“The Poker Game” – How I Met Your Mother

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 10.16.30 PMNot a bad effort from this week’s How I Met Your Mother. The laugh track continues to grate – would it kill them to kill it? – but the episode itself didn’t. It was a decent mix of funny and serious. Relationship issues were balanced well with the side story of the Ted-Lily-Marshall ‘wedding present’-‘thank you card’ debacle. Most notably, the new format was served well this week, with the action centered on a single card game. This allowed the peripheral stories room to branch out, so it felt simultaneously tight and sprawling. And that’s kind of the best of HIMYM – a solid story that has some movement and flow.

If we had one issue with it (and, yes, we do always seem to find one, don’t we), it’s that everything always gets that little bit too manic, and the writers always stop just on the wrong side of funny. The joke always goes that bit too far, the story gets that bit too crazy, the premise that little bit unbelievable. If there’s one thing HIMYM needs to learn, it’s restraint. They need to learn when to quit while they’re ahead. And that’s right before Barney’s mom and Robin become sworn enemies.

Though, in saying that, it’s a small issue, and one we can cope with. As long as HIMYM keeps churning out the romantic moments and the occasional laugh-out-loud jokes, we’ll be happy. Ish. – K

Quoteworthy:

“Choose your wife! You always choose your wife. Easy. Got any other stumpers? Like how to answer ‘does this make me look fat’?”
“Well maybe a little around the hips, but no more than usual.” – Lily, Barney

PS Shout out to Katie Holmes in her blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, uncredited reprisal of the role of slutty pumpkin Naomi.

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