Friday, January 8, 2010

HIMYM's Musical 100th Episode Is, In Fact, Legendary!...

As the above video states, on Monday, CBS will air How I Met Your Mother's 100th episode (entitled "Girls Vs. Suits!") as their first new episode in 2010, back from the holiday hiatus. However, a select amount of lucky fans got to screen the episode early last night at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.

Featuring an intimate question and answer panel with the stars and creators of the show, the event was full of festive fun for the musical episode that was a dream come true for at least one castmember: Neil Patrick Harris. Though most of the cast has had experience in musicals before (Alyson Hannigan was in the Buffy "Once More With Feeling" episode; co-star Jason Segel sung with puppets in Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Harris is the one with the most distinguished credits under his belt, after having appeared in the Tony award winning RENT on Broadway. And until this episode, the only time he really got to perform musically on the show was bearded and pony-tailed, standing behind an old Casio keyboard. Hardly showcasing his chops!!

There have been moments that have put me on the fence with How I Met Your Mother. Sometimes the show focuses too hard on stand alone episodes that have nothing to do with the overall arc, let alone be things that a normal father would actually share with his children (for all the take of "sandwiches" instead of smoking joints, he sure speaks fast and loose about potential threesomes!). Sometimes the show copies too many jokes and plotlines from other sitcoms that came before it, namely Friends. Sometimes the show just doesn't explain why anyone would fall for Ted because he is still pretentious, even if he has eased up a bit since his college days. But in the twenty-two minutes and moments that were the 100th episode, the show won me back over.

Perhaps it was mostly due to the fact that I was sitting in a small room with other big time fans and those who actually brought the show to life, so the energy was just that much more accepting, but the laughs just seemed bigger, more frequent, and more genuine. And it didn't hurt that it was a Barney centric episode, which always guarantee legendary times!

Moderated by Stuart Levine, the cast and creative team weighed in on everything from their favorite past moments in the previous ninety-nine episodes to what it's like shooting a sitcom without a live studio audience. Jason Segel was, as always, the most animated on the panel, providing ample photo ops of funny faces and belly laughter. However, he was also the most sentimental of the bunch, discussing how proud he is that the cast kind of "grew up" together.

Harris spent part of the evening filming pieces of the pressline and panel, presumably for Twitter, which he has taken to like a pro, and he and Cobie Smulders also shared a few cutesy moments mock-contemplating the return of Barbin or Robney or whatever equally cutesy nickname fans came up with for the duo.

The cast also cracked themselves up by keeping an inside joke of "cat puns" going throughout the second half of the panel. Apparently it was something born of a particularly punchy evening tucked into the back corner (non-usual) booth of the bar set, and they had a ball keeping it going, even bringing some of the fans in on it when they posed their questions from the audience.

And though I really, really wanted to ask Carter and Craig about that infamous Thanksgiving stripclub moment, when Ted meets a stripper, and she actually gives him her real name, and he tells his kids "That is how I met your mother," and they fall for it...I didn't. So whether that name will be brought back as The Mother's name, or if it's a tidbit that's just going to be lost to the continuity Gods still remains to be seen. I'm still hoping it's the former, though. I love when shows seed little clues like that because the payoff is so great once the truth is revealed, and you can go back and re-watch the season and see everything come together.

And what about special guest stars Rachel Bilson and Stacy Keibler? Well, I won't spoil the episode for you by giving away their roles, but it's safe to say they were one episode wonders. The question on everyone's minds of when Ted will
finally met The Mother still didn't get answered (not surprisingly), but through the episode some more hints were given as to who she is even if not necessarily when Ted (and us by extension) will finally see her face. And as for the actress who will play the coveted role? Well, she reportedly still hasn't been cast yet either, but Segel had one very specific suggestion: "Hilary Clinton. How great would be it be to see the mother, and it's Hilary Clinton!?"

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