Robin Sparkles returns to CBS on Monday. The teenage alter-ego of How I Met Your Mother’s Robin Scherbatsky, Robin Sparkles had 15 minutes of fame in her native Canada during the ’90s thanks to her hit single, “Let’s Go to the Mall.” That song, and wonderful music video, was the focus of perhaps the single greatest episode in How I Met Your Mother history, which is saying something.
On Monday’s brand new episode, one way or another, a new Robin Sparkles song/video will be unearthed. CBS has released the full audio version of the song, called “Sandcastles in the Sand,” as well as a minute long clip from the video. Since I had previously assumed that the legend of Robin Sparkles would begin and end with “Let’s Go to the Mall,” the emergence of “Sandcastles in the Sand” brings up some interesting questions. Did Robin Sparkles’ fame extend further than Scherbatsky would like to admit? Is “Sandcastles in the Sand” simply a failed B-side/second single? And, what’s the deal with all the guest stars?
The music video for “Sandcastles in the Sand” features cameos by the least likely of trios: Alan Thicke, James Van Der Beek, and Tiffany. Van Der Beek is, of course, Dawson from Dawson’s Creek. The kids these days might know Alan Thicke more as the father of Robin Thicke then as Mr. Seaver from Growing Pains, but he’s a talented man nonetheless. Tiffany is the real-life proxy for Robin Sparkles, the ’80s mall-pop star from Canada. This is insane bit of casting makes Sparkles’ How I Met Your Mother return all the more exciting.
As for the song itself? Well, it’s hilarious and it will get stuck in your head. How I Met Your Mother utilizes the internet and multiple media platforms better than any other show on television. From the viral return of Robin Sparkles, to the constantly updated Barney Blog, to the recent TedMosebyisaJerk.com website, creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas give How I Met Your Mother fans a lot of extra content outside of the actual show. It’s an admirable, and intelligent way, to give back to the fans.
I’ve been talking about this for months it seems, but given Robin Sparkles’ return, I think we need to give it up once again to the underrated Cobie Smulders. It takes a fearless actress to jump into Sparkles mode with the tenacity and lack of embarrassment that Smulders has. With the wrong actress, both of the music videos could have been train wrecks. Instead, they’re comic gold. I’ll leave you with the YouTube clip of “Sandcastles in the Sand.”
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)