TV: How I Met Your Mother 7.11 “The Rebound Girl” Review (**)

Posted: November 22, 2011 in Reviews, Television
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How I Met Your Mother has a gift for frustrating its fans (yours truly included). Just when you think they’re close to making real progress on its story progression, they take a step back. But just when you think they’ve stalled, they throw a tear-jerker or a bombshell when you least expect it. Without spoiling the ending, simply expect one or the other. Whatever, you won’t see it coming anyway.

“The Rebound Girl,” unfortunately doesn’t have any new keen observation on life and its relationships ala “Rabbit or Duck” or “Hooked.” Instead, the episode appears to another mediocre 22-minute time killer till we get to the next major plot twist. Marshall and Lily lean towards moving out of Manhattan and into Long Island, only to find heavy resistance from Robin. Ted and Barney, meanwhile are commiserating over their single lives and consider become straight bro-parents together.

Outside of a fantastic (and perfectly nerdy) Ernie Hudson cameo, the Marshall-Lily storyline felt unnecessary and unfunny. The brunt of the comedic genius laid at the chemistry between Ted and Barney. It was particularly amusing to see Barney, the player (aka Neil Patrick Harris, the gay man), wonder about how great being homosexual would be. And while the baby as a prop was nowhere as funny as it should have been, it was a nice stand-in for the “rebound girl,” or the episode’s title. Wise enough not to go the expected route of Barney and Ted meeting another crazed single girl of New York, the writers broke the monotony.

The most disappointing aspect of the episode was how the episode’s subplots were wrapped up — Where did the baby come from? How will Barney and Ted deal with their loneliness? Are Marshall and Lily moving to Long Island? After all that, we get a cleanly-wrapped cheesy Full-House-style ending. Disappointment. That is…until the next 30 seconds. And while it certainly didn’t save the episode’s overall product, it makes this episode necessary viewing for any HIMYM fan.

Now, we know who the real rebound girl is.

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