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Urban HIMYMs: “The Yips” — Aggressive Growth Wednesday, November 28, 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.

I’m now pretty sure ladies and gentlemen, but this might be my last one for a while. If we don’t see each other again this season, just know that it’s been a pleasure.

And away we go…

I’m going to try a different tack today. The plots are more A and 1A than anything, so instead of doing a straight review, I’m going to give you short points from each, and then tie it all together at the end:

The Gym Plot
Short form: Ted, having gotten out of shape, decides he needs to get in shape and convinces the gang to join a gym with him. Marshall gets a hot, perky Hewittian trainer who makes USMC Drill Sergeants blush, Lily holds in her jealousy and ends up with a hot trainer who works with her on flexibility. Robin decides that going to the gym means completely dressing down, and Ted manages to find ways to avoid working out. Oh and yes, Barney is already a member of a gym, in part because he “invests” in women who aren’t hot so they will be the first person they come to, the investor.
Now, I’m not a work out guy, I’m not a gym guy, but I did spend my summer dropping some weight (40 pounds), so I know the feeling Ted is going through, but none of the comedy. I want my fitness organization to be solitary and data driven, so this is perhaps why I didn’t find it all that funny. The Marshall/Lily hot trainers of the opposite sex cause jealousy in newlyweds was typical sitcom fodder (though the payoff with Lily’s guy was pretty funny and very well delivered.) as was Ted’s efforts to avoid working out despite being the ringleader of the fitness kick and Robin is just sort of there because she had to be.

(I will note that the sports fan in me loved that Marshall was doing sit-ups in an Oklahoma A&M t-shirt and the trainer than accused him of being a 40 year old man. Mike Gundy, line two. I know it was a coincidence, I still liked it.)

In the opening plot sets up the main plot premise, well, it turns out that, while at the Smoothie Bar, Barney discovers that the bartender is, in fact Rhonda, the friend of his mother’s whom deflowered him when he was 23. Except she doesn’t remember him.

The Yips Plot
The story goes that back in 1998, after Shannon, Barney’s college girlfriend dumped him, he was 23, still a virgin and knew nothing of women, so he went to the one man who could help him, his brother James, who was not yet his gay brother James, or at least, not yet admitting his sexuality brother James, earning us a nice appearance from Wayne Brady in a football jersey that I genuinely, for the life of me, cannot place. (P.S.: The Moscow 1980 Olympic poster in James’ apartment is awesome.) James cautions Barney to not overthink it, lest he get the Yips, the inability to do simple tasks you have done thousands of times before perfect because you’re overthinking it. (Conceptually, I love the concept of the Yips to explain Barney’s problems later in the episode.) But whom, whom would even want this pathetic Barney? Well, the Manmaker. Rhonda “The Manmaker” French, was well known for her exploits in deflowering many a young man. A comedic triple ensues to prove this point. Barney then heads over to Ms. French’s and proceeds to rock her world, on his first try. And the Barney Stinson we all now know and adore was born in that moment (well, save the suits, we saw that in Season 1). Barney really makes a sad attempt to joke Rhonda’s memory and it goes nowhere, and it drives Barney mad. Well, yeah, about that, turns out that James may have gone over to Rhonda’s before Barney got there and asked for the favor, complete with the “best she’d ever had” line, but James has to payoff the favor with, well, Reggie Jackson. But yeah, it was a lie and now Barney descends into a crisis of confidence heretofore unseen since the Carter Administration. How will Barney pull out of this tailspin???

With three tickets to the after party for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, or as I like to call it, gratuitous sweeps synergy. I do like that Barney tries to state the level of importance of the event and the need to work as a team, and then immediately proceeds to call dibs on Heidi Klum. The models are well, gorgeous, and Barney not only has the Yips, he has a full blown case of the Steve Blass disease. His charm abandons him and he strikes out with all of the models in a way that makes the humor of the awkward more about sad that awkward. Heidi Klum takes pity on Barney after Ted explains that he has the Yips, or as the Germans call it…Oh no way in hell can I even begin to figure that out, even with five years of German*…and that the only way that Barney can overcome the Yips is to go back and reconquer his first conquest, to prove to her that he could rock her world. As sitcom logic goes, that’s sound and efficient. Then again, it’s being said by a German supermodel, so I could be distracted. So Barney goes back to Rhonda’s, but she’s not interested, which sends Barney deeper into his funk. But Rhonda tries to help him out. She argues that because he’s not trying to have sex with women, he might actually have a normal conversation with them for a change and they should try that, which they do over a game of Go Fish, a nice call back to the earlier comedic triple, but the pair do end up back in bed together and this time, Barney does earn it, dismisses Rhonda’s efforts with faint praise, and walks out of the room with his cocksure stride once more, for Daddy’s back!

*–Thankfully, commenter Pierrot at “Have You Met Ted” took the time to get it and it’s so worth it:

Ach du meine Gott!, nichts klappt mehr, überhaupt gar nichts mehr, so eine Scheiße. or “Oh my God, nothing is working anymore, nothing, what a shit!”

All in all, this was an episode that got better on the second watching, but it still wasn’t a knock it out of the park episode, I think in part because I saw the stunt casting and the synergistic tie-ins as sweeps pulls and not as necessarily advancing the plot of how Ted actually met his children’s mother. 10 episodes this season, and we’re no closer to solving the mystery. Promises were made writers…Then again, we got to see Heidi Klum acting as the wizened German philosopher who is HOT. Now even Schopenhauer could pull off that double. Don’t believe me? Check out the hair. So I don’t know where we stand with this going forward. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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 (whenever that might be).

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Comments»

1. DougOLis - Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Color me disappointed if that was the season finale. It was fine I guess, but nothing special. I’ll have to watch it again to see if anything stands out to me.

I did think Heidi Klum did an excellent job.

2. DougOLis - Wednesday, November 28, 2007

BTW: love the adjective Hewittian

3. Yostal - Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thank you DougOLis. I’ve always been a fan of JLH’s look, so I am sure this is not the first time I have used that phrase.

4. JB* - Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yostal –

I think the new format works rather well – well done. I hope we get to see it again soon. Next week is the Fiero episode.

A few random things I noticed which prove I should, ya know, take better advantage of being out of the country in hotels –

* Robin made a big deal about not getting gussied up for the gym, but in the Moving Day episode didn’t she say she didn’t wear make-up? Or did she say she was not wearing make-up right then? Then Barney replied “Wow… you’re beautiful!” (Which yes, she is.)
* Wayne Brady looked amazingly young in the flashback scene, but I had the same issue – what jersey was he wearing?
* This may be flaky memory, but I thought in “Game Night” Barney said after seeing Shannon with the old suited-up guy, he went straight to get the haircut and suit.
* I was disappointed no one said “Sweatsuit up!” to Barney.
* The Victoria’s Secret Party was great humor of the sad. It reminded me of a, um , friend in college. With women who were far more normal than gorgeous.

Well done, Yost!

5. The Bad One - Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ach du meine Gott!, nichts klappt mehr, überhaupt gar nichts mehr, so eine Scheiße
…of Ulm.

Good episode, not great. It didn’t feel like there was a whole lot there, especially after the fantastic Slapsgiving episode.

6. DougOLis - Thursday, November 29, 2007

Upon second viewing it was slightly better. I think my favorite throw-away joke from this episode was when Marshall said “that’s a weird thing to say” after saying he will drive to Vermont and have a commitment ceremony with his body.

I had a hard time piecing together the timing of Barney’s flashbacks too JB.

7. MoL - Thursday, November 29, 2007

Random censorship comment. From my little exposure to the German language, I did hear “Schiesse” in Heidi’s comment. Did this get by the CBS sensors or is it OK to swear in a foreign language but not English? Anyone got any ideas?

8. Ivan - Thursday, November 29, 2007

MoL, i’ve had this same qualm about the FCC for ages. A few years ago at one of the HR Derbys some player of dominican descent was batting and when he hit a monster HR Big Papi and Miguel Tejada started to curse in spanish, and they didn’t bleep it. Now, I don’t get offended by it. But i thought it was interesting that there was no bleeping of any kind when it was clear spanish cursing.

I was way more impressed by the models than the episode. Although i thought non-makeup Robin was pretty funny, as well as her commentary that people go to the gym to be seen more than work out. More because i agree with than anything else.

I also thought the trainer was “Hewittian,” i thought it was her for second at first.

I also liked the Non-Gay-Gay Wayne Brady, he is pretty funny.

9. john d'arc - Friday, November 30, 2007

coulda sworn Barney’s sheets smelled like Menthol, meaning they had sex at his house.


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