Saturday, June 2, 2012

HIMYM 7.22: "Good Crazy"

“It's 2012! What do you expect? To meet some cute travel agent while you're reading a newspaper at a book store?”

While it had some laughs, I would not say that “Good Crazy” was one of my favorite episodes of HIMYM. Not by a long shot. It was entirely too “sitcommy” for my taste. Now I usually hate it when people criticize an episode of a comedy as being too “sitcommy.” It sounds pretentious because there really are such things as sitcoms and people like them. In this case, however, I think the criticism is apt. What I really appreciated about HIMYM when I first started watching it (and what I really appreciate about “New Girl” now) is the care it took to depict the stage of life I’m experiencing. I’m going to be experiencing my own “Arrivederci, Fiero” in the next 1-2 months, for instance, as I give up the car I’ve driven for 11 years, my first and only car thus far, before it needs to be inspected and registered again (it gets horrible gas mileage, has a big dent in a door where somebody hit it while it was parked, and is now apparently infested with ants). The emotions the HIMYM folks could invoke when they were really true to the “transition” stage of life were gold. I could even find something to take out of a somewhat more recent episode like “Sparkles” when my own best friend had a baby. Now, however, it seems like everything is just being mined for easy laughs instead of truth.

The episode opens with Saget!Ted telling us about Marshall and Lily’s baby shower. Ted purposely showed up to the shower three hours late to avoid seeing Robin. It turns out he didn’t really need to worry. Robin purposely showed up very early to avoid seeing Ted. Oh, and they both bought strollers as a gift. At the shower itself, Barney caused quite a bit of awkwardness due to his defensiveness about Quinn being a stripper. He hears Grandma Lois tell Quinn that “50 laps is a lot,” and he mistakenly thinks she is commenting on lap dances. He starts yelling and trying to defend Quinn, and then he finds out that Grandma Lois was actually talking about swimming. Like that wasn’t predictable.

We next see Barney and Ted at MacLaren’s, where they are talking girl problems. Barney is complaining about how Quinn being a stripper always makes him jealous. Ted says that he’s just been generally trying to lay low romantically post-Robin. Barney thinks that what Ted needs is a palate cleanser. To find this palate cleanser, he recommends online dating. Ted protests that he will never, ever try online dating. Of course, next thing we know, he’s setting up an online dating profile. Ted finds profile of a girl that seems perfect for him, even down to “not hating Cleveland.” Ted sends her an e-mail, and Barney instantly appears at his door. Presumably it was a fake profile Barney set up to know when Ted finally gave in and tried online dating. Barney says that through a very complex algorithm (extent of boobs shown in their profile picture), he has determined the three best potential palate cleansers for Ted. Ted agrees to give the three women a shot.

Each date is slightly better than the last, although none of them are great. Ted’s first date is with a woman named Robyn who is from Canada and likes guns and scotch. Needless to say, this does not help him get over Robin. As she talks, she in fact turns into Robin in Ted’s mind. The second date makes Ted picture Robin, too, but it’s a more tenuous connection. It would have to be tenuous considering this girl has two full tattoo sleeves and is seriously Goth and emo. The trigger is her mentioning something about lasagna, because Ted had a memory of Robin making lasagna once. Ted sees Robin again on his date with the third girl, and this is by far the most tenuous connection of all. His vision of Robin says that with so much changing in their social circle (Marshall and Lily having a baby, Barney with a live-in girlfriend), they should really try to remain friends. When his date asks why he spaced out, Ted admits that he’s still trying to get over an ex. She’s still getting over her fiancé, so she doesn’t see this as a problem. They end up being good palate cleansers for each other, and the end up sleeping together.

Meanwhile, Barney and Quinn are having some issues related to Quinn’s “career.” They’re walking down the street together when they experience what Saget!Ted considers a stripper’s boyfriend’s worst nightmare. They run into a couple of Quinn’s regular clients. Realizing that these guys have seen his girlfriend mostly naked is too much for Barney to handle. He briefly tries to be accepting, but then he tells Quinn he wants her to quit her job. Barney even goes so far as to get Quinn a job as an “Executive Strategy Coordinator” at GNB. Needless to say, Quinn doesn’t take to this too kindly. She likes her job, and she thinks banks are really unethical. Well, she does have a point there. She ends up walking out of GNB refusing the job and telling Barney that she has some thinking to do about their relationship.

The final plot of the episode involves Marshall and Lily, mostly. Lily and Ted are talking at MacLaren’s, and Lily mentions that Marshall is going kind of overboard on the baby prep front. He’s been swaddling her, he’s got a watermelon practice baby, and he even has a siren set to go off to simulate night feedings. Ted tells Lily she really needs to talk to Marshall about this. Lily takes Ted’s advice, and the discussion with Marshall blows up into a huge argument where Marshall accuses Lily of not caring enough about the baby. Understandably, Lily storms out. Later, though, it seems like Lily has a plan to fix things. She tells Marshall that she signed them up for a “Baby Boot Camp” conference in New Jersey. Marshall is, needless to say, extremely excited about this prospect. Lily offers to drive because Marshall is so exhausted from taking care of the watermelon baby, and Marshall falls asleep almost as soon as he gets in the car. When he wakes up, he is extremely surprised to find Barney driving instead of Lily. Barney says they aren’t going to Baby Boot Camp. They’re going to Atlantic City.

Back at MacLaren’s, Ted starts seeing Robin in everyone, including the bartender and several patrons. Ted realizes he’s mad at himself for giving up on friendship with Robin. As he goes outside, he just happens to meet up with the real Robin. He wants to have a talk, but she says now isn’t a good time. The reason for that is soon apparent. Marshall and Barney are gambling in Atlantic City, and Barney is getting frustrated with how Marshall just keeps constantly wondering how Lily is doing. Barney makes a deal with Marshall: if Marshall gives him one hour of no-phone quality bro time, Barney will wear the Ducky Tie again. Marshall agrees and gets extremely drunk in that hour. After the hour is up, Barney turns on his phone to find 17 voicemails from Lily. She’s gone into labor and she’s really angry that she can’t get a hold of Marshall.

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