Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'The Perfect Week'
by Joel Keller, posted Feb 2nd 2010 12:02AM
(S05E14) Wouldn't everyone want to analyze their love lives with Jim Nantz?
Even if you haven't been as lucky in the sack as Barney Stinson, having an accomplished play-by-play guy talk about the ups and downs of your romantic escapades lends things a bit of gravitas and class.
However the 'HIMYM' writing team came up with the idea of how a nervous Barney recounts his perfect week in his own head, it was an inspired move, as it gave the episode the right narrative pull and really did put you in the position of a fan, pulling for him and making sure he didn't get jinxed. Did I just say that word?
Nantz was a pretty good sport; you don't usually see a guy at his level of blow-driedness spout phrases like "... and not a single fattie!" and not sound like he's in on the joke. Though all I could think of when Nantz delivered some of his more supportive lines was his divorce and his much-younger girlfriend. Ah, well. That just proves I read The Big Lead and Deadspin just too damn much.
There was something for every member of the 'Mother' gang this week; in fact, I wish at least a couple of the stories were better developed. Didn't you want to see more of Robin pining after the nerdy Smurf-loving date simply because he didn't call her back? Didn't you want to hear more about how it seemed like 4/5ths of the gang shared one toothbrush for the better part of a year -- and that Ted, Marshall and Lily accidentally shared one for eight? In fact, didn't you want to explore the whole "Marshall and Lily share a toothbrush and are OK with it?" storyline? Right, so did I.
The only story that didn't need to be explored any more than it did was Ted's torturing of poor Kuk Pu (or is is Kuk Poo?). It was a fun one-off joke and was treated as such. Though the Pu puns were pretty good: "She was down in the dumps." "You smeared the Pu name." "Did you get all the Pu out of your system?"
What all of it made for, though, was one hell of a bust-fest while the gang was watching Barney complete his perfect week. Watching the gang deflect at record rates was like watching a great ping-pong match; it was fast but fun to watch. Bays, Thomas and company have always been good at portraying the way friends bust on each other, and whenever one of those episodes come up, it's always fun to watch.
Back to Barney. The whole quest for the Perfect Week could be the Best Barneyism of the week, but I'm going to give it to a particular quote: "That woman nursing a Black Russian is about to chase it with a White American!"
More fun stuff:
- What's interesting is that this was really less about how Barney seduced these seven women than how everyone reacted to it, especially when Nick Swisher's presence put the perfect week in danger. My favorite: Ted doing the catcher's scouting report and asking Barn to choose beteween the "heater," the "high and outside," or the "slider."
- Swisher is a complete goofball. He always looks like he's enjoying himself, and it was fun as hell watching him on the Yankees this year. And he looked like a natural when he told the gang that sharing a toothbrush was a "sweet" thing for a couple to do. He may have an acting career in his future.
- Love how Robin doesn't get the allure of baseball players -- "So, Mookie Wilson... is that a thing?" -- but hockey players would make her drop her panties "so hard, they'd fall through the floor and make a hole all the way to China." Maybe she'll hook up with the hockey-loving Swisher.
- Nod to fans #1: Marshall saying "Sasquatch is real." We all know his love of Nessie and Sasquatch.
- Nod to fans #2: After saying he and Lil needed to find a new couple after Ted broke up with Robin, Stella and Victoria, he said what we're all thinking: "Ted, jeez, when are you gonna get your life together?"
- Nod to fans #3: Ted going, "Like I'm totally going to sit my kids down and talk to them about the time Barney nailed seven chicks in a row," and a smash cut to Old Ted asking his kids what we've all been thinking: "Am I a bad dad?"
- The commemorative hats Marshall made say "Seven Up, Seven Down," which is fitting, since more than one baseball broadcaster has called a perfect game "27 up, 27 down."
- Good to know Barney is keeping the job at GNB. Though seeing him try to find a job in this crummy economy would have been fun to watch.
[Watch clips and free episodes of 'HIMYM' at SlashControl.]