Has a piece of the "game changer" puzzle fallen into place?
Remember in the first episode this season, when Ted was sitting outside a wedding, anxious about giving a toast? Marshall, also clad in a tux, was outside with him, reassuring him that everything will go fine. We know, at least according to Old Ted's narration, that this is where Ted meets "the one."
So what happened between Ted and his old high school friend Punchy made things very intriguing.
But, to be honest, that story was a very distant second behind what everyone wanted to see this week: more Robin Sparkles! And if you love not-so-double entendre, this episode was probably your favorite of the season. Why? Let's just say that Canadian kids' television wasn't exactly wholesome. I'll never look at old episodes of 'You Can't Do That On Television' the same way ever again...
Whether she's singing about going to the mall or building sandcastles (where else? In the sand people!), Robin Scherbatsky's '80s Canadian popstar self is a huge 'HIMYM' fan favorite. And how could she not be with lyrics like "You're good at pull-ups and have radical hair" and pals like Tiffany and a sassy robot.
I caught up Cobie Smulders, Robin Scherbatsky herself, to find out what Robin Sparkles is up to in this week's flashback episode (Monday, 8PM ET on CBS). Here's a hint: it involves the return of an '80s TV icon (who also happens to be Canadian), a Pussycat Doll and outerspace.
OK, now that's rad.
"We do these interviews and we always have to play this cat and mouse game where we don't want to give away all the stories," he told me. "If there's something exciting, you want people to watch it. We want people to know that there's this episode with Glitter, Robin Sparkles' buddy showing up. Stuff like that you do want to tell but at the same time you don't want to say too much about it because you don't want to ruin the joke or anything." As we've seen, news of casting coups are hard to keep quiet.
Indeed, Bays is enthusiastic about this coming season, mainly because the show is getting back to the emotional story arcs it was known for during its early seasons. As he and Thomas mentioned in July at the press tour, they're returning to that style after a season of one-off stories that even they admitted was hit and miss. We talked about that, whether they see a light at the end of the creative tunnel, and if they suffer from "mother fatigue" at all.
This in-depth version of the column goes hand in hand with our weekly spoilers column, in which we supply you with the dirt on some of the more popular shows on the air.
This week, we discuss spoilers recently released for the upcoming season of 'How I Met Your Mother.'
Will we finally learn who the Mother is?
(S05E07) During most episodes of HIMYM, you tend to forget that this whole show is told from the perspective of Old Ted, who's telling his kids the longest, most boring meet-up story in history of the world. Bob Saget's narration often just goes in one ear and out the other, like the background music. But there are some episodes where the storytelling aspect of the series is firmly in place, with the exaggerations, changes, and bad memories often associated with this activity.
This was one of those episodes. Was Barney really that fat? Was Robin really that haggard? Did Archisexture really accidentally "fly" into Ted's VCR? Of course not. But those whoppers from Old Ted were what made this episode so entertaining. That and Alan Thicke. But Alan Thicke always makes things entertaining; he's Alan Thicke, for crissakes.
In this cute and funny episode, Marshall showed Robin his safe haven, a little slice of his home state of Minnesota right in NYC, and it seemed like a fun place to hang and eat "mini" burgers. Not sure if the vision of all those Vikings jerseys (especially their butt-ugly modern-day models) is something you'd want to see all the time, but, hey, where else can you complain about the failure of the 1998 team (who were the first team to go 15-1 and miss the Super Bowl) ten years later and not be laughed at?
But all of it was a ruse. A week-long ruse to distract us from realizing what was really going to happen in this episode. Since I don't want to spoil it for anyone, come with me to the after-jump portion of our review and then we can talk.
For those that haven't heard, Robin Sparkles makes a triumphant return to How I Met Your Mother this coming Monday night, featuring guest appearances from Alan Thicke and James Van Der Beek.
Turns out, "Let's Go to the Mall" was only the A-side to her wildly popular Canadian pop single, first heard in the episode "Slap Bet." The B-side? "Sandcastles in the Sand," a cheesy ballad chock full of Canadian and 80's goodness... even though the song was supposedly recorded in the early 90's.
Well if you can't wait to hear it, now you can. Variety received the song and you can stream it from their website here. While not as catchy as "...Mall," the tune is still hilarious, full of Canuck references ("Together we were gonna travel the globe, from Alberta to Ontario.") and funny one-liners ("I miss your hair."). There's nothing yet on Sparkles' MySpace page, except the artwork for the album. I'm sure the full video will be posted after the show airs. It's sure to be an another huge viral hit for CBS and HIMYM.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that Britney Spears guest starred in the March 24 episode of HIMYM. Alicia Silverstone was set to appear in a few episodes (some suspect her character would have turned out to be the mother) but bowed out when Spears was hired because Silverstone was worried that her performance would be over-shadowed by Britney's appearance.
The latest addition to the HIMYM guest star list: Dawson's Creek's James Van Der Beek! Slight spoilers about the role and episode ahead!
CBS is finally showing a little love for one of the best comedies on television, How I Met Your Mother, by launching this countdown clock to the next Slap Bet. What is a Slap Bet? Only the greatest subplot ever. In last season's "Robin Sparkles" episode, Marshall didn't have any money to bet Barney on why Robin refused to go to the mall, so they agreed that the loser of the bet got a slap. There was some "premature slapulation" and Marshall ended up with five slaps, to dole out against Barney at any time from here to eternity. By the way, if you haven't seen the episode, please take some time to go over to this HIMYM MySpace website. It will get you hooked on the series.
Fans will remember that Marshall still owes Barney three slaps. Apparently the next one is coming in just about four months.
How do you fans feel, knowing exactly when another slap is coming?
So, Christmas in July is only a few short days away, and you don't know what to buy your friends (who will probably be wondering why the hell you're celebrating Christmas in July anyway). Fret not, holiday shopper, because I have the solution for you: Robin Sparkles Mall Tour t-shirts!
Yes, now you can relive those memories of your favorite Canadian pop star, who is now known as Robin Scherbatsky in the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother, courtesy of Glarkware. The front of the shirt features a splashy maple leaf design while the back displays a list of Canadian malls (not slouches by any means, according to the website) that Sparkles toured during 1993. The shirt costs $20 (US), and comes in either girlie or unisex style. Make those purchases quickly because pre-ordering ends on July 31st.
It looks like Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and company have put together a pretty good package. Seven episodes will get audio commentary from the creators, as well as various writers and cast members, including fan (and personal) favorites from last year "Swarley," "Robin Sparkles," "Showdown," and "Single Stamina." It will also include the video for "Let's Go to the Mall," performed by Cobie ("Robin Sparkles") Smulders, a video for the show's theme song, "Hey Beautiful" by the Solids, four featurettes and an easter egg.
Why is it so funny? Hmmm. Let me count the ways. Uh... only because there's face-slapping. And Robin Sparkles. Those two elements alone make it legen...wait for it...dary!
Well, who better to go to for answers than Carter Bays? He and Craig Thomas (Craig is on the left in the picture above, and Carter is on the right) are the creators and executive producers of the show, and have been working as a writing team since they met at Wesleyan University. The 31-year-olds worked together on Late Show with David Letterman, Oliver Beene, and American Dad before getting a chance to run the show on HIMYM in 2005.
I spoke to Bays by phone last week (I was supposed to also speak with Thomas, but a family emergency called him away). Be warned that this interview contains MAJOR SPOILERS pertaining to the finale. I will warn you prior to a spoilery portion of the interview (and tell you when it ends) so you can skip it if you wish.
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