Archive for January 20th, 2009

After last weeks disturbing Ted story about how he kept nailing Aunt Robin, I half expected an episode that opened on the kids receiving electroshock therapy to burn the images away. Or an episode in which Ted pesters Barney into admitting his actual feelings for Robin ( Lily would have told Marshall a while back, as this season we have established Lily cannot keep a secret to save her life). But instead we get a standard HIMYM gem in which Ted and Barney mack on some barely legals, Marshall and Lily do cute and cheesy romantic stuff, and Robin wears very little clothing at some point and is the cynic in the whole shebang.

Story A: Ted and Barney meet some hot young thangs and try to set up a date. Seeing their band played was nixed because Barney didn’t want to be the bleached blonde skank waving her boobs at a Van Halen concert ( although Ted does point out those girls usually get to have sex with Van Halen- I sure hope he was referring to Van Halen circa 1984…). Exchanging phone numbers was also eschewed by the Barnacle ( if they have your number, they can call and cancel and you are screwed in a very unpleasant way).  But they agree to meet the next night at McLarens. But it starts to snow. Heavily. So much so that they are the only two in McLarens the next night when Carl tells them to take off, he’s closing early to go and set up beds for the homeless. Instead, he agrees to allow Barney and Ted man the bar till their dates show up. This allows for a cool Cocktail inspired sequence that ends with the boys breaking liquor bottles and glasses all over the place. It also fulfills a dream they both have in which they open a bar called Puzzles ( why Puzzles? That’s the puzzle). They girls finally arrive, and ask to bring the whole band with them. The guys agree, but our band is actually the Arizona Tech Fighting Hens Marching Band. Oopsies, boys. Needless to say, fifty drunken college students are not neat, and when Carl calls to inform them he’s on his way back, they move the party upstairs to the apartment, where B&T agree not to open a bar. Then they decide to start a band. Named Puzzles.

Story B: Marshall and Lily started this cute airport pickup thing a while back in which the picker upper wears a chauffeurs hat and carries one of those signs with the arrival’s name on it, and the one who is arriving brings a six pack of local microbrew from where ever they had been. Since it’s the HIMYM universe, they are able to take this on the plane. But they have decided to put this aside. But it’s Marshall and Lily, so that didn’t last long. Marshall feels guilty for letting Lily’s lunch time phone call go to voice mail, and Lily admits to herself Marshall would be there waiting for his beer ( leading to them both believing if they don’t follow through on their ritual, the other would leave them for someone hotter, and in Marshall’s case, more height appropriate). Marshall convinces a barely dressed Robin ( the radiator was broken, apparently, but Cobie’s baby bump is getting noticeable) to drive him to the airport. On the way there, Marshall and  Robin get into a fight about love and rituals- Robin thinks they’re stupid, leading to Marshall to call her a robot. Robin, hurt, pulls over, and while they fight, the car gets buried in a ton of snow by a plow. Marshall admits that he loves these little rituals he and lily have, and apologizes for his snide remark to Robin, and the two escape the car and somehow make it to the airport. Where they discover Lily’s flight was delayed in Seattle.

Story C ( Which feeds into story B): Lily commandeers Rajit ( yay! Rajit!) and goes to get a six pack of microbrew from Seattle in NYC because of the sudden guilt that Marshall wouldn’t get his beer ( and again, that image of the blonde Amazon in he head). It turns out all they had was a keg. Lily gets it. She waits for Marshall. Who shows up with  the Arizona Tech Fighting Hens Marching band Now they have to get a marching band each time one of them gets home from a flight.

Overall, a cute, charming episode that still felt like a bit of a letdown after last weeks’ disturbing but gut wrenching Barney episode. Neil Patrick Harris needs an Emmy STAT.

Grade: B+

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To President Barack Obama. You are now the 44th President of the United states of America. With great power comes great responsibility. Never forget that.

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Sheldon, Sheldon, Sheldon. Oh, Sheldon. You wonderful, arrogant, narcissistic jackass. You cannot boil people and relationships down to algorithms. No matter how hard you try. You may be a genius, but you forget- with imperfect creatures like humans, there are simply too many variables.

Last week’s episode was a bit of a let down, but this week, with Jim Parson’s socially clueless Sheldon centre stage, the show hit a good one for the most part. We start with one of the greatest cold opens ever. Sheldon and Raj are debating the best kind of pudding- Raj is in favor of Tapioca, Sheldon is 100% correct in say chocolate ( chocolate fudge pudding, to be precise). Sheldon then attempts to regale his table with a fact about the plant tapioca comes from, but Leonard, Raj , and Howard refuse to allow him to finish his thought, allowing Jim Parson’s physical comedic gifts shine through as Sheldon desperately tries to interject his arcane knowledge and gets shot down. He spasms, contorts, and as desperation sets in, literally looks as though he’s about to fall apart, until Leonard deems it cruel to continue. Sheldon explodes, then drinks water in the most ridiculously desperate way imaginable. ” You promised you’d stop doing that,” he tells Leonard bitterly afterwards.
Sheldon has a bit of a conundrum. See, he needs a certain lab at the university. This lab is apparently under the control of one Barry Kripke ( see last weeks episode- the dude with the speech impediment that only Raj mentioned. Leonard informs our beloved egomaniac that Kripke only allows his friends to use the equipment Sheldon needs, which causes Sheldon to decide to-*GASP*- make Kripke his new friend. Of course, he does this in the most Sheldon way imaginable. He creates a questionnaire ( which seems to resemble an S.A.T. judging from everyones reaction to it). When that proves to be enormously frustrating for him ( he’s upset his friends don’t take the questionnaire seriously, although to their credit, they answered it), he takes to the next logical step- the children’s book section of the local bookstore, which leads to Sheldon meeting a little girl and unaware of social niceties, he comes off as looking beyond creepy. Leonard pulls him away before the inevitable happens.
Reading Stu the Cockatoo Is New At the Zooallows Sheldon to create a greaseboard with the title algorithm on it. He calls Kripke and follows it till he reaches a loop. Howard remedies this by giving him an escape, which cause Sheldon to remark, ” I’m surprised you saw that.”  Howard remarks on how he finds it amazing Sheldon has any friends at all.

Sheldon’s out was to go indoor rock climbing with Kripke. This ends rather amusingly with Sheldon, who’s fear of heights is ” non-existent” but his fear of falling very real, passing out about halfway. I was actually shocked Sheldon even attempted it, as Sheldon is not known for taking any risks at all. But he manages to get Kripke to come over for food ( leading to him deciding that Penny’s name is not hot enough and renaming her. Howard’s little aside about not looking so bad considering actually end up making the last episode now funnier, which is a major comedic achievement). The rest of the gang, not pleased with this new friendship with someone who essentially amounts to a geek who bullies than simply because he’s only a tad less geeky than they are,are then infomed that Sheldon can only afford in his life four friends. Leonard is safe as he is the roomate, Penny because of the fact that she adds something different, and Howard- well, I’m not even sure why, other than Sheldon was miffed Raj answered the lycine question wrong on the questionnaire, so Raj was eliminated from Sheldon’s friend list. But when Sheldon tries to get Kripke to allow him access to the equipment he needs, Kripke informs him that there is a schedule he has no control over. Sheldon, non plussed about the futility of his efforts,  simply decides Kripke is now out and gives Raj the dumplings.

Strong work from Jim Parsons throughout the series means that Sheldon episodes are more likely as the series continues. That’s an issue with breakout characters on sitcoms, particularly ones as well played as Sheldon. But everyone had a few jabs and one liners, and Leonard finally got a chance to tell Penny how he and Sheldon became friends ( basically, he was allowed to be Sheldon’s roommate as long he didn’t whistle). But it was truly a Sheldon moment, and it shined. I laughed, I laughed, I laughed some more. And thank God for quick closers, as we see the guys staring up at a passed out Sheldon, dangling from a harness as he again failed to make it up the rock climbing wall. It was less than ninety seconds. Brilliant.

Grade- B+

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