The sitcom is on life support. If it weren't for How I Met Your Mother
, there would be exactly zero quality sitcoms left on the air. Two and a Half Men
is somewhat respectable, I suppose, but certainly nothing special. Half hour comedies have so much potential in multi-camera settings that it's almost impractical to stick with the multi-camera sitcom format. How I Met Your Mother
is the last living, breathing sitcom, the only one that doesn't feel recycled. There are various reasons for this (structure, subject matter, the pure comedy), but one thing that tonight's episode made me realize is that character development is a large part of How I Met Your Mother's
Marshall's job search was the driving force of tonight's plot, and although there were some funny moments, there was less laughter on my couch tonight than in any previous episode this season. Usually, you would equate the lack of laughter during a sitcom as a mark of failure, an indication show not doing its job. But, strangely, I enjoyed the hell out of the episode. I realized tonight that, outside of the humor, I am really invested in all of these characters and, even if it isn't raucously funny, I can enjoy my twenty-two minutes with Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin and Barney even if I'm not laughing. This is kind of a big deal. I felt the same way during the month of hour-long episodes of The Office
. It's rare, or at least it's something I hadn't paid attention to before. How I Met Your Mother
works thanks to great character work. The humor comes from the characters and not from the gags, which is as high of praise as one can give a sitcom.
Anyway, retreating from my attempt at sitcom-y insight, there's nothing like a good porn subplot. Not only that, but we got Harold himself (John Cho) in a guest-starring spot as Marshall's new boss. Cho is an under-utilized comic asset, and it's good to see him anywhere. Over the last two episodes, I've also noticed that Robin is bringing more funny than usual, and that her separation from Ted has opened the character up. Notice her botched Jude Law joke tonight. That killed me.
Top Five Quotes of the Night
“I found a porno starring Ted Mosby.”
“I know what kind of plane this is: it's a BOING!”
“I hate myself.”
“You can really taste the beef in that lobster.”
“Lance Hardwood: Sex Architect, starring Ted Mosby”
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)