Tuned In

HIMYM Watch: He Got Game

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Spoilers for last night’s How I Met Your Mother coming up after the jump:

I have to recuse myself from properly reviewing “The Perfect Week.” As an avowed non-sports-watcher, it’s pretty clear that I don’t have the interests or education to get the in-jokes and references in the episode. (I did get the slider joke! I get food!) So I will have to take on faith that what seemed to me like a way overextended baseball metaphor was actually replete with clever allusions and winks at sports culture. I must assume, likewise, that Jim Nantz is in fact the sportscaster that an average fan would fantasize being interviewed by, even if said fan were not a character on a CBS sitcom.

I will assume, finally, that there was resonance, for the sports minded, in the idea that Barney’s quest for the perfect week was like sports, in that it’s something that takes your mind off your troubles. I don’t watch sports to take my mind off my troubles. For that I have How I Met Your Mother. And sweet, sweet alcohol. Preferably in combination.

Fortunately my cocktail was working for me last night, because this episode, while not a bad one, wasn’t—and I don’t think it was just the sports-centricity. Frankly, I’d like a little vacation from Barney at this point. I know that the producers broke him up with Robin to get back to the ladies’ man Barney that the fans all love, and they’re probably excited to have their favorite toy to play with again. But especially post-Robin, episodes like this one, with Barney chasing women as an arbitrary, distracting goal, seem as much sad as they do funny, and they’re getting overdone as well.

I don’t know sports, but I do know dental hygiene, and the toothbrush-sharing subplot, while tiny, was a tiny bit of perfection: it hit just the right note of disgustingness while plausibly being something that lovebirds Lily and Marshall would have done without realizing how other people would see it. Plenty of other little things I enjoyed: Marshall strategically holding the pillow in front of him after using “performance-enhancing drugs,” counting on his fingers and taking himself to the hospital; Ted’s acknowledging that telling all these stories to his future kids is creepy.

So while I might not have loved the game as a whole, there were some nice plays. Is that a thing?