Marshall (Jason Segal) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) are finally making the move to Long Island. Unfortunately, so is Lily’s dad Mickey (Chris Elliott), who came for a visit and has decided not to leave. Mickey is a complete nuisance, criticizing their decorating choices, leaving annoying notes on everything and generally invading their new space.
Running parallel to Marshall and Lily’s trial by Mickey is the rest of the gang’s story. They are dealing with Marshall and Lily leaving by going to a strip club. Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) has suggested a trip to the strip club numerous times before and Lily has always shot it down. With no Lily, the strip club trip is on, even if Ted (Josh Radnor) is going to spend the whole time pining for Marshall and Lily like a lovesick puppy.
A subplot of the strip club story finds Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Kevin (Kal Penn) unknowingly playing a game of relationship chicken. You see kids, in a young relationship when both sides are trying to establish their boundaries while still seeming open and adventurous they may end up agreeing to do things they don’t want to do; such as going to a strip club with Barney and whiny, drunk, Ted.
Back in Long Island, Marshall and Lily have blown a fuse, literally and figuratively. Darkness has descended on the Erickson home after Marshall plugged something into the wrong plug. Now, Mickey has morphed into a more irritating but less murderous version of the movie serial killer Jigsaw, taunting Marshall as he blindly gropes his way to the basement fuse box.
There is fun to be found in ’46 Minutes,’ named for the length of the train ride from McClaren’s to Marshall and Lily in Long Island, but not much substance. Yes, Marshall and Lily have made a life altering move but it’s not treated with much beyond goofy slapstick displays and some awful drunk Ted whining.
“This is the furthest Ted and I have lived from each other since my semester abroad”Marshall. “You never lived abroad” Lily. “No, that’s what Ted and I called it when I lived across campus”Marshall.
When we last talked about How I Met Your Mother I spoke about how Marshall and Lily were now the heart of the show and that Ted has receded into a dimwitted supporting player in a story that used to be about him. “46 Minutes” may truly be the bottom of the barrel for Josh Radnor.
Ted’s whiny phone calls to Marshall and Lily, his childishness and even the attempt at a heartwarming resolution only played to the worst of Ted’s behavioral quirks; the man-boy doofus Ted. Man-boy doofus Ted acts like a goofy child, he drinks too much and worse, he drags Barney into his whiny idiocy.
Barney morphs into a small child just like Ted after Marshall and Lily move away and the result isn’t nearly as funny as it should be. Essentially, Barney’s story involves him becoming the leader of the gang leading to a series of bad decisions for which Lily wasn’t around stop him. Without Lily and her buzz killing Barney leads his friends to the strip club, an underground Russian Poker game and a party at a slaughterhouse.
The only bright spot in Barney’s plot was the multiple takes on the show theme song including one that celebrates Barney as the new leader of the group and another one when Barney and Ted adopt stripper Lily. There’s a citation below in random notes for those who don’t know stripper Lily. They also adopt her Russian Bear of a boyfriend and name the two ‘Better Lily and New Marshall,’ their new life-long friends.
The only story that really worked this week, in terms of comedy and storytelling, was Robin and Kevin’s ‘relationship chicken. We’ve had surprisingly little exploration of Robin and Kevin’s relationship and while this story didn’t have much depth it was cute, funny and had a strong resolution that showed off things that Robin and Kevin have in common that will help keep this temporary relationship alive until the inevitable end of Kal Penn’s guest star contract.
- I am far too invested in How I Met Your Mother to give up on Ted now but boy, he has grown so irritating he belongs on 2 Broke Girls.
- I could laugh at stuff like Ted getting drunk on Russian whiskey and swinging on a stripper pole if his choice to do so had some kind of believable reasoning behind it. Unfortunately though, he has become such a wildly uneven caricature that the goofball stuff he does plays like a comedy bit rather than the result of choices the character is making.
- Welcome back Stripper Lily! The Doppelgangers story is classic How I Met Your Mother and I for one hope they can find a reason to make use of lesbian softball player Robin in the future.
- It is with all due shame that I admit, like Kevin, that I enjoy the high five.