A review of last night’s “How I Met Your Mother” coming up just as soon as my calligraphy teacher calls…
For some reason – be it budget or scheduling or story problems – when Ted or Robin are in an ongoing relationship with someone outside the group of late, we tend to only see their girlfriend/boyfriend at crucial moments in the relationship. Stella usually showed up just in time for her and Ted to have a big fight, and we’ve generally only seen Don as he and Robin pass some kind of major milestone.
And that’s a problem – particularly in an episode where, even as a joke, Ted and Barney start wishing they were still dating Robin.
Ted and Barney have an unfair advantage over Don, not just in that we’ve watched them for five seasons, but because we spent a good amount of time watching the rise and fall of their relationships with Robin – and we got to see them together in episodes that weren’t really about their relationship. So even if Ben Koldyke had the kind of chemistry with Cobie Smulders that she had with both Josh Radnor and Neil Patrick Harris, we’d have little way of knowing, because he’s around so infrequently and doesn’t feel like part of either Robin’s life or the group. We hear a lot about Don and how well things have been going, but we only occasionally see the guy.
So when first Barney, and then Ted, began having break-up’ers remorse, I mainly thought about how much more entertaining it would be to see Robin get back together with either one of them. I still think the writers didn’t take full enough advantage of the idea of Barney and Robin as a non-traditional couple, and I even think there’d be some merit to a brief story arc where an older, wiser Robin starts wondering if she’s ready for the settled life she rejected when she and Ted split up, they give it another try, and it fails again. We’d know it wasn’t going to work, but those two actors work well together, and it might at least make Robin feel like a character again, where she’s been mostly adrift this season.
I did like the idea of Ted writing letters to his future self – as well as the meta idea of Josh Radnor for once getting to be Future Ted, if only to a slightly younger version of Josh Radnor – and Neil Patrick Harris doing slapstick rarely disappoints, but overall, “Twin Beds” was another frustrating episode in what’s been a frustrating season.
As for the titular twin beds subplot, I hate to say it, but “King of Queens” not only beat them to the punch with the idea, but was a lot funnier in the execution, in showing how the twin beds could be the start of two completely separate lives.
What did everybody else think?