'How I Met Your Mother': Sweet, Even for a Sitcom

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The primary plot of last night's How I Met Your Mother was a little too saccharine, even for a sitcom. The perpetually sarcastic, confident-to-a-fault Robin apparently still gets upset when she hears about Barney's romantic exploits, which, of course, is all he ever talks about. So we see her crying in bathrooms, canceling dates, and eating chicken wings on her kitchen floor while everyone around her is oblivious. Ultimately, Barney realizes that he never treated her all that well and arranges a "Super Date" for Robin and her new guy—Central Park carriage ride, steak dinner, ice skating, fake snow, and fireworks over the city. Overall, "Of Course" was a harmless and sincere episode. But no one watches How I Met Your Mother to be moved. We watch it to laugh.

MVP of the episode? Sorry, Jennifer Lopez, your self-help seductress wasn't bad, but tonight's award goes to Marshall. It's hard to find someone these days who doesn't adore Jason Segel, but he's criminally underused on How I Met Your Mother. Is it just his character? Does someone not know how to write for him? Are the creators afraid if they unleashed the Segel we know and love that he'd upstage Neil Patrick Harris? Whatever the reason, last night he stole the show by singing a catchy song about Barney's love life ("I said a-bang, bang, a-bangity bang..."), and punching the head off of Barney's life-sized Imperial Stormtrooper.

More Marshall and less hot pop star cameos, please.

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Lindsey Bahr is a writer based in Chicago.

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