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How I Met Your Mother Review: "The Best Man"/"The Naked Truth" (Episodes 7.01/7.02)

September 20, 2011  |  9:58am
<i>How I Met Your Mother</i> Review: "The Best Man"/"The Naked Truth" (Episodes 7.01/7.02)

In the last season of How I Met Your Mother we saw Ted and the gang go through some highs and lows. Ted was involved with the fan-hated Zoey; Marshall dealt with the loss of his father, while Lily dealt with the pressures of trying to get pregnant (which she finally did in the season finale). Meanwhile, Robin navigated a new job, and more details of her pop star days were finally revealed. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of last season was Barney, who sort of became more important than Ted as he searched for his father, continued his antics of being awesome and fell for a girl named Nora.

So where exactly did we last leave off? The season finale flashed forward to sometime in the future to the wedding where Ted finally meets his wife. We find out the groom of the wedding is…wait for it…Barney! Gasp.

“The Best Man” opens with Future Ted telling his children everything is about timing and says that the how he met their mother story is nowhere close to being finished. He then picks up the story at Barney’s wedding where they reminisce about their friend Punchy’s wedding back in the original (September 2011) timeline. Confused? That’s not surprising considering the constant jumping around in time; just bear with it.

After the first five minutes of catching up, the show picks up at the wedding (Punchy’s, not Barney’s) where Ted is the best man and is trying to finally not to screw up a wedding speech. Marshall and Lily are hiding their pregnancy (due to some outlandish superstition), which results in Marshall getting drunk enough to where he will eventually ruin said wedding. As usual, Barney is running around trying to get laid and Robin, who is secretly in love with him, again, is extremely jealous.

The episode is a classic HIMYM plot where Future Ted hints at something that will happen, but it doesn’t actually happen until the last three minutes of the show, and the middle of the episode relies on situational jokes that are fun but barely advance the story. One of these involved a dance number with Barney and Robin. Of course it was entertaining; who doesn’t want to watch Neil Patrick Harris show off his dancing skills?

Perhaps the biggest letdown of the season premiere was how Marshall ruined the wedding. The first crazy thing to happen this season wasn’t all that crazy. In fact, it could have had some effect on the rest of the season’s story, but it ended up as an unneeded plot dangled in our faces that took away from the touching character development that the episode should have focused on.

“The Naked Truth” picks up the next morning with Marshall swearing off drinking (which will eventually be a plot point, go figure), but more importantly receiving a job offer where the boss mentions a background and Google check is all that stands in the way of Marshall and the job. A quick Google search later, and he finds an embarrassing YouTube video he fears will lose him the job. Barney, meanwhile, tries to formulate a scheme to win Nora back.

The good news is that Ted is back to dating and on the prowl for his wife. Of course, none of these girls are the future wife because of the clues from previous seasons like the yellow umbrella, being Rachel Bilson’s character’s roommate or being an economics major.

So what’s the point really? That’s been the downfall to the mystery of HIMYM. Fans will see the future wife coming a mile away, and every girl that Ted dates makes for a 30-minute speed-up in the overall progression of the story.

What exactly is the point of watching the show then? Well, those hilarious scenarios where nothing really happens that are reminiscent of Seinfeld episodes. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but considering the show originally relied heavily on serial plotlines, it’s a letdown that the tone of the show has shifted so drastically. Even so, it’s okay because those silly plots make for entertaining episodes that are very relatable, which is what a sitcom is all about anyway.

That problem where Ted falls for a girl but as viewers we know she can’t be the wife comes back in the form of a previous flame at the very end of the episode in HIMYM-cliffhanger fashion. Annoying, right? We’ll see where this season takes us; hopefully it focuses on dropping more hints to who the mother might actually be.

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