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Ring Up For The Next HIMYM Review

by on January 31, 2013
I’ve badmouthed How I Met Your Mother a lot over the course of this season. It’s not just that we’re waiting for the inevitable to happen; it’s that it hasn’t been all that fun to participate in that waiting for the inevitable. “Ring Up!” however demonstrates a lot of what the show was lacking before. 
It’s a very funny episode and it’s funny in a way that the show has always been best at: the gang is riffing off eachother and we get more jokes in this half-hour than we have in perhaps any other episode recently. When Ted walks in with a wrist-bracelet on and everyone begins making great joke after great joke (with wonderful comedic timing) at his expense, it had me laughing more often and more consistently thanHow I Met Your Mother has in a long while. 
While some of these jokes will perhaps please some more than others, it’s still at a rate and quality that has me really pleased. I may not have been the most enthusiastic person about the “old people” jokes made at Ted’s expense, but the back and forth between Ted and Barney holds too much chemistry, zippy pace, and go-for-broke feel to not win you over just a little bit. Similarly, Robin’s flashback to musical numbers exaggerating her experiences is a little out of place despite being incredibly charming and amusing.
On the other hand, Marshall and Lily’s sub-plot where Marshall feigns being a broke rockstar to roleplay his way to sex during a dryspell in the wake of Marvin’s birth starts out amusing but then gets a little grating and pointless (although the visual of Marshall’s giant hand formed from an allergic reaction to the wrist band was rather funny). 
The reveal that the girl Ted hooks up with is Barney’s half-sister was unexpected and jarring, but I have the suspicion this will have implications for how Ted meets the mother so I’m willing to forgive it a bit. Plus Barney staging a wedding for the two of them to feel less tainted by Ted sleeping with his sister was totally amusing and in-character. 
This episode will work or not work for you based on whether you found these jokes funny, but for me, this was an early season HIMYM level of joketelling at times, and the series is at its best when it lets its stars just tell jokes and finds ways that allow them to tell as many as possible. There were also some nice visual gags that the series has often gotten away with due to the nature of its narrative (including Robin’s engagement ring acting like the ring from Lord of the Rings). This is the type of storytelling the show does well and I wish it did more often. Though these stories in of themselves aren’t particularly spectacular or special, they’re told well enough and humorously enough to justify themselves. 

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