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HIMYM Watch: Why Print Media Will Not Die

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CBS/ Fox Television

CBS/ Fox Television

Spoilers for How I Met Your Mother coming up after the jump: 


“You’ve gotta read a magazine. That’s why there are magazines.” 

You tell ’em, Marshall! You can make new media as interactive as you want, throw as much video in it as possible. There is still a certain, ahem, intimacy that print makes possible. We in the magazine business may not like to admit it, but this is our killer app. (Though, I will admit, when I first heard that the plot revolved around Marshall’s using a magazine in the bathroom for a certain purpose, my mind went directly where Barney’s did.)

Note to readers: Tuned In takes no responsibility for damage to hardware if you attempt to use this blog in the same manner. 

Anyway, take that storyline, and Barney’s smashing one cathode-ray TV after another, and you had a love letter to old-school media. (Face it, smashing an LCD is not nearly as satisfying.) The episode overall? Well, I can’t complain about any HIMYM that gives Jason Segel this much to do. Check out his face as he tells Robin that he has some giant lumps of sugar for her high horse: you can see not just his reaction to what she said, but his uncontainable, nervous, dorky excitement at his one-liner. You’ve got it, Marshall… don’t screw up the line… Yes! Burn!

Not as crazy about the Robin-and-Ted, friends with benefits plot, although NPH was plausibly sweet as Barney confronted his feelings. I’ve said here before—or someone else said it and I’m taking credit—that HIMYM is about the balance between the Singles and the Marrieds in the five-person ensemble. Since the show is about Ted’s transition from the former to the latter, he serves as the fulcrum, or the pendulum, maybe, between the two groups, sometimes being obsessed with commitment, sometimes playing the field.

Last night, he swung way toward the Single side, and I’m not sure I buy that Ted could be so casual about commitment that he could hook up with his former love without serious feelings stirring up. Yes, there was the kiss, but he said—and the show played it accordingly—as if it were just an absent-minded reflex. Now, maybe it will turn out there was more to it as he and Robin continue co-habiting.

In the meantime, the episode didn’t want to make me smash my TV, but it wasn’t a favorite, either.