I don’t have time to gin up separate full-fledged posts on How I Met Your Mother or Heroes from last night, so while there’s nothing really spoilery in the following post, avert your eyes if you’re nervous about that sort of thing.
Now that HIMYM has advanced the Mother plot, I was satisfied enough with this modest, Marshall-centric episode, which except for the bits about his job search could have aired at any time, any season of HIMYM. It does make me wonder what the trajectory of the show is going to be now that Ted and Stella are engaged—are we simply going to alternate between episodes about their relationship, and ones like this, in which she essentially doesn’t exist?
Otherwise, the episode was like a reliable bar burger: it did the job. Line of the night: “I don’t have a switchblade! I don’t know how to breakdance and win the grudging respect of a street gang!” Observation of the night: “As your self-esteem gets smaller, your underpants radius gets bigger.”
Oh, and yet more evidence for the idea that HIMYM is a show about 30 year olds with the cultural references of 40 year olds: at the beginning, Ted talks about moving to New York when it was grimy and scary, then watching it gentrify and turn into a bank- and upscale-grocery-infested theme park. Now that was true when I moved to New York: in 1991. By my math, Ted got here in 2000, near the end of the Giuliani era, when the city was already Disneyland, albeit a slightly cheaper one. (But hey, give the credit collapse another couple weeks! We can have that sleazy New York back!)
As for Heroes, maybe it’s a matter of lowered expectations, but I actually enjoyed last night. I still think that at this point it’s going to be a chore to follow it closely week to week, but I’ve given up expecting Heroes to be a great show, which means that I can appreciate a ridiculous but well-written episode like last night’s (which came from the keyboard of Joe Pokaski, who wrote the excellent “Cautionary Tales” last season). Still bored with Sylar as a villain, but Sylar as HRG’s sidekick I’m enjoying. “And we’re gonna need some coffee! Decaf.” A man after my own heart. Except for the decaf part.