"How I Met Your Mother" has generally done a pretty good job with stunt casting. Britney Spears had a very well received two episode run a couple years back, that not only raised the profile of the show, but worked creatively as well. Rachel Bilson did a great job in her "so close to the mother, but not quite" appearance earlier this year, and Wayne Brady was hilarious as Barney's gay, black brother. Still, despite that track record, I wasn't sure how Carrie Underwood's performance would go last night.
Much to my surprise, Underwood was solid. She didn't carry the episode, but she didn't stand out as bad either. After seeing her performance as Tiffany -- the girl who has Ted on the "hook" -- I'm willing to say I'd accept her back on the show in the future.
As for the actual premise of the episode, I never really bought into the whole "hook" storyline. Yes, it did relate to real life dating, in that most of us can probably remember a situation when we were either the hookee or the hooker (as Robin so ineloquently put it), but the odds of multiple people in that little group going through the exact same thing at the same time -- including Ted from both ends of it -- seemed a little far-fetched. Still, it did make for some of Bob Saget's best narration in years.
The one thing I kept coming back to last night was just how funny Barney Stinson is as a character. His explanation of hot women professions through the years was laugh out loud funny, as was his quest to sleep with as many "pharma-girls" as possible. I'm pretty sure I would watch a spinoff show about Barney, and I'm pretty sure it would be the funniest show on television.