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Urban HIMYMs: “I’m Not That Guy” — Tuckahoe Funland indeed Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Posted by Yostal in Gen X&Y, How I Met Your Mother, Television, Things too long to read, TV, TV shows, Urban HIMYMs, Yostal.
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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to my season’s worth of recaps for How I Met Your Mother. Welcome, once more, to Urban HIMYMs.

The World Series is over, so I don’t even have to worry about fighting the instinct to look away during my recaps. That’s a good thing, no?


And away we go…Hmm, in theory this is the first sweeps week episode of HIMYM, so this should be good, right?

We’re into November 2007. Working from home, where there are less distractions, Barney bursts in with huge news as does Marshall from the bedroom. Barney, being Barney, controls the conversational flow, for you see, he’s found a porno with Ted Mosby in it. Ted is stunned, and confused, and horrified that his doctor watches porn. Ted points out that the only other famous Mosby he knows is a Confederate General during the Civil War (Yes Ted, as opposed to a Confederate General during World War II. Sorry sorry, APUSH instinct. By the way, it’s General John S. Mosby, a Confederate raider in the spirit of William Quantrill. Go read about him and then come back. I’ll wait…Welcome back.)

They’re about to settle in to check out Ted’s “dopplehanger” when a suited up Marshall finally blurts it out: He got the job at the NRDC, the National Resources Defense Council, Marshall’s dream job (Real NYC based non-profit, seen here). Ted congratulates him and they hug, until they agree that hugging with porn on is weird. Barney draws them back to the video, asking if it could be the Navigator, Ted Mosby. Our Ted Mosby claims that it could not be because navigators have three stripes on their hats, while captains have four. Barney snarks at Ted’s belief that accuracy was at a premium for the directors of this adult film, but I salute Ted’s attention to detail, as it would bother me as well. It’s just a wonderful little bit there.

Robin and Lily come in, to the guys watching porn, in the living room, and Marshall shares with Lily that he got the NRDC job. Robin settles in and notes that “THAT Ted Mosby knows what he’s doing.”, much to Ted’s chagrin and Robin’s delicate extraction from said hurt feelings.

Lily asks if he’s still going to the big firm interview (I’m sorry about the double entendre that seems to rear its ugly head when discussing porn.) that his dad set up, the people who would pretty much be the exact opposite of everything Marshall would be fighting for at the NRDC. At this point, I feel bad for Marshall, he finally has an A plot this year and all we get to hear about is porn with Ted’s name on it. And there’s clearly not enough bass in that porn soundtrack…wait, what?

Commercial Interlude: Hey VISA, cash, it’s legal tender, for all debts public and private. I will pay how I want to pay damn it!

At the bar (as usual) and Ted begins to wonder if the other Ted Mosby is getting kind of famous, and Barney, working his iPhone magic notes that the website of the “Far Superior Ted Mosby”, has him doing 125 movies in the three months he’s been in the business. Robin notes that he’s been averaging 42 movies a month, and asks who are you, Jude Law…Oh Robin is digging herself into a whole, Ted reels her in. It’s really kind of nice to realize that Robin is not always funny, but doesn’t know when to stop. It actually gives a real honest to goodness group dynamic to a scene like this. (Seriously, get your mind out of the gutter, you pervs.)

It also notes that Ted had given an interview with AVW (Adult Video Weekly), a 20 minute interview, thinking it was Architecture Vision Weekly. There’s nothing too hilarious here, save the way in which Ted nails the Bob Saget inflection coming back from the cut-away.

So Marshall comes back from his big firm interview: Hey, John Cho! Harold! He seems like a nice guy. But he’s not, as we learn in three years. Jefferson Coatsworth asks him about why he wants to work at Nicholson, Hewitt, and West, and then points out that he knows why Marshall is here, going on about how he could have gone the non-profit route, but he didn’t, and he hates himself for it. Barney points out that Coatsworth is using a classic seduction technique. Barney breaks it down scientifically, and damn, he’s good, both Coatsworth and Barney’s breakdown. Marshall points out it not a seduction, he wasn’t offered the job. Au contrarie, Barney points out, he’ll do it over dinner, which will be done at a place that has Kobe Lobster, that is to say, Lobster fed with Kobe beef. Wait, do lobsters eat meat? Seriously? Anyone? Marshall says, no, he won’t go, and Lilly pushes him to go, if just for the meal.

Here we get in episode confirmation that Ted’s from Shaker Heights, Ohio.

(Research aside here: In addition to HIMYM creator Carter Bays hailing from Shaker Heights, (also making sense as Ted is purportedly loosely based on Bays), this east side suburb of the Cleve brings a tremendous A-Game in its per capita famous people. To wit: Al Lerner, Terrence Howard, Paul Newman, Susan Orlean, James Frey, Craig Finn, Roger Penske, Chris Rose, Molly Shannon, and Fred Willard. Oh and for good measure, porn star Rachel Ryan. Thank you Wikipedia.)

Ted decides he must meet the man who shares his name, and it is just good fortune (or you know, a plot device) that the Fauxsby will be at an adult video convention in the NYC tomorrow. Lily is stunned by the knowledge that there are conventions for porn, but Barney calls it God Bless America.

Coatsworth and Marshall are at dinner, only there to screw over the evil client. We’re not going to mention the name of the evil client, because they might be an advertiser. So Coatsworth pushes across the impressive big number, a signing bonus, a company car, the expense account, and the Swayze, the man who bought them the wine. Marshall keeps fighting it, he keeps fighting it, he wants to do the noble thing, and Coatsworth says, hey, you’ll live off your family money. Oh, no family money, so it just means there are no kids in the future. But yes, there are kids. You know, at some point, does it turn out that Marshall is actually a good lawyer, or at least a good law student?

Meanwhile, back at the apartment, Robin has begun to hang a lantern on the classic Friends issue, to wit, how does someone making Lily’s salary as a kindergarten teacher afford all of these expensive clothes. Lily prevaricates, and prevaricates, lies, and then dumps a shoebox full of credit cards on the table. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a B and a half plot!

Simultaneously, Ted and Barney are at the Adult Video Convention, and Ted is just confused that this many people love porn. He just wants to meet the Bizzaro him and get out of there, but no, Barney makes a case that someone else was considered crude and disgusting all of those years ago. Shakespeare. Yes, Shakespeare’s themes were universal, they stood the test of time, and 400 years from now, a high school drama class will be doing their plucky, spirited production of Beef Party 7. What I like about this is that you just know in his heart, Barney believes what he is saying.

Back at the apartment again, it turns out that Lily was actually pushing Marshall to take the job because she needs to pay down the debt, which she racked up by shopping any time she feels down. From the long view of this, it’s like a crazy 2007 Gift of the Magi.

Commercial interlude… Now, back to the teacher salary thing. Public school Kindergarten teacher, Lily’s age and experience, guessing no Masters (must resist joke about needing a Masters to teach kindergarten) New York, probably going to be around $55K a year. Which would be a pretty nice salary in any part of the country…that isn’t New York City. Besides, at what point were we going to deal with Marshall’s student loans for Columbia Law? And we know the kind of house that Lily and Marshall end up in, so don’t we kind of know he had to take the job? And how did they pay for the Honeymoon in Scotland, oh, wait, that was painting naked Barney. OK, back to the lecture at hand.

Back to the JJCC (at least I think it’s the Jacob Javits Convention Center) it turns out that “Ted Mosby” knows Ted Mosby. You see, back in Shaker Heights, ninth grade Ted saved fourth grade “Ted” from a bunch of seventh graders from beating the crap out of him. Probably what happened on that fateful day in 1993 was that fake Ted claimed that some day Kenny Lofton would ever cost Cleveland a trip to the World Series. Sorry Cleveland, too soon? So fake Ted promised to honor real Ted in some way when he made something of himself. Ted’s not too thrilled with this honor, and the concept of the sex architect comes out of this. But Ted would hope that he could honor him in some other way, and maybe fake Ted’s dad was right, he should have just planted a tree in Israel. It turns out that there’s a Lance Hardwood line here that makes me want to start the run of Space Mutiny jokes.

Again, I am compelled to ask: “Are you really going to tell your kids about the run in with the porn star?”

Marshall’s plot comes back to the fore and there’s a late night of drinking at the restaurant, followed by the Sunday morning ritual of The Walk of Shame home from Jeff’s after Marshall took the job and crashed on his couch.

So now Marshall and Lily have to explain it to each other, and there’s a card, and Lily sees the number and envisions herself rolling in boots. Marshall hates himself, but not so much, because he sees the financial advantages, including how to pay for law school (hey, good!), but now Marshall is vacillating between good and bad. There’s roaring, and Marshall just cannot decide. Even Ted’s legal pad list of pros and cons cannot solve this. Barney gives the short form of the Gordon Gecko speech, but the most evil corporations in the world. Over at the actual bar, Robin points out that Lily can help Marshall make the decision…Marshall is excited, because Lily will help him and Lily knows his heart better than he does and she says make the choice for the NRDC. Marshall goes to make the call to Jeff and Lily says she’ll figure a way out of it.

Marshall doesn’t want to tell him the bad news over the phone, so Jeff says come for a ride with him in his awesome limo, to …Tuckahoe Funland. The magic factory where dreams are made. Wait, is this the closed down New Jersey amusement park where the Robot Devil had his lair on Futurama?

Anyway, on the Ferris Wheel, Marshall says he can’t take the job, but Jeff convinces him that if he takes the job, all he will do is represent this place, or as Marshall calls it “The least evil corporation on Earth”, which we know, thanks to spinning newspapers, just really isn’t the case.

The epilogue is the fact that Lance Hardwood: Sex Architect, starring Ted Mosby, was filmed in…the apartment.

Overall, this episode was a little bit funnier on the second viewing, but we’re over a quarter of the way through the season and there is not a hint of the titular mother. Come on guys, I know we’re trying to give Marshall and Lily an A-Plot here, but neither one really was all that funny. Sort of a comedown from last week. Alas, can’t win them all. Right Cleveland?

Once again, I’d like to thank my pal Geoff (aka The Bad One) for his witty and insightful comments as I worked on this.

So, that’s all I have for this week’s edition of Urban HIMYMs. With that, this is Yostal reminding you to just chill, ‘til the next episode.



1. The Bad One - Wednesday, October 31, 2007

“…a Confederate raider in the spirit of William Quantrill.”
Isn’t that like being a South American leader in the spirit of Agusto Pinochet?

“…navigators have three stripes on their hats, while captains have four.”
And nobody has a navigator anymore. They’re all called First Officers now.
/aerospace engineer

Spinning newspapers are the best form of exposition

2. Peter Cavan - Wednesday, October 31, 2007

That was in fact the Javits Center where the porn convention took place.

There is no such place as “Tuckahoe Funland,” but there is an amusement park called Rye Playland that’s not too far outside the city. I think that was where Marshall and Jeff were supposed to be.

Lily’s salary would be somewhere between $40K and $55K, depending on experience and education. I think Ted’s salary must cover the bulk of the rent on that apartment. Marshall’s starting salary at a big NY law firm would be about $140K. The downside is that once he starts that job, no one will see him again because he’ll always be working.

3. DougOLis - Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We got a hint of the mother in the episode with the yellow umbrella. It didn’t show us much but it did show us that she does in fact exist.

Fake Ted Mosby was Farva from Super Troopers. I’m quite surprised they didn’t work in the name “Rod” to his new porn name.

My mom is a kindergarten teacher and has a Master’s and my sister is a kindergarten teacher and is working on her Master’s as well. Dick. It’s probably not that necessary, but it does provide a solid pay increase. I think in the order of $15-$20K for their districts.

4. Yostal - Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Apologies on that if it was misconstrued, as a rip or slam, as I was snarking on my own experience in getting a masters solely for the pay raise, and not because I feel like I learned anything in the five semesters of classes I took (though I did have my highest GPA ever.)

The Bad One,
I was thinking more in the spirit of Alfredo Stroessner, but that is just because of the comedic opportunities that Paraguay presents.

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