Apr 12, 2011

HIMYM Review: Episode 6.20 "The Exploding Meatball Sub"


Today is not a good day to cancel How I Met Your Mother.

This episode spells the end of the seven episode "Marshall's dad died" story arc, and I'm glad. Don't get me wrong, it was an excellent storyline full of poignant, funny, and unusually sad (for a comedy show) moments, but it's been a bit too persistent for my tastes, at least as a central theme.

The main storyline in episode 6.20 revolves around Marshall revisiting his disdain for his job at GNB and ultimately quitting. This is a bit odd for me, considering he claimed to enjoy his job a scant twelve episodes back (at the black tie fundraiser). You could blame it on the loss of his father making him reevaluate his blah blah blah, but in reality this is WAY too soon for him to go back to "I want to save the world" Marshall from "Money is awesome" Marshall. It smells of writers not thinking things out longterm.

Two subplots reflect this main plot. In the first, Ted claims that Lily and Marshall never challenge one another while Lily claims that Ted and Zoey challenge each other too much. They both profess to be happy with the way things are, but in a twist absolutely no one sees coming, they finally admit that things aren't all they're cracked up to be. Lily even makes a move that seems pretty out of character to me (and a little shocking when you really consider the ramifications).

That's enough of the bad, let's get to the good: the second subplot involves Barney dealing with Marshall leaving GNB. Even though they tie it in with Barney's father drama, it's still the highlight of the episode and provides much of the humor. The writing throughout is still top notch (Tommy Boy is hilariously referenced near the beginning of the episode) and the acting is great. HIMYM has managed to achieve something few sitcoms do... to successfully inject drama into the series without missing a beat. You're dealing with the death of Marshall's father, which was set up so beautifully it's almost brutal, as well as the Barney's dad saga which has been going on for a few seasons, and the show is still as funny as ever. It absolutely deserves its recent two year renewal.

All that being said, it makes Mad Love (which follows it) look absolutely awful by comparison. Don't listen to Blake... that show isn't long for this world. It's essentially the Go-Bots to HIMYM's Transformers... a cheap, obvious knockoff that will not stand the test of time.


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