Thursday, October 8, 2009

O Captain! My Captain!

How I Met Your Mother: Robin 101
Season 5, Episode 3

One of the dominating concerns that I had coming into this season of HIMYM was how the writers would handle the Barney/Robin relationship. I feel a bit like Robin and Barney from the end of last season, part of me loves the idea of the two of them together and then when I admit that another part of me realizes that I just Mosbied the other part and now I don't like the idea very much. On paper, the two of them are made for each other. Going all the way back to the first season when Robin played Wingman for Barney and they enjoyed whiskey and cigars with each other, you could see this relationship as potentially happening in the future. But half of the jokes about Barney revolve around him being a misogynistic player, we know he wasn't always like this but for better or worse THIS is the Barney we know and (begrudgingly) love.

Putting Barney into a committed relationship (with any woman) would seem a bit like neutering his character. Episodes like last week's "Double Date" didn't exactly make me feel any better about this situation. Barney got to act like himself for the most part but Robin just played the catty jealous girlfriend who was unhappy about her boyfriend going to a strip club. The problem here is that back in season one she was A-OK with going to a strip club with Barney and Ted in "Belly Full of Turkey." So her annoyance at the situation seems hypocritical. "Double Date" ended with absolutely no resolution of Robin's issues. Nope, instead, Barney stayed just as oblivious and Robin stayed just as mad. In short, it did nothing to make me feel any better about the new status quo.

"Robin 101" doesn't right all the wrongs that "Double Date" created but it does work to fix a couple issues and we get our first glimpse of Professor Mosby albeit not teaching students.

Let's get the gripes out of the way. Though Marshall's love of his college barrel and Lily's sad case of "barrel resin allergy" were funny (especially Lily's, "Damn baby, be cool" to Robin) the whole plot was just another one note misuse of Jason Segal. I'm still waiting for something meatier for him and Marshall and while the "Bermuda Triangle" in front of the apartment steps was funny, it just wasn't anything to write home about.

What was great was the Barney/Ted interaction. I suspect that this is the closest that we'll come to seeing Professor Mosby for a while and it didn't let me down. Barney acting like the typical ADHD addled college student and begging Ted to have class outside was just one of a number of hilarious moments in these scenes (Robin is a typical cover hog? Who knew).

Meanwhile, Robin and Lily obsessing over the notebook found in Barney's briefcase played out just as obnoxiously as you might imagine. It's not that I don't empathize with Robin, I mean she is dating Barney after all. That's got to be nerve wracking. But for all of Robin's going on about how she isn't a typical girl she sure acts like a stereotype. Even going so far as to become downright insulted when she confronts Barney and Ted.

Of course Barney and Robin talk it out in the end and everything is presumably going to be fine between the two of them. During all this I realized two things. 1. Barney and Robin as a couple are inevitably going to neuter Barney's character and 2. This isn't a bad thing. Some of the funniest Barney moments have nothing to do with him as a sexual miscreant. As I was going through season four on Blu Ray this weekend I was reminded of the episode where Barney and Ted keep McClaren's open during the snowstorm. That whole sequence is framed around the two trying to get with some girls but the jokes are all about Ted and Barney being goofy. Or how about Barney and the marathon or Barney and Bob Barker; the list goes on. Barney can still be slimy, but Barney can still be Barney without sleeping around New York.

1 comment:

Corporate Gift Hampers said...

Gifts and Hampers delivered for all corporate occasions

Post a Comment