On last night’s episode of “How I Met Your Mother” – y’know, the show that airs before “2 Broke Girls” – everyone’s favorite character and everyone’s least favorite character, Barney and Ted, opened a bar in the latter’s apartment called Puzzles. Why Puzzles? That’s the puzzle.
The bar’s a mixture of Barney’s debauchery and Ted’s high-class pretension, with more than a hint of “Cheers” (check out the font in the picture above). To further the concept, CBS also purchased the domain name PuzzlesTheBar.com, so if you want to go to “a place where wit and wisdom bloom…A place to bang chicks in Ted’s room,” you can, virtually-speaking.
Like the show’s other online tie-ins, including Barney’s Video Résumé, Puzzles’ website does the small details well, including a calendar for January 2012, with everything from “Tolstoy Tuesday” to “Co-Ed Strip Dart Tournament.” But the show itself still doesn’t get the big picture: TED=DOUCHE, and Puzzles is a perfect example of this. I know you need a straight man to act against Barney’s sexual antics (oh, the irony), but does Snob Ted have to be written to such an annoyingly exaggerated, yet underwritten extent? In last night’s episode, he began a philosophical conversation about Ulysses while smoking a pipe…on New Year’s Eve. There’s nothing inherently funny about that concept. Ted’s stuck in an obnoxious middle-ground, where the show can’t make him a full douche, like Dennis Reynolds, because he’s the lead character on a CBS sitcom, but they also can’t make him intentionally unlikable, like Joffrey, for pretty much the same reason.
Has any other recent sitcom been hampered more by its lead than “How I Met” and Ted Mosby?