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September 30, 2014

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Neil Patrick Harris Reveals a Magic Trick Gone Wrong We Never Saw (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 19th 2011 5:34AM
Neil Patrick Harris, 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno'The last thing a magician ever wants is for a trick to go wrong. It immediately damages their credibility, and in a worst-case scenario, can reveal how the trick is done, destroying the illusion of "magic." Neil Patrick Harris didn't have to worry about the latter, but he revealed a well-kept incident when things didn't go well on 'The Tonight Show' (Weeknights, 11:35PM ET on NBC).

In this case, it was more of a mechanical failure, but Jay Leno and 'The Tonight Show' staff had cleverly edited out the entire segment, possibly because it was the staff that had pressured Harris into doing it when he started worrying something might go wrong.

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'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Twin Beds' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted May 3rd 2010 10:03PM
Josh Radnor and Neil Patrick Harris in 'HIMYM' - 'Twin Beds'
(S05E21)
By now, it's not much of a stretch to say that most 'How I Met Your Mother' fans have moved on from both the Ted-Robin and the Barney-Robin relationships. They're both over, kaput, donezo. Robin's moved on, and the guys have moved on, and we're all ready to explore how the gang conducts their lives as just friends.

Which is why, despite the fact that this episode had a number of good laughs, I just sat there for the entire 22 minutes thinking, "I don't buy this." I know that a sitcom like this needs romantic tension in order to survive, but what went on this week felt pretty contrived, as if Bays and Thomas couldn't think of another romantic direction for Ted, Robin, and Barney, so they decided to tread on old ground not once, but twice.

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'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Home Wreckers' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 20th 2010 12:02AM
(S05E20) It figures that right after I do a long post about the prominence of silly standalone episodes on 'HIMYM' this year, Bays and Thomas come back with an episode that could both stand alone and be part of the "mythology" of the show. And it gave us a new drinking game, to boot.

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'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Zoo Or False' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 13th 2010 12:04AM
'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Zoo Or False'
(S05E19)
Many of the episodes of 'HIMYM' this season have been slapsticky and silly, but mostly in a good way. It's part of the effort of Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and their crew to not get so bogged down in the "mythology" of the Mother story, allowing them to touch on it much less than they used to. It also sets up some nice standalone episodes for syndication.

Sometimes the silliness works, sometimes it doesn't. This time it worked. And because it worked, I won't get the phase "mugged by a monkey" out of my head for quite a while.

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'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Say Cheese' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 22nd 2010 11:46PM
The cast of 'How I Met Your Mother'(S05E18) Ever come across an episode of one of your favorite shows that just felt half-baked to you? Sure, it had its funny moments, but there was something about the main story that begged to be explored a bit more. Or maybe one of the B-stories looked like it had more potential but it just ended up being either a one-note joke or dropped altogether.

This episode had both. I wanted the main story of Ted always bringing around his "skanks" to group celebrations to be tied in a little more to his search for the all-exalted mother. And I also wanted to see more about both Barney's and Marshall's relative abilities in front of a camera lens. Both left me dissatisfied.

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'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Hooked' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 2nd 2010 9:24AM
Carrie Underwood and Josh Radnor in 'HIMYM' - 'Hooked'(S05E16) When I was out in LA for the press tour in January, I had the pleasure of watching the table read for this episode. This was the actual Monday-morning table read, not a show for the gathered critics; the writers were sitting by taking notes that would be used to make changes before shooting.

What struck me about the table read was that, despite the fact that it was the first draft and the cast hadn't fully gotten into how exactly they were going to play the script, the episode was funny. People were genuinely laughing, including the writers, who have lived with the script for some time; they weren't cackling in an effort to sell their funny lines. In fact, it was one of the funniest episodes of the season.

Watching the final version, I noticed that not a whole lot changed from that table read. And, even though I knew most of what was coming, I laughed as hard as I did when I was on the set a month and a half ago. If that's not the sign of a top-notch episode, I don't know what is.

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Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Rabbit or Duck'

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 9th 2010 12:03AM
Neil Patrick Harris in 'HIMYM' - 'Rabbit or Duck'(S05E15) I've noticed that the last few episodes of 'HIMYM' have largely taken place in the "home booth" at MacLaren's. I know it's the 21st century version of the couch at Central Perk, but the world of 'Mother' is a lot bigger than that these days. And, besides, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan aren't pregnant anymore; there's no need to hide their baby bumps under the table anymore.

That being said, it's a great place for two of this show's signature "bits" to start: 1) Absurd arguments, and 2) Incessant ball-busting. We saw both of these this week, with Ranjit thrown into the mix to make things more interesting. What really made this episode wasn't just the Rabbit/Duck argument, though; it was the subtle direction shifts that made loyal viewers think Ted was going in one not so good direction, when he was really going in a worse -- but more fun! -- direction.

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Review: How I Met Your Mother - Jenkins

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 19th 2010 1:02AM
How I Met Your Mother: Jenkins
(S05E13)
This was one of those episodes that seemed like it would be more fun than it actually was. The stories seemed to be potentially amusing, and there were some funny moments. But this was definitely on the lower side of the ledger as far as this season's episodes are concerned.

Which one of the stories did I like better? Hm... the Jenkins one, but only by a little bit. It was fun seeing Amanda Peet playing someone who was even more alpha male than Robin, and envisioning Peet doing some of the things Marshall described Jenkins doing wasn't exactly unpleasant. Oh, and it introduced us to Big Fudge, who I hope plays more Skee-Ball as the seasons go on.

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Review: How I Met Your Mother - Girls vs. Suits

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 11th 2010 8:42PM
Girls vs. Suits musical number in HIMYM's 100th episode
(S05E12)
After I wrote my gushing preview of this episode, I went back and re-watched it, hoping my first impression was correct. It turned out that it was, but for a very different reason than I thought. The 100th episode of HIMYM didn't have everything that makes the show such fun for its fans: there was no time-shifting, and not a lot of misdirection. It just told two straight-ahead stories that were really funny and gave us confidence in how things are going to play out going forward.

Oh, and it had a song-and-dance number that was fun as hell.

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What to Watch: January 11, 2010

by Kim Potts, posted Jan 11th 2010 6:00AM
'How I Met Your Mother' (8PM, CBS)
So much to love about this fan-friendly installment, the series' 100th episode. First, Ted starts dating Cindy, a student at his school, who's played by guest star Rachel Bilson, while rumor has it that the titular mother will pop up somewhere in the episode. Meanwhile, Barney's got suit problems; 'Project Runway' style guru Tim Gunn guest stars as his tailor, but the new object of Barney's affection (guest star Stacy Keibler) doesn't like his fancy frocks. Will he choose the girl over his beloved duds? A hint comes in the show's best moments, an episode-ending musical number by Barney and his pals, called 'Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit.'

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How I Met Your Mother's 100th episode -- An early look

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 8th 2010 11:06AM
HIMYM: Girls vs. Suits
If you're a fan of How I Met Your Mother -- and if you're reading this, you likely are -- the video preview of Monday's episode probably got you pretty excited. After all, it's Neil Patrick Harris and the cast, singing and dancing about Barney Stinson's love of suits. What's not to like, right? If you were wondering, though, how the rest of the episode was, I'm here to tell you that it's the best episode of the season, and maybe the best episode we've seen in a couple of years.

Come with me after the jump and I'll explain. No worries; there won't be any spoilers in this post.

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Review: How I Met Your Mother - Last Cigarette Ever

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 15th 2009 12:09AM
Jason Segel in HIMYM: Last Cigarette Ever(S05E11) You know you have a good episode going when Harvey Fierstein is cast as one of the female character's "smoking voices," and that's only the third funniest thing that week.

Sure, it was great to hear Harvey's painful-sounding voice coming out Alyson Hannigan's mouth after a few days of smoking. It seems like it would fit well with her character; you know that she's only a few years from calling people "dollface," whether she's smoking or not.

But what carried the episode was seeing a new side to the gang that we haven't seen before, and how they all deal with it. Oh, and it was also good to see some new footage of Ted's kids, even if they're both visibly older.

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Review: How I Met Your Mother - The Window

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 7th 2009 11:29PM
Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan in How I Met Your Mother(S05E10) I'm really starting to think that Carter Bays was telling the absolute truth when he told Mike Ausiello that the writers threw the Barney-Robin relationship into the trash heap. He wasn't being coy about a future plotline; I get the feeling that the writers wanted Single Barney over Relationship Barney and wanted to make sure they got there as quickly as possible.

Why else would we see an entire episode of Barn trying to get laid while wearing Marshall's old overalls? Here's the problem, as others have mentioned: we've seen how much of a good guy Barney can be. So seeing him back to his old tricks seems a bit emptier than it used to, doesn't it?

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What Joel is thankful for

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 25th 2009 4:04PM
Neil Patrick Harris in HIMYM: The PlaybookYou know, it's funny. When I started here I was a lowly IT guy with no girlfriend and lots of time on his hands to watch TV, even on Thanksgiving. Now I'm engaged, the editor of this site, and have to run around to so many family and friend-related events this weekend my head's already spinning just thinking about it. So I have a lot to be thankful for (and I just realized how friggin' long I've been here... wow).

But TV has always been a part of that equation, and it had no less of a role for me this year. So, in the TV world, here is what will make me thankful as I dive into the turkey tomorrow:

ABC's Wednesday comedy line-up: Against all trends, ABC rolled the dice and started a whole new night of comedy on Wednesdays. And while Hank flamed out, The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town look like they have staying power, both from a quality and a ratings standpoint.

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Review: How I Met Your Mother - Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 23rd 2009 11:19PM
Alysob Hannigan and Chris Elliott in How I Met Your Mother: Slapsgiving 2(S05E09) Let me start off by stating that any HIMYM episode involving the famous slap bet between Marshall and Barney is going to be funny. Just the act of Jason Segel's exaggerated slapping and Neil Patrick Harris' equally exaggerated pratfall in reaction is enough to get me rolling. I just wish the slaps weren't telegraphed so much in advance.

You have to remember that tonight is a sequel to the original Slapsgiving from two years ago. As sequels go, it's not bad; not as good as the original but satisfying nevertheless. But you knew at some point, Marshall was going to say "That's four!" and Barney was going to rub his face. So we have to examine the journey to get there. That journey started off well, but got a little predictable. Still didn't make the slap itself any less funny.

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