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April 18, 2014

How I Met Your Mother: The Bracket - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 31st 2008 10:55PM
HIMYM: The Bracket
(S03E14)
First of all, let's get this out of the way: TedMosbyIsAJerk.com works.

Of course it does. We've come to expect nothing less from Bays and Thomas, as they love to use the Web to further the How I Met Your Mother brand. This site looks like it's fun: cheap 1996-era graphics and text, lots of exclamation points... there's even a song written by poor Anna, who still thinks Barney is Ted. Oh, and that Ted Mosby is a jerk.

It's not a coincidence that HIMYM's first truly funny episode returning from the strike is Barney-centric. Even though Barney seems to be the most one-dimensional character on the surface, Carter and Craig have used him (and the very game Neil Patrick Harris) as a blank canvas, giving him all sorts of backstory elements that seem crazy... but somehow plausible. He used to be a hippie; he has a black gay brother; he slept with Madeline Albright... it all seems entirely possible, doesn't it?

God, there were so many throwaway lines that could be fodder for future episodes. Barney started talking about perjury... but then didn't want to talk about work. He thinks he sold a woman for a Mercedes. Someone out there thinks Barney is Yankee catcher Jorge Posada (wow... talk about a random name... you'd think he'd have picked A-Rod or something. At least you'd think he'd pick a player with smaller ears). I'm sure you folks can think of others; if you do, put them in the comments.

HIMYM: The BracketAnyway, the bracket format was fun, for a number of reasons. The matchups were hilarious: Fake Proposal vs. Two Hours to Live, Fake Baby vs. Lost at Sea, Owned Google vs. SCUBA Instructor (Ted: "She got the bends!" Barn: "Oh, yes she did!"). But it was also a good way for the entire gang to fire off the funny lines, like Marshall going "I'm tired and sad." Lily even got a chance to figure out where the blackboard came from.

What was the most interesting part of the episode, though? Despite revisiting four of Barney's worst dumpings, including Meg from the Dowistrepla apartment, and the TedMosbyIsAJerk woman, he doesn't find out who the woman who's trashing him all over town. Well, he does eventually, but we still don't know who she is by the end of the episode; all we get from Old Ted is "more on that later." Huh. Wonder if this is part of the mother mythology? That would sure explain the mystery.

More fun stuff:

  • Despite all the women flashing through Barney's mind (my boss Keith thinks it was the same five women over and over again, but Barney claims he remembers everyone, so who knows...), I still was able to discern that glimpse of our former Secretary of State. When Lily was looking through the scrapbook and she said she saw a "government official," well, that sealed it. Barney likes powerful gals, doesn't he? Maybe that's why he's not in jail because of the perjury thing...
  • I just checked Alan Sepinwall's blog and he said that the Albright reference was a callback to a line Barney uttered in "The Yips". Boy, I wish I had that man's memory...
  • Wonder what's in the briefcase Barney asked Lily to bury?
  • The other two women in the Final Four were the woman who got dumped by both Barney and his "twin" Larney -- i like the fact that she yelled "Larney!" when she saw him -- and the woman who he abandoned in the woods by stealing her truck. Yet, he never had to apologize to any of them. That's Barney's version of karma. I mean, the apartment gal said "it was all my fault," for goodness sake...
  • Marshall: "I have a list of all the women I slept with. It's called my marriage license." It was funnier when emphasized by a M&L high-five.
  • Boy, the gang can't really pull off a sting operation, can they? Lily dances like Elaine Benes, Marhsall chokes so bad he can't talk or know what do do with his hands, and Robin giggles when she lies.
  • More evidence that Robin and Barney are destined to hook up: she was very nonchalant when looking at the depraved acts in Barney's scrapbook, then she giggles "no" when Barney asks if she was intrigued by what he whispered to her. Oh, and she got Barney's art museum lie exactly right. One of these days we're going to see them together, I tell ya.
  • I love seeing Barney get slapped. It looks like that women's slaps make him reel as hard as Marshall's do. You'd think he'd get used to being slapped by now and hold steady.
  • Oh, and got to give NPH credit for the commitment to actually looking like he's almost blind. Maybe he was studying pictures of New York's new governor.
  • God, I hate "One Shining Moment," even when it refers to Barney's bracket, and not the NCAAs.
  • I really want to picture Robin falling asleep while eating ribs. It just seems like something she'd do.
  • Barney's sincere apology, even though it was to the wrong person, shows that there's a person underneath. That person my be a fugitive in Argentina by the year 2030, but at least we know he's there.

And, finally, there's my Best Barneyism of the week. In an episode chock-full of Stinson goodness... after waiting almost three years for a nod to NPH's past, we finally got it. As soon as we heard the synthesized strains of the Doogie Howser theme come on, we knew what was coming... now we know how Barn fills in his blog, and it looks very, very familiar. Of course, unlike Doogie, Barney has a girl waiting who thinks he's an astronaut who's about to destroy a meteor hurtling towards earth. All Doogie had waiting for him was visions of Wanda and his right hand.

After the shaky return from the strike and the even shakier Britney-stuffed episode, it's good to see the guys return to form this week. Hopefully, that will set things up for the rest of the season, both in the mythology and the comedy department. This show sure needs some classic episodes to happen right about now...

What was your favorite part of the episode?
Ted Mosby Is A Jerk112 (9.1%)
The Bracket206 (16.7%)
Barney's scrapbook28 (2.3%)
Lily's scrapbook16 (1.3%)
The gang going on a sting operation191 (15.5%)
Barney's Doogie-esque blog entry678 (55.1%)

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37 Comments

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rcvartist

On The Bracket, in the museum scene, there was a wonderful abstract painting - do you know who the artist is and the name of the painting? Thanks!

April 08 2008 at 3:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tc

i screamed like a little girl when the doogie music came on. This show is awesome town.

April 02 2008 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew

After reading some comments I ran the episode a second time. Thank heaven for hi-def and DVR's. I ran the montage of women Barney thought about and the 10th woman, which was also the 20th, and the 31st, and I think the 46th too is seen in the bar just over Barney's left shoulder after the first commercial break. I haven't seen any other women in the montage yet in the epsiode, but there maybe others. Interesting....

April 02 2008 at 12:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nattyff

BEST EPISODE EVER!!! nothing more to say... :)

April 01 2008 at 8:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Isabelle Carreau

What a brilliant episode! It even makes me forget about last week's so-so episode featuring Britney.

I love Barney. He is such a cool character even if, as you post it out in the review, he is a one-dimensional character. That was fantastic casting they did when they hired NPH for the part.

Having watched most (if not all) Doogie episodes, that ending was just fantastic.

About the song on the website, I actually opened the TedIsAJerk site in another tab to check it out after reading the review. So imagine how cool it was to listen to the song while reading the review and comments. That song rocks! The site is fun too... they even mention Ted Mosby the porn star ;) Even the portraits of "Ted" are fun.

April 01 2008 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BobTheBruin

The song has backward voices at the end say "I'm just kidding, she's not the mother..... Wendy the Waitress is the mother,Wendy the Waitress is the mother,Wendy the Waitress is the mother"

Here it the mp3 backwards: http://www.mp3-codes.com/upload/show.php?id=316151

April 01 2008 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
AT

I didn't like the episode very much. I thought it felt like the writers did a brainstorming session of the worst that Barney can do, threw them into a blender and pressed the button. They sort of just vomited a bunch of ideas and decided to see what stuck. I like that Barney is such a douchebag but not all those ideas worked for me.

For me, the Doogie Howser moment made up for the rest of the episode. 20+ minutes of mediocrity and occasional laughs lead to that one moment in which I howled with laughter. I would play it again and again.

Of course, this is all subjective and HIMYM is still fantastic. All of the characters had good moments. This is one of the strongest TV casts in years. Despite the fact that the plotline and jokes didn't interest me much last night, NPH's performance impressed me. His performance on the show is analogous to Barney's performance in bed and leaves me wanting more.
(Though Josh Radnor is more my "type".)

April 01 2008 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

LOVED the Doogie ending! This show rocks! Barney made major progress (*salute* major progress!) with Robin in this episode. His pick up line got her thinking. They WILL end up together. From previous clues we know that Barney's been trying and I think it's only a matter of time before he succeds.

Did you notice that he claimed he was 83% blind? What is the deal with the number 83????

April 01 2008 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Justin

First awesome episode. Second, at the end of the song on Tedmosbyisajerk.com there's some backwards dialog. Played forward it says "Wendy the Waitress is the Mother, just kidding"

Check it out:
http://have-you-met-ted.com/2008/tedmosbyisajerkcom-hidden-message-revealed/

This is the Lost of sitcoms!

April 01 2008 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wintermute

The Doogie Houser ending was the perfect way to cap this fantastic episode.

I little tip to Bays & Thomas: Marc Geller is the registrant for tedmosbyisajerk.com. It would have been more fulfilling had some mystery girl shown up as the registrant in the whois information. But then people might expect a full-blown HIMYM ARG (Alternate Reality Game) to figure out how "mother" is ;)

'mute

April 01 2008 at 10:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Wintermute's comment
Dave Rave

unfortunately, though it would have been fun, ISP regs require real names and contactable details for web site names. and real web sites have been taken down for the lack of a real working email address. it's a pain.

June 14 2008 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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