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October 21, 2014

How I Met Your Mother: Sorry Bro

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 10th 2009 1:23AM
HIMYM: Sorry Bro(S04E16) One of the biggest issues that has eaten at fans of HIMYM since the show's inception is the fact that the character the show is supposed to revolve around, Ted, is probably the most boring out of the entire Scooby gang. Because of this, stories about his quest for his soulmate -- the elusive "mother," of course -- have as equal a chance of working as they have of falling flat. It just seems like there have been very few Ted-centric romances that fans have gotten behind and rooted for. There was Robin, naturally, and Victoria the cupcake lady. The rest? All of them have had about as much chemistry and excitement as toe fungus (and, yes, Stella is in the toe fungus group).

Ted's new romance, with his super-douchey college girlfriend Karen, seems like it's another one that's destined to fail. And not because she brings out all the stupid college-kid pretentiousness that Ted barely has the strength to squash as he enters his thirties. It may be that we've kind of stopped caring about Ted's quest, haven't we?

Don't get me wrong; the way Bays and Thomas told tonight's stories -- using their patented flashbacks and the oh-so-clever device of keeping his pregnant female stars mostly in a booth at MacLaren's -- was well done. And the lead-up to the story of Pantsless Marshall was funny mainly because the payoff was lame on purpose. But two things stood out for me about the way the story went down: a) is the gang that detached from each other that this whole process Ted went through to get back together with Karen went on without them noticing? And b) is Karen there to just be the hated ex, or is there going to be more to her that we have yet to see?

Because, right now, I don't want to see any more of Karen.That's tough to say, because I like seeing fellow Jerseyan Laura Prepon in just about everything she's in (though I wish she went back to her Donna Pinciotti-era red hair). Saying that she was the "heiress to the Masengill fortune" was an understatement on Marshall's part; if Carter and Craig made her over-the-top douchey in order to make fans hate her, they've done their job. Yes, this is all part of Ted's "journey" or whatever it is. But I just wish they'd give him more romances along the way that looked like they'd have a chance to succeed, not ones that are doomed from the beginning. That just makes the fans tired.

More fun stuff:
  • Lots of little funny Barney moments this week: my favorite is Barn not being able to contain himself about the pants story, constantly telling Marshall, "You tell it, no I'll tell it, no you tell it," as we see the same flashback over and over. I also liked him high-fiving Ted for kissing Karen even as he's saying, "that's awful."
  • But the Best Barneyism of the week is his four reasons why an ex would ask you out to lunch. It allowed us to see Robin's Colbert-like attachment to her snub-nose .38 (well, maybe not so Colbert-like, since she keeps losing the thing), and the fact that Marshall's still bitter about meeting his ex for lunch ... in the fourth grade (her new boyfriend "reads at a fifth-grade level." Talk about rubbing it in your face...
  • We also got to see how sleeping pills affect Robin. Sleep-eating, sleep-hockey-play-by-play, and sleep-thinking that Ted and Lily are making out. Wow. That's some strong Ambien.
  • And what is the gang doing at MacLaren's at 1:45 am on a weeknight? Don't they all have jobs to go to? It doesn't even look like anyone else is in the bar. Maybe they were just there that late to make sure they saw Robin off as she went to her morning show job...
  • Marshall brings spare pants to work!
  • Also, it was a fun little tag to see Marshall still wearing the hacked-up pants at MacLaren's, acknowledging that he likes how his calves look.
  • Not sure what M&L joke I liked better: the Wrestlemania makeup, Marshall wanting to be called MJ Smoove, or Lily going "you gots ta get got" over Karen's blatant lingering.
  • Wouldn't it have been fun if the episode ended on Ted giving Karen the "Sorry Bro," instead of them getting back together? I'm just sayin'.


How I Met Your Mother' Photos

    Actor Neil Patrick Harris arrives in an Audi to the Entertainment Tonight Emmy Party at the Disney Concert Hall on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles.

    Kevin Parry/WireImage.com

    Presenters Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at the NOKIA Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

    Mathew Imaging/WireImage.com

    Presenters Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at the NOKIA Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

    Mathew Imaging/WireImage.com

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Presenters Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris speak onstage during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kristin Chenoweth;Neil Patrick Harris

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Neil Patrick Harris (R) and David Burtka arrive at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Burtka;Neil Patrick Harris

    Getty Images

    Actor Jason Segel attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actress Cobie Smulders attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actress Cobie Smulders attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actor Neil Patrick Harris attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actress Alyson Hannigan (R) and her husband, actor Alexis Denisof attend CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

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16 Comments

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greg

WHOSE WENDY?

March 15 2009 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe

Great continuity. Marshall's nude painting, people loving Marshall's calves, Scooter, Wendy, Kurt "The Iron Man" Irons. This is one of the episodes that sets HIMYM apart from other sitcoms, but in subtle ways the first time viewer would miss. Excellent.

March 11 2009 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lindsay

I agree that the episode should've stopped when Ted said "Sorry Bro". Ted is so douchy sometimes, I just want to slap him.

I think Marshall kept his cut-up pants on because LILY loves how his calves look. Remember the episode with the zip-off pant legs? Haha, I think I'll have to go rewatch that one.

March 11 2009 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Willmore2000

Another meh episode for me. The concept was good - 2 stories being told from memory to friends at a bar. However the jokes just weren't there, the delivery on some was forced. And why didn't Lilly just give Marshall the pants herself? Sure, she saw Barney in the hallway, but doesn't she want to see her hubby as long as she's already there?

One of the only things I liked about the episode was that part when Barney and Marshall were starting to tell the punchline about Marshall forgetting the pants, and they had quick edits of the story starting then stopping as Barney changes his mind as to who should say the punchline.

March 10 2009 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Willmore2000's comment
Ryan

Lily told Barney that she was in a hurry (or was already late) or something. I'm pretty sure.

March 10 2009 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Usama

"And not because she brings out all the stupid college-kid pretentiousness that Ted barely has the strength to squash as he enters his thirties."

Haha, that's exactly what I was thinking throughout the entire episode!

March 10 2009 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dkny

First and foremost it's impossible to respect Ted and that for me is the fundamental disconnect with his character. He's a bitch. A whiney, pathetic, little girl and I don't root for him because I can't stand what he represents. I know it's a sitcom and I'm the leader of the "if it's funny who cares" committee but this wasn't funny it was just sad (except for Marshal dressed as the ultimate warrior, that was classic). Last week was one of the best episodes ever and this one simply sucked. BTW if you're going to mine that 70's show for talent I'd rather they bring in Mila Kunis.

March 10 2009 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

While I didn't love this episode as much as the more recent episode, it was still great. Just chock full of "character moments" (rather than actually moving the story along) in which I mean we just learn so much more about these characters. And it's awesome because I love them all, even douche-y boring Ted.

March 10 2009 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

Enjoyed the episode enough but for some reason Lilly standing behind the globe cracked me up.

March 10 2009 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Stewart

This episode fell flat for me in so many ways. This is first truly un-funny episode of the show I can recall since the first episode.

March 10 2009 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GL

Saying Ted is boring is an understatement.

Robin sleep eating ribs is fantastic.

March 10 2009 at 8:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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