Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Weekend at Barney's': Michaelangelo is a party dude!
Barney brings back the Playbook to help Ted, and Marshall bombs at an art event
A review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I stop sitting on the art...
Last week's episode (which aired while I was on vacation) wasn't great, but it was at least a reminder of the structural cleverness "HIMYM" has played with at its best. "Weekend at Barney's," on the other hand, was mainly a reminder of the difficulty the show has in writing for its characters at this late stage.
We finally get to see how Ted wound up in that moment on the sidewalk where he declares that he's ready to settle down — this time, with Future Ted adding, "And kids, for the first time in my life, I really meant it."
Which is among the most ridiculous, false things anyone on the show has ever said.
Ted Evelyn Mosby has been ready to stop dating and settle down from the very first episode of "HIMYM." It's been his defining trait, and his primary goal. That he hasn't been able to accomplish that goal isn't because he wasn't sincere until now, but because he's the main character on a long-running TV show that doesn't want to introduce him to his wife until as close to the end as possible. If Robin had wanted kids, he'd have been happily married by the end of season 3. If Stella hadn't turned out to be a horrible human being, he'd be content living in (gasp!) Jersey. Circumstance, and the whims of his creators, have kept him single, not a need to keep playing the field.
For much of this season, the writers have been willing to sell out established backstory and characterization for the sake of jokes, but for the most part they've tried to be honest and fair when it comes to the emotional moments. And this was just irritating revisionist nonsense that foiled any attempt to get me to feel what the show wanted me to feel.
The Robin/Barney storyline that gave the episode its title, meanwhile, was another illustration of why they're kind of a horrible couple, even if once upon a time it seemed like a brilliant idea. Had you paired the Robin of the first couple of seasons with a Barney who had genuinely matured just a little bit, there might be something special and fun. This, though, is an entirely different, far more traditional (and shrill) Robin, and a Barney who can't stop being Barney because the show isn't over yet and the writers enjoy Playbook gags too much. (Even after Jeanette's assault on the book last night, I would not be surprised in the slightest if we got to see one or two new plays over the final season.) Neil Patrick Harris is so good at sincerity (and close-up magic) that his plea to Robin to almost landed despite the grossness of the sentiment. But as with the proposal that he kept mentioning in the speech, it's really best not to think at all about the motivations and flaws of the parties in this relationship.
Marshall and Lily at the gallery was broad and largely forgettable, which probably makes it the most successful of the episode's three stories. I laughed a couple of times throughout the half-hour (including, I have to admit, at Ted getting the drink thrown in his face from using the penis line again), but "Weekend at Barney's" was more aggravating than not.
What did everybody else think?
News From Our Partners
- In Pictures: The Cars of Fast & Furious Digital Multiplex: Warm Bodies and Aftershock Discover the Best-Reviewed Films in Summer Movie Scorecard 2013
- Is 'Jurassic Park 4' a Reboot? Yes, According to Sam Neill 'Return of the Jedi': 25 Things You Didn't Know About the Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy Finale Melissa McCarthy Fires a 'Tammy' Extra for Mistreating Her Child
- Xbox One Will Require Daily Internet Connection 'Hannibal' "Trou Normand" Preview: Is Will Losing His Mind? Quantum Break Trailer: Remedy Returns With Xbox One Exclusive
- The Telefile - TV on DVD: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 The Telefile - Veep: The Episode's Best Insults The Telefile - Saturday Night Live: Straight Outta 8H
- What to Watch Tonight: SYTYCD, Awkward., and the Finales of Grimm, The Game, and DWTS 7 Lessons We Learned from the 2012-2013 TV Season The Big C Series Finale Review: And They Lived Happily Ever After
- T-ara Member Hyomin Shows Off Her Sexy Side in Korean InStyle [Pics] Listen to David Guetta's Remix of Empire of the Sun's 'Alive Demi Lovato to Have Her Tonsils Removed
- GIFS: 10 TV Housekeepers That Ran The Show Megan Smolenyak: Celebrity Roots Series "Who Do You Think You Are?" Returns This Is Going To Be AMAZING
- Seth MacFarlane's Next Film: 'Every Line Is Hilarious,' Amanda Seyfried Swears 'The Wolverine' Trailer: Five Questions It Answered 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Takes Box-Office Crown With $84 Million
Will's gift takes an increasing toll; can the bad Dr. Lecter help him?Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Cathy and her family prepare for the end as the Showtime dramedy concludes on a strong noteTuesday, May 21, 2013
Daniel ponders a trip out of town as the terrific first season comes to a closeMonday, May 20, 2013
Some interesting pieces in a new sitcom from the 'HIMYM' guys, but it's a dead show walkingMonday, May 20, 2013