Even the most die-hard "How I Met Your Mother" fan (read: me) would have to concede that the show hit something of a comedic lull in Season 5. However, it has bounced back in a major way this season, and Monday's episode, "False Positive", was the latest in a run that ranks among the show's funniest.
Last night's episode centered around everyone's reaction to the news that Lily was pregnant, then that she wasn't. The first news had Barney and Robin re-evaluating their priorities, and Marshall and Lily panicking. Then when they found out Lily wasn't pregnant, Barney and Robin went back to being scum and lazy (respectively) and Marshall and Lily were entirely too relieved. It took Ted to get them all back into line.
That plot may not sound like the formula for a laugh-out-loud half-hour, but it wasn't so much about the story but the details. Robin's career laziness came in the form of taking a job as the "currency rotation specialist" for a game show called "Million Dollar Heads or Tails" (another example of a "How I Met Your Mother" recurring joke, as the show was introduced in a cutaway gag in an episode last year). It was a snarky parody of Vanna White, featuring a cameo from Alex Trebek, who marveled at Robin's beauty and Canadian-ness.
Marshall and Lily's panic was a little over-done, but seeing Marshall bubble-wrap everything in the apartment as his form of baby-proofing was kind of funny.
But, once again, Barney Stinson stole the show. As soon as I saw Marshall and Lily at the doctor's wearing matching track suits that had "Barney's Favorite Things" embroidered on them, I needed to know how that happened, and "How I Met Your Mother" did not disappoint. Doing his best to channel Oprah, Barney starting giving away all sorts of stuff at MacLaren's, capped off by a line of limos... hell, you know what? I can't do it justice, so let's just watch:
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Barney Stinson is the best sitcom character on TV today. His continuing bit about "Charity" (which was both a cause he wanted to get involved with, and the stripper who he kept featuring in e-mails) was great. While I don't think this episode was better than "Blitzgiving", it was right up there, which is a good trend for this show.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.