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How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother is a comedy about Ted Mosby, a New York architect who wants to get married and start a family. Future Ted is telling the story of how he met their mother and we see his past story set in the present day and the adventures he has with friends Marshall, Lily, Barney and Robin. CBS 2005-???

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Episode 13 - Three Days Of Snow

26 March 2012

Synopsis: As a three day snowstorm hits the Eastern sea board we follow three stories. Ted and Barney arrange to meet some college girls in the bar. Carl wants to close the bar but they convince him to leave the keys with them. They indulge in their fantasy of running a bar but find it’s a lot harder work than they thought it would be. Marshall and Lily have begun to curtail some of their silly romantic rituals but suddenly realise how much they value them. Lily rushes to find some beer for Marshall while he gets Robin to drive him to the airport. Eventually he gets the college girls band to play Old Lang Syne when Lily arrives so that they can get back the kiss they missed at New Years Eve.

The Good: A really enjoyable episode of How I Met Your Mother. The unity of the three plots all serving the romantic “punch line” was expertly handled and episodes always feel more satisfying when they end on a well executed high note like this.

The twist toward the end is clever because it is simple. Most viewers will have forgotten that the storm lasted three days and so instead of being a downer Marshall finds he has an extra day to plan something special for Lily. For once the flashbacks aren’t used just to make silly jokes but help build up the back-story of their relationship and convey the sense that their romantic rituals have begun to drift away. There’s a sense of authenticity to their relationship too. Only a couple which had been together for as long as Marshall and Lily could conceivably place so much stock in these little reminders of the passion and affection which brought them together. So when the band strike up Old Lang Syne it’s hard not to be touched by Marshall’s heartfelt attempt to recapture all the moments which they had lost.

Ted and Barney’s story neatly compliments the others by providing a plausible reason why the band would do Marshall this favour. Their silly antics in the bar is also based on an authentic idea, that most guys have fantasised about running a bar at some stage. Barney is on good form as usual with his sleazy paternal come-ons and reckless enthusiasm. His panic is fun too as the bar becomes difficult to manage – “Ted, what’s in a gin and tonic? What’s in a gin and tonic!?” I particularly enjoyed his disbelief at Ted’s suggestion that he needed a reason to play his college sex Bingo game.

Robin and Marshall have a fun chemistry too as she allows him to explain the breakdown of his romantic rituals. It’s been a while since I’ve felt Marshall’s humour flowed this well from his character. I liked the subtlety of him ignoring Robin’s hurt feelings to claim his robot impression was “a million times better.” Robin telling Marshall to close his eyes and him seeing it as a come-on was a very natural joke too. Lily played her role fine this week and the chatty store clerk played his small part with plausible whimsy.

The Bad: Of course there were some annoying moments sprinkled throughout. The worst was Ranjit leaving his passenger at the airport to help Lily. That undermines the credibility of the show so badly and was completely needless and unrealistic.

At the start of the episode Ted says that all he wants in the world is to have what Lily and Marshall have before immediately running outside at the prospect of easy college girls. It’s a deliberate echo of Ted’s desires in the pilot episode of the show. It would be nice if they made Ted’s character more consistent so that he could react to both sex and marriage in an appropriate way instead of acting like Barney one week and like Marshall the next. His “Dude, we should so…” acting is still unconvincing. He sounds like someone doing a bad impression and it doesn’t fit his responsible image to suddenly behave like a fool.

It would be much easier to believe he could be so irresponsible as to keep the bar open if Barney were the one breaking all the bottles and glasses. But Ted should know that he will have to pay for all that and it seems out of character for him to be so carefree about the damage they are doing. Of course Carl refusing to let them keep the bar open and then immediately changing his mind didn’t help the sense of reality either.

Comic Highlight: Tough to chose, lots of nice jokes, none are real belly laughs. I’ll just pick an easy one. The two college girls arrive and the brunette says “I don’t know if you guys have ever seen Star Wars but its like Hoth out there.” Ted says to Barney “Dibs.” The blonde chimes in with “It reminds me of when I used to go sledding with my Dad, before he left.” To which Barney says “And dibs.”

How I rate your episode: The show often shines brightest when the writers put together a gimmick episode. The fun of the plot coming together can often overcome the lack of quality humour. This time though even the humour was decent. Flawed yes, but it flowed from the characters plausible behaviour and complimented the clever story which took advantage of Lily and Marshall’s unique affection. A strong effort.

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