every female except for Robin (Cobie Smulders), who doesn't get his appeal. Thankfully, Lily is able to “Canada this up, eh” for Robin. Just as it looks like the perfect week is falling apart, the gang jumps to Barney's rescue, keeping Swisher from the blond Barney's trying to score with.
Ted's having a bad week because a girl dropped his class when he made fun of her name, thinking it was a fake. I can't really blame him for that, but he should really get his hearing checked if he didn't hear Cook repeatedly say, “Here,” during roll call. Marshall (Jason Segel), Lily and Robin have a field day with the name, coming up with puns using the word “poo.” I think the cast was enjoying this even more than the characters. They revealed at a Paley Center panel that they sit around between scenes thinking of “cat” puns and rattled off quite a few clever ones during the panel. I can only imagine what “poo” puns got left on the cutting room floor. Bloopers, please?
Robin's having a bad week because Dale, her horrible date with a bad eye and a penchant for taking about fictional characters, hasn't called her back. She's doesn't like him, but Robin thinks she's all that and a bag of chips, so she expects him to call for seconds. But a week passes and Dale doesn't call, leaving Robin feeling a little vulnerable. Between that and his admission that baseball is no hockey, Robin is all over Swisher.
Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily are upset because they've scared off a potential couple. They've been trying to find one to double date with since they lost Robin and Barney, Ted and Stella (Sarah Chalke), Ted and Robin and Ted and Victoria (Ashley Williams).
“Geez, Ted, when are you going to get your life together?” Marshall says in the episode's first self-referential moment. Yes, Ted, when are you going to find the mother already? Viewers (and Marshall) want to know! The second self-referential moment came when Future Ted asked, “Am I a bad dad?” after telling his children about how their Uncle Barney bedded seven women in seven days. I'm glad someone's finally asking it after five seasons of inappropriate stories.
It turns out Marshall and Lily scared off the other couple by revealing that they share a toothbrush. But it doesn't end there. That toothbrush got quite a lot of use because for eight years, Ted was unknowingly using the same toothbrush as Marshall and Lily. And remember how Robin used to date Ted and sleep over? Yeah, she borrowed his toothbrush, a.k.a. Marshall and Lily's toothbrush. That is not sweet, Nick Swisher. I don't care if you're a Yankee.
Readers, did you enjoy Barney's quest for the perfect week? Did the gang's bad weeks get you down a little? Are you getting yourself a new toothbrush?
-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)
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Photo: Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) gets a high five from Jim Nantz. Credit: Eric McCandless / Fox