Monday, January 3, 2011
How I Met Your Mother "Bad News" Review
"Bad News" was an exceptionally silly episode until the final twenty five seconds. The exceptional silliness wasn't funny nor entertaining though. It felt like a purposeful distraction for what the writers wanted to be a heartbreaking and unexpected ending. Indeed, the end is heartbreaking. One would have to be made of granite to not feel emotion but the ending wasn't exactly unexpected considering the abudant lack of subtlety in CBS' programming. If Marshall dreads giving his father bad news about possibly being sterile, and Marshall learns he is not sterile then the audience waits for the other shoe to drop once Marshall utters the words "I really expected bad news today." Soon after, Lily emerges from a cab and Alyson Hanigan breaks the hearts of viewers everywhere (something the actress did quite alot as Willow in Buffy, The Vampire Slayer).
Despite the silliness, the Marshall story worked in "Bad News." Their arc for the season is conceiving a child, and the A story deepened that arc tonight. We learned through a flash-forward that the couple succeed in conceiving their child but the important part of the arc is the journey for the two characters as they reach that moment of happiness. The struggle to conceive a child and the death of a parent have been the most notable road stops in their journey.
Marshall carried the episode tonight. Marshall dealt with the possibility that he couldn't reproduce a child for his wife and his parents. The possibility would be sobering to any man and Jason Segal portrays the idea, the dread and the anxiety well. Mostly, though, the episode reinforces the importance of a good father and son relationship. The possibility that Marshall cannot reproduce a child won't only devastate Lily and his parents. Marshall will be the most devastated because one knows Marshall looks forward to sharing the same relationship with his son that he shares with his father. As Marshall faces that painful possibility, his father provides the support Marshall needs. He assures Marshall that everything will be okay regardless. Naturally, Marshall looks forward to sharing the good news with his father until sadness arrives with Lily.
Meanwhile, Robin began her new job as a research associate and found that her co-worker would be Sandy Rivers (portrayed by the great Alexis Denis...Mr. Wesley Wyndam-Price himsef). Naturally, Sandy acted like a jackass because every one of Robin's co-workers have acted like jackasses. The silliness only works because of how well Denisof sells the delivery. It turns out that Sandy's not being a jackass but, rather, having some fun with the new girl. In turn, Robin decides to have some fun and embrace her past as Robin Sparkles. The experience actually bonds Robin with her co-workers.
Also, the final doppelganger is revealed that allows NPH to break from Barney for a few minutes.
Overall, the episode's fine. It won't be on any Top 10 lists at year's end but "Bad News" didn't harm anyone. The silliness was rather lame but the most important story of the episode succeeded, and that makes an episode successful.
PHOTO CREDIT: CBS and BuddyTV
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK