9
Oct
2012
HIMYM: Season 8, Episode 3
Nannies
Chris
Look, at this point, you've heard it all before. How I Met Your Mother is a show long past its expiration date, and the lack of any hard (or soft) timetable for an endgame has required the once great show to spend most of its twilight years spinning its wheels. C plots become B plots, B plots masquerade as A plots, and more often then not, viewers find themselves wondering what the point of a given episode was in the grand scheme of the mythology, because it sure as hell wasn't funny. Such is the case with Nannies

Tonight's episode features Barney effortlessly bouncing back from the end of his engagement, Lily & Marshall searching for a Nanny, and Robin and Ted arguing over whose relationship is more solid. None of it is particularly funny or engaging.

The fact that the Marshall & Lily plot line is the strongest should set off warning bells right from the get-go. Regardless of the fact that this is a B plot at best, when the "couple with baby" plot line of your sitcom is the high point, your sitcom has issues. Lots of issues. While not particularly laugh out loud (or even silently to yourself) funny, this story did deliver a relatively touching conclusion and some nice (albeit recycled) characters moments along the way.

The Robin and Ted story spends the rest of the episode trying to one-up the Barney story for the most trivial plot line of the night award (Robin and Ted win but just barely). How I Met Your Mother has always been a show about the journey. It's a tough line to walk because it can be hard to keep viewers invested in story lines like "Are Marshall and Lily going to have a baby?" or "Are Robin and Ted going to get back together?" when the answer has already been revealed, but that foresight is exactly what set this show apart from numerous others like it at its inception.

Ted and Robin fighting about who is happier because they are feeling insecure with their current relationships feels very inane and forgettable, much like their current relationships. We knew both relationships would end, last episode we found out they would end soon, and the writers have not given us a reason to become invested in either couple. If there isn't an emotional core or lesson to be mined from either relationship, you'd think the writers would at least pull out more stops to deliver laughs from this status quo while it lasts. Instead, we get a plot line that feels like it read "Ted and Robin argue about"┬Žsomething" in the early season breakdown.

Barney's antics in Nannies are barely worth mentioning. It's a bad cover of an old classic. Both his break-up with Robin and his break-up with Norah delivered more heart, laughter, and depravity than the end of his engagement to Quinn, the most serious relationship he's had to date. Maybe the point here was that Barney really is getting bored of the single life, but the show has never been particularly subtle in selling character growth, so I doubt it.

The thing that I found most disappointing about Nannies was that this was the third consecutive episode of the show's eighth and most likely final season that has placed Ted on the sidelines. Sitcoms about relationships are driven by the "will they won't they," and surprise, surprise Ted is the last man standing whose romantic future is still shrouded in any sort of mystery. It is beyond time to take Ted off the bench, because at this point anything that doesn't focus on Ted is going to feel like a stalling tactic.

Grade: D


Notes:


-"For 8 bucks an hour you can do whatever you want to me." I hope they burned that couch.

-The whole back and forth related to George and Morgan Jorganson's Organs.

-"Well, she was a tall bitch."

-"First of all the Giants were smart not to run on my dog pound defense." "They suck Ted." "I know." The Cleveland Browns get nooooo love. From anyone

-"You know, America thinks I ran into that burning house to get potato salad. But I really ran in to get this photo album. And potato salad."



Tags: How I Met Your Mother
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