The How I Met Your Mother Shame Index: Episode 15

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 8 2010 9:31 PM

The How I Met Your Mother Shame Index: Episode 15

The Shame Index admits he was too lazy to get up from the couch on Sunday night to fetch his phone and dial (877) 987-6401. Surely an account of what awaited callers would show up on the Web in due course. Sure enough, it did . Still, in the spirit of doing his own reporting, the Index decided to dial the number shortly before tonight’s episode. But to no avail busy signal, over and over again. How I Met Your Mother ’s Super Bowl Easter Egg seems to have been a success, with curious viewers lighting up the phone lines right up through this evening. Too bad CBS used its biggest stage to promote a truly dreadful episode.

Shameful
:

Barney’s Super Bowl gambit. The conceit made no sense: Why would holding up a sign at the Super Bowl with your phone number on it produce a constant stream of calls from beautiful, easy women? The writers didn’t even try to sell the joke; we were just supposed to accept this bizarre premise. The Index might have considered suspending disbelief had the concept been funnier. But the magic phone had none of the cleverness of "the perfect week," and coming on the heels of that episode another in which Barney binged on sex it tried the patience.

The lame montage of Barney almost bedding woman after woman, only to be tempted by another call.

A wasted visit from Ranjit, who seems to have been present only to give Ted the ridiculous idea that what he needs is an arranged marriage.

The lame montage of Marshall and Lily frantically looking for a woman to arrange marry to Ted.

The lo-fi special effects that by turns showed Don with rabbit ears and a duck bill.

The continued romantic humiliations of Robin Scherbatsky. Last week she was blown off by a dweeb, this week subjected to The Naked Man by the still-more-irritating-than-funny Don.

Awesome
:

The Naked Man has its own Wikipedia page.

"That’s what I call having a woof over your head." HIMYM ’s writers once again come up with a great snippet from Robin’s telecast.

Teddy Westside. The Index is a stone cold sucker for the embarrassing nicknames Ted bestows upon himself. (Cf., T-Mos .)

Barney’s attempt to appropriate Ted’s embarrassing nickname.

Lily and Marshall crediting their love to the Wesleyan housing department "and a splash of Drakkar Noir ."

The long, nasty fight over whether rabbits or ducks are the superior species. Amusing arguments put forth by both sides, although the Index, as in all things, sided with Marshall, and was disappointed to see him fold. Ducks are mean .

This is the first Shame Index to post since Slate instituted its new commenting system. The Index is looking forward to a lively debate with readers on the merits of this episode. Is the Index being too hard on it? Too hard on Don? Too hard on ducks? And, finally: Did Jim Nantz’s retrograde Flo TV ads during the Super Bowl not give you that much more respect for how well HIMYM deployed the CBS sportscaster last week ?

Previous Shame Indices: Episode  1 2 3
4 5 ,   6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 , 14  

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.

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