By Meryl Gottlieb| firstname.lastname@example.org| @buzzlightmeryl
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS
Man, it’s good to be back. I am thrilled to be reviewing shows once again, however I am sad that this will be my last chance to discuss the premiere of a new How I Met Your Mother season. But there is still plenty of time until we have to say goodbye, so let’s rejoice in the splendid weeks of comedy ahead. This first week certainly makes a strong impression that I’m pretty confident the rest of the season will copy.
Before you charge into this review, check back with my last review of the season eight finale for a refresher on how flawless this show is.
Now let’s discuss the beginning of the end…
We begin with the several journeys the gang went on in order to make it to Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) wedding. Ted (Josh Radnor) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) embark on “Lil and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” where Ted’s lovable dorkiness and slow driving infuriates Lily. Ranjit (Marshall Manesh) drives Barney and Robin to their wedding as the couple discovers some possible hiccups with their pending nuptials, like they may be related. Marshall (Jason Segel) encounters turbulence of his own as he gets himself and guest star Sherri Shepherd kicked off a plane for fighting after he refused to turn off his cell phone.
Oh how I missed Ted’s nerdy enthusiasm for, well, dorky things. Radnor plays it so well, and I will forever miss it when it’s gone. And let’s not forget to mention the incredibly hilarious chemistry Radnor and Hannigan have as two close friends. The constant bickering the two characters always engage in truly only works because Radnor and Hannigan work so well together.
The possibility of being related was a great quick storyline for Barney and Robin. “You really peaked my incest… interest!” was just one of the incredibly hilarious one-liners that had me cracking up for the entire segment. The chemistry Harris and Smulders have is delightful.
Marshall’s mother sends a picture of Marshall and Marvin with a caption detailing how Marshall is soon to become a judge — a decision he has still yet to tell Lily — hence his panic to attempt to explain to his mom how to delete the photo. Just click option! His yelling on the plane ignites anger in the flight attendants and in Shepherd whose character, Daphne, eventually gets into an ongoing battle with Marshall.
Luckily, Marvin somehow magically deletes the photo before Lily can ever open it. Not as fortunately, Marshall is now stranded in a Minnesota airport with a bitter Daphne.
Lily cannot stand to be in the car with Ted anymore so she catches a train to Farhampton instead. AND HERE IS WHERE WE HEAR FROM AND INTERACT WITH THE MOTHER FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! In an absolute scene-stealing performance, Cristin Milioti makes a fabulously hilarious and flawless debut as the Mother.
Her instant friendship with Lily is adorable and called for some of the biggest laughs of the night. A few highlights: somebitches are a type of cookie and her future nickname to make fun of Ted’s slow driving is Lady Tedwina Slowsby. The way the cookie’s name was woven throughout that entire sequence was an excellent example of simply brilliant writing. And what a great nickname. I almost feel as if Barney made that up, which just shows how well the Mother is going to get along with everyone.
Remember the locket controversy? While the show led us to believe Ted was going to give Robin the locket — and ultimately ruin the wedding by stirring up old feelings — he instead gave her a framed photo of the gang. Sometimes I just wish I had my own Ted to love and adore in real life.
However, we do know that the locket may be with Stella (Sarah Chalke) who now lives in Los Angeles. Just before we all have faith that Ted has given up the locket plan, we flash to him buying a ticket to Calif. a few days earlier. Oh boy. I guess we’ll be seeing some from Chalke soon.
The ongoing battle between Marshall and Daphne heats up as they each race to grab the last seat on the last plane to New York. Neither wins, so they head over to rent a car. Marshall wins this race but gives up the car because it’s a monstrosity to the environment — it’s literally called the “2006 Monstrosity.” Shepherd takes the car and offers to revisit Marshall’s carpool idea. Initially, we all assume Marshall is way too gullible and Shepherd will never return, but she does so we can definitely rely on some hilarious road trip antics in the coming episodes. I’m not a fan of Shepherd on The View, but on HIMYM, she is delightful.
Roger Bart plays hilarious hotel clerk Curtis who constantly patronizes Ted for being single in a very romantic spot. Bart is a comic genius. For any of you who do not know him, watch clips of the Young Frankenstein original Broadway cast; he’ll have your socks off in seconds.
Lily worries Marshall may not make it back in time and thus calls on hotel bartender Linus (Robert Belushi) to fulfill the “Kennedy package” in which she is to never be without a drink. And I mean never. Thank you Linus for great comedic timing and a hilarious stint that never dulled throughout the episode.
And now a historical look at the Stinson family … The Stinson men were cursed to be forever horny after their ancestors ran over a gypsy woman years ago. James (Wayne Brady) broke that curse with his marriage, so now Barney feels comfortable and free to marry Robin. However, his world may be shaken when he learns that James is getting a divorce.
But Barney has officially grown up and says he only needs Robin in order to believe in love. *A collective “awh” is now uttered*
Ted sits alone at the hotel bar, snobbishly filling out a crossword puzzle. Flash to one year later and future Ted meets the Mother to have dinner to celebrate an anniversary. They sit at the same table as present Ted, putting the three of them all in the same frame.
Ted and the Mother share an adorable moment and kiss. Radnor and Milioti have great chemistry. Their characters seem to share the same quirks and passions, and I can definitely see why this love was worth nine years of the audience’s time.
Overall, the hour-long premiere was excellent, hilarious, heartfelt and fun. Keep this up HIMYM and your final season will receive nothing less than a standing ovation, and, hopefully, an Emmy nomination.
Are you excited/sad for the final season of HIMYM? What’s your impression of the Milioti as The Mother? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl
Bonus gif to further show how absolutely wonderful Radnor and Milioti are together: