Saturday, September 24, 2011

HIMYM 7.01: "The Best Man"

“Oh, thank God! Barney Stinson needs to see you right before his wedding, you assume there’s at least one dead stripper in the closet.”

I don’t shy away from unpopular opinions here at MTVP. Mostly because there are only one or two people who actually regularly read this blog, and one of them writes for MTVP too. So here goes. I pretty much liked the season premiere of “How I Met Your Mother.” I know some people were horribly upset/offended by it, but I’ve learned to pretty much just role with the stupid “the story’s not over yet” taunts and revel in the great character moment. And “The Best Man” had some great character moments. I’m a little sad that we’re going back to will-they-won’t-they with Barney and Robin (because they totally will), to the point of having them involved in an all-out love triangle, but I’m willing to be patient for now because they had some wonderful moments in this episode. And just so I don’t get accused of basing my opinion of the episode solely on the Barney/Robin of it all, I loved the scene between Ted and Robin near the end of the episode as well. It capitalized on their friendship, and that made it special.

The episode opens by reintroducing us to Barney’s wedding, which looks to be happening in the not-especially-distant future. Ted’s having his Best Man talk with Barney. Barney’s mostly concerned about which tie to wear. Well, he plays it off like he doesn’t know which tie to wear, but what he really wants is validation from Ted that he’s marrying the right woman. Ted says Barney’s “nailed it.” They then go on to reminisce about how Marshall totally ruined Punchy’s wedding. This leads nicely into a flashback to the gang at MacLaren’s, talking about getting ready for Punchy’s wedding. Ted is super-planning his wedding toast, because he has a history of giving really lame toasts. Mostly because weddings seem to occur at low points in his life, like right after he got fired. To make matters worse, Punchy has put of a montage of Ted’s worst wedding toasts online. And it’s AutoTuned. All of Ted’s friends back home think he’s really lame now. Ted is anything but lame, though. Because he’s designing a Manhattan skyscraper at such a young age, he got his picture on the cover of New York Magazine. Barney, naturally, thinks Ted should use that to pick up chicks at the wedding. It comes out that Barney hasn’t called Nora yet, and Robin encourages him to do so. Meanwhile, Lily and Marshall have a sidebar conversation. They’re struggling to hide the fact that Lily is pregnant from their friends.

When we finally get to Punchy’s wedding, we see that Barney is going to be spending some time “test marketing” new plays to use to pick up chicks. They’re really lame, kind of creepy plays, though, like “escaped manslaughterer” and “patient zero.” Not surprisingly, none of them test well. While Barney’s off being creepy, Robin uses what Lily calls her “truth voice” when trying to joke about maybe wanting to get back together with Barney. Apparently Robin uses a certain whiny tone of voice whenever she’s trying to play the truth off as a joke. Anyway, Lily does her best to convince Robin that Barney still has feelings for her (he is running super lame plays and not trying really hard at it, after all) and that Robin should tell him her feelings. Robin starts trying to talk to Barney, but he interrupts her for a dance. A really awesome Latin-style dance to “Groove is in the Heart,” that is. Hello flashback to my early-90’s dance recitals! If “Dancing With the Stars” was for, you know, actual stars, I’d be rooting for Neil Patrick to participate. He was great in the dance scene. And Cobie Smulders wasn’t so bad herself. A steamy end to the dance is cut short when Barney’s phone rings. It’s Nora. He did finally call her. Five times. Poor Robin is devastated. Robin plays Cyrano for Barney on the phone call, which gets to be kind of heartbreaking. Barney is using the words Robin is using to pour her own heart out to get a date with another woman.

Meanwhile, Marshall, who is quite drunk, tries to help Ted get some cred with his hometown friends by talking loudly about Ted’s magazine cover. He stats acting superior to a wedding guest who manages a car rental business, when all of a sudden the car rental guy’s wife brings over their baby. Marshall is instantly sidetracked and can’t stop being distracted by the baby. Marshall brings the baby over to Lily, who is also super distracted by it, and they decide that they want to tell their friends the baby news, three-month wait convention or not. Following the magazine incident, Robin and Ted find themselves out on a balcony. Both are upset, but Robin doesn’t really want to tell Ted why she’s upset. Ted chimes in first. He thinks he’s stopped believing in love. He doesn’t think about romantic possibilities as he walks through life anymore. Robin and Ted reaffirm their “if I’m not married by 40” pact, and Robin makes Ted promise to start believing again. Marshall, Lily, and Barney join them out on the balcony, and Lily and Marshall make the big baby announcement. The rest of the group is thrilled.

Ted starts yet another weepy wedding toast, but this time it’s because he’s so happy about Marshall and Lily being pregnant, not because something horrible has happened in his own life. Nevertheless, the wedding guests start snickering at him. Marshall (still drunk) intervenes and tells everyone why Ted is weepy. Although when he refers to somebody being pregnant, the bride thinks Marshall is referring to her. Because she’s pregnant, too. That sets up a huge feud between the bride and groom’s families, and that’s how Marshall ruined Punchy’s wedding. Flashing forward to Barney’s wedding again, Lily pops her head in the room where Barney and Ted are chatting and says that the bride wants to talk to Ted. I’m hoping this is a sign that Barney will be marrying Robin, because last season, Ted agreed to be her Best Man, too. And why would Nora want to talk to Ted of all people pre-wedding? I am seriously hoping that I’m right about this one.

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