How I Met Your Mother Review: “Bedtime Stories” (Season 9, Episode 11)

How I Met Your Mother

For two seasons it’s been lacking, this show about Ted and his friends, leading to much disgust with the writers’ slacking, and fans dreaming of quicker ends. The stories have been far too flat, and the characters not much better, so many who once raptly watched and sat, now could hardly care how Ted met his true her. But there’s still over half a season to go, that’s time enough for a revival, but something great must happen to the show, for proof it deserves its legacy’s survival. They’ve tried to continue with more of the same, but that plan’s failure means try another, so the writers took a big leap away from lame, with a rhyming episode of How I Met Your Mother.

Okay, well that’s more than enough rhyming for one night. In the hands of much more skilled poets than I though, this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother is one of the funniest in a long time, powered by its bold, unconventional style. It’s fresh and exciting, and it may be just what the show needs to jump-start its final season.

The premise is simple enough: Marvin can only fall asleep when he’s read rhymes. With a long bus ride ahead of them, Marshall plans on reading from one of their many books in order to have Marvin pass out for the rest of the journey. Unfortunately, Marshall forgot said books, so he’s tasked with thinking up rhymes of his own, which he ends up pulling from three stories about his friends.

In all reality, the content of those three mini-stories doesn’t matter. It’s the way with which they are told that makes this episode an enjoyable one. I can’t remember the last time I’ve consistently laughed this hard while watching How I Met Your Mother. It seems that every fourth line is a witty way to cap off a rhyme. Nothing is stretched at any point, and the humor would have been present even if it wasn’t magnified by the rhymes.

But the rhymes certainly do multiply the laughs. One of my favorite episodes of the show is The Sexless Innkeeper. Perhaps I’m just a sucker for rhymes, but I think the parts of that episode where they recite the poems are absolutely hilarious, and I love the phrasing that a poem lets them get away with. While they don’t get to travel back to the 1700s for this tale, the rhyming still makes the episode all the more humorous.

As great as the rhyming is though, this would have been a quality episode just due to the story, even if it wasn’t set up as a series of poems. Granted, there’s no way the episode could’ve worked if it was just Marshall telling three stories that aren’t really connected, that’s what the poems allow for, but on their own, those stories are quite entertaining. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to maintain interesting plots when you aren’t jumping back and forth between all the characters, but rather focusing on one at a time. That’s definitely the case here. It’s also nice to have another break from the inn, and this episode feels a lot more natural than the previous flashback episode did.