How does Harold (John Cho) of Harold and Kumar go to White Castle fame show up on How I Met Your Mother and not get to spend time with Neil Patrick Harris of Harold and Kumar go to White Castle cameo fame?
This question puzzled me at first and I have decided that there are actually two ways it can be thought about: 1) the show missed an opportunity and 2) by not playing into the audience’s preconceived notion’s about what would happen the show was able to find an added level of funny in a whole new place.
I’m going to go with number two tonight. One of the strengths of How I Met Your Mother is that the comedy doesn’t always come from the expected place. The jokes that are telegraphed and the plotlines that are obvious tend to be the least funny (who didn’t know where the final video was filmed as soon as Barney turned it on?). So, by not having John Cho come on the show with some ridiculous connection to Barney, in fact never putting the two together, I feel the producers had to try harder to satisfy the audience. A sizable percentage of people watching almost assuredly wanted Cho and Harris to reference pot smoking together a number of times (which I wouldn’t have minded if it had been done in a clever way), but that was not where the best material was to be found. It is not that the show would not have been funny had Cho and Harris worked together, it is just that it was more funny because they didn’t.
What I really don’t understand about the episode is why Marshall would want to work at the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) anyway. I know that helping the world is good and all, but if Marshall works long-term with Jeff’s anti-environment law firm couldn’t he donate a decent portion of his salary to the environment and still be bringing home more than he would working for the NRDC? Wouldn’t everyone be a winner in that case? I think that if the environment really wants to beat out corporate greed it needs to pay more. Call me evil, call me soulless, but in the end, personally, I would work for anyone that feeds me kobe lobster and doesn’t make me pay for it.
Well, let’s say almost anyone, because I wouldn’t work for the people that made Welcome to the Sex Plane no matter how much kobe anything I got for free. I have no intention of ever being that Ted Mosby.
I have to say that I was terribly worried that the show was going to go down the Friends track (as we all remember, Joey once starred in a porn as the copy repair guy). Thank goodness this episode didn’t follow Friends and that my fear was completely off base. Instead, the producers came up with the hysterical notion that a kid that Ted went to elementary school with, in order to honor Ted, took Ted’s name as a porn stage name. That is funny, almost as funny as the interview Ted gave thinking he was talking to an architectural magazine.
Frankly, I should have known that the show was going to do something different and huge and wonderful with the storyline, because when Barney showed up with the video both he and Marshall were in suits and no "suit-up" joke was made. I imagine that if the producers were going to rehash someone else’s plot they would have at least have had the decency to make a "suit-up" joke first.
Questions, quotes, and quip or two:
- Robin upon watching the first Ted Mosby porn — "Is that him because that Ted Mosby really knows what he’s doing."
- Robin to Lily upon learning that Lily has not informed Marshall about her spending habits — "For godsakes Lily, you text him while he’s on the can." Lily’s response — "I just want him to know I’m rooting for him."
- Though not necessarily funny, Barney doesn’t lie — "Take the money. Money is good. Money is happiness." Okay, money is not happiness, but as Weird Al pointed out, "if money can’t buy happiness, I guess I’ll have to rent it." And, you can, I’ve checked.
- Marshall responding to Jeff’s invite to Tuckahoe Funland — "I’m sorry, it sounded like you said Tuckahoe Funland, the magic factory where dreams are made." For the record, as far as I know, there is no Tuckahoe Funland, I have a sneaking suspicion that they were making fun of Rye Playland and Rye and Tuckahoe are not terribly far from each other.
- Was anyone else hugely surprised by Lily tonight? Her having a shopping addiction was something I never saw coming. They were able to make it work and it seemed natural, but I never would have pegged her for the type.
- Seriously, does anyone besides me want to see Marshall work for decades for the corporate greed law firm, because I totally do.
You know what else I want to do (and you should to)? I want to go and visit that great website known as The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews. Really, I do.