Color Charts! Color Charts! Color Charts!
To say I was happy to have How I Met Your Mother back with new episodes is an understatement. Having been immersed in the series a second and third time thanks to the wave of syndicated reruns everywhere this summer, I was eager for new episodes and was rewarded with a full hour of How I Met Your Mother, filled with moments that will linger in the show’s mythos.
Up first was an episode titled “The Best Man.” We begin where we left off last season, Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) wedding. Yes, it’s for real, Barney Stinson is getting married. Though, when the nuptials will take place and the identity of the bride are mysteries that will linger through this season, and maybe the next.
Barney’s wedding leads to a flashback within a flashback, something only How I Met Your Mother can get away with, with me anyway. For the uninitiated, all of How I Met Your Mother is a flashback, told in voiceover by old man Ted, the voice of Bob Saget. Thus, all flashbacks are taking place within old Ted’s flashback.
We are taken back to Punchy’s (Chris Romansky) wedding in Cleveland. Ted (Josh Radnor) is the best man and he’s nervous. Ted’s wedding toasts are legendary among his old, pre-New York friends. Unfortunately, they’re legendary for Ted’s emotional break downs, which are so entertaining, they’re on Youtube; one of them was even auto-tuned and looped, leading it to become a hit in Finland.
Marshall (Jason Segal) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) have decided that they are going to wait to tell their friends about Lilly’s pregnancy. This is tough however, because everyone keeps offering Lily a drink. So, Marshall is drinking for two and is a wedding disaster waiting to happen as he gets drunker and drunker.
Poor Robin (Cobie Smulders) is pining for Barney while he is dealing with his rejection by Nora (Nazanin Boniadi) by using Cleveland as a test audience for new pick up personas. Among the highlights of Barney’s least greatest hits: Manslaughter escapee, Patient Zero, Guiness Book of Records holder for longest fingernails and, my personal favorite, Vampire/Facebook founder.
Then, Barney and Robin delivered the high point of “The Best Man,” a well choreographed and highly entertaining dance to Dee-Lite’s wonderful pop classic “Groove is in the Heart.” For me, Robin and Barney belong together and the second half hour of the season premiere of How I Met Your Mother backed that up by demonstrating how little chemistry Barney and Nora have.
Moving on to episode two of the premiere, “The Naked Truth,” we welcome to the How I Met Your Mother canon the character known as ‘Beer-cules.’ How we have never come to know Marshall’s naked, drunken alter-ego is a mystery, what with the gang having gone to great lengths to find Robin Sparkles and Ted Mosby porn star.
Nevertheless, ‘Beer-cules’ is a terrific discovery though I would understand if we never saw him again. Marshall’s drinking is getting a little out of control as he spent the majority of both episodes hammered. Going back to last season, How I Met Your Mother is giving Cougar Town a run for the crown of drunkest cast.
Hopefully, Marshall’s impending fatherhood and new job might sober him up a little. Yes, Marshall got his dream job, working with a legendary lawyer who specializes in defending the environment. The casting of Martin Short as Garrison Kootes, Marshall’s new boss, is inspired, even if “The Naked Truth” didn’t give him much to do.
Ted made the front page of New York Magazine by becoming the youngest architect in New York to design a skyscraper. “The Naked Truth” finds Ted taking advantage of his newfound minor celebrity Barney-style, using the magazine as a convenient way to meet women.
While Robin had a big dance scene in “The Best Man” and the continuing storyline of her feelings for Barney, she and Alyson Hannigan’s Lily weren’t given much to do in the hour long premiere. Lily especially got short-shrift as a functionary in Marshall’s drunken wedding rampage and in Ted’s attempt to decide between the girl’s he was dating.
In his attempt to win back Nora, Barney came clean about every lie he’d ever told in order to get laid. Not surprisingly, Nora is ready to dump him for good until he threatened to stay in the diner where they met until she agreed to go out with him. Nine hours later, he got the second date.
Barney’s stunt inspired Ted to rediscover his old romantic self and get back on the road to finding the future mother of his children. This led to a moment that the producers of How I Met Your Mother somehow managed to keep under wraps. After teasing an appearance by rocker Lenny Kravitz, Ted spotted his season one ex-girlfriend Victoria (Ashley Williams).
The relationship between Ted and Victoria is among the reasons why I fell in love with How I Met Your Mother. The relationship demonstrated the clever writing and deft romance that has only matured as the series has aged. I had always hoped that the show would bring Victoria back and give that relationship the closure it deserved.
Checking out Ashley Williams’ IMDB page I see that she doesn’t have any other series commitments. Could this mean that Williams will be sticking around for a little while? I can tell you she will be back in next week’s episode as Ted tries to make amends for their break up and we find out the origins of ‘The Ducky Tie.’