There was shame to go around tonight on How I Met Your Mother’s “Canning Randy.” Unfortunately, there were not as many solid jokes bringing the episode together. I will say that this entire first half of season six has been particularly strong, so I guess we were bound to get a weaker episode at some point. This was it, for me, but I have hope that November will bring bigger things for our lovable HIMYM gang, such as special guest appearances (including Jorge Garcia!) and the release of new Robin Sparkles video.
Tonight’s episode started strong, but then faltered with some lame sight gags and non-compelling storylines. It began with a giant wiener—Ted. I did enjoy this costume for our favorite professor, along with his pun about “being on a roll” while teaching. And, it completely fits his character that he glorifies his students’ love for him. We also got to explore another aspect of modern social practices (which this show always explores so well): The real Halloween parade…’The Post-Halloween Walk of Shame.’ As a parade of women walk past their doorstep in their rumpled costumes and hair from the night before, Ted, Marshall and Barney have some great quips: “Looks like that bee got busy” (girl dressed as bumble bee) and “That Pocahontas has wounded knee” (girl dressed as an ‘Native American’) to name a few. And then it gets even better when Robin comes down the parade route—in a nurses outfit—Florence Night ‘n Bed.
This shameful discovery results in Lily trying to guess who Robin hooked up with. She eventually guesses Randy, the clumsy and incompetent co-worker of Marshall and Barney. When Robin “admits” it was Randy, it is pretty obvious this is like the time she “admitted” she was married in a mall once (but instead the lie was really covering her shameful past of being a Canadian teen pop star). The real truth eventually slips out (pun intended) that Robin’s walk of shame was from filming a commercial for adult diapers—Neat & Discreet—hence the nurses uniform. Poor Robin and the many videos that haunt her life…first Robin Sparkles and now an adult diapers ad that Future Ted tells us ran for seven years!
Meanwhile, Marshall and Ted both struggle with guilt and shame, but in much less funny storylines. Marshall fires the aforementioned Randy, who was much funnier a few seasons back when Barney tried to make him his replacement wingman. This time nosebleed Randy was too much a buffoon, and his actions coupled with Marshall’s guilt and then re-hiring was just too cartoonish, even for the over-the-top antics that this show can usually master. Ted is also wavering on how to deal with a difficult work environment when Zooey turns his architecture class against him for the impending destruction of The Arcadian. I know that, just like Ted, I am not supposed to ‘like’ Zooey yet. But, there is a difference between not liking a character yet finding her amusing or interesting, versus finding her character obnoxious. Right now, I am at the latter, so I really hope we start to see some new sides to her soon, since she is going to be around a long time.
I also would have liked to see a little more Halloween in this Halloween episode. We had not been treated to a Halloween episode since season one’s “The Slutty Pumpkin”—which is an all-time HIMYM classic. That episode had humor and heart (plus amazing costume changes by Barney). Sadly, tonight’s episode didn’t have much of either. Of course there are always a few great lines, even in a weak episode:
- Perky Becky’s “Boats, Boats, Boats” commercial…it did capture what a lot of local ads are like.
- GNB puts out a yearly feel good video: “I care about…”
- Robin won’t say who she hooked up with up and comes up with ‘Bill Pepper.’ Lily sees right through her name source and asks about a three-way with “Fork Napkin.”
- I wonder if the car alarm trick could really work to shut people up?
- Wharmpess Beer. Um, gross.
What did you think? Were you hoping for a return of the slutty pumpkin?