Monday, April 21, 2008

Robin Sparkles Again

One of the best things about "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) is that the series will set up a joke during one episode and carry it on as a running joke through the series.

One of the best is the "Robin Sparkles" persona of Robin (Cobie Smulders), when she was a teen mall queen pop star back in Canada. The video of Robin is still around the Web where she sings "Let's Go To The Mall."

Tonight, the subplot is revisited with a plethora of guest stars as Robin meets up with her high school boyfriend (James Van Der Beek), and we also see Alan Thicke and real-life teen mall queen Tiffany. I'm fairly certain we get another cheesy pop video as part of the package.

It's one of the aspects of the show that I love, along with everything from suiting up to slap bets.

If you want an introduction to TV's best sitcom, you could do worse than tonight's installment, part of a whole new night of CBS comedies.

SARAH CONNOR RETURNS: TVGuide.com's Michael Ausiello is reporting that though it isn't official, the cast and crew of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" will be returning for a second season. It's good news, as "SCC" had surprising emotional impact to go along with its action.

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: "Bones" (Fox, 8 p.m.) is new, but not all-new. Tonight's episode was originally shot last season, but it centers around the death of a college basketball star. Because it was set to air right around the time of the Virginia Tech shootings last year, Fox wisely decided in would be in poor taste to air it, so it is finally hitting the airwaves tonight.

"Gossip Girl" (CW, 8 p.m.) has been deliberately drawing attention to its return tonight with a racy campaign that seems to fit in perfectly with the show itself. It's followed by a new "One Tree Hill."

"Samantha Who?" (ABC, 9:30 p.m.) is sandwiched by "Dancing With the Stars" and "The Bachelor," while "Medium" is brand new at 10 p.m. on NBC.

28 comments:

Jonathan said...

I'm really excited about the return of Robin Sparkles; I still think that the episode last season which introduced us to her was arguably the funniest episode of a sitcom I had seen since the heyday of "Seinfeld."

Still, I'm a little perturbed by the guest stars. When you factor in commercials, you're lucky to get 22 minutes out of an episode, adding too many people to the mix usually doesn't work so well. And with this and Brittney Spears, it's starting to get that "Will and Grace" vibe. Hopefully, I'm wrong, and this isn't a routine that will happen that often, but stunt casting has always irritated the hell out of me in the history of sitcoms.

zodin2008 said...

Phillip, thanks for sharing the great news about the renewal of "Terminator". I was surprised how much I liked it and certainly enjoyed it far more than the show that came after it, "New Amsterdam", which sorry to say, I found mostly confusing and dull.

I guess this means that we shouldn't expect Brian Austin Green to make himself available for the new 90210 spinoff...

I am always looking forward to "How I Met Your Mother", maybe the other most underrated and under-appreciated show on TV, besides, "Supernatural".

Phillip Ramati said...

Stunt casting is a mixed blessing; yes, it can be a detriment to a show when it's all about the guest star, like Will & Grace. And CBS spent all that time promoting Britney Spears when Sarah Chalke was clearly the guest star who added something to the show.

But, at the same time, Britney brought a huge audience to HIMYM, its largest of the season, and you hope that some of those viewers liked what they saw and will continue to tune in.

None of tonights guest stars really qualify as stunt casting in that they arent Britney like celebrities who are only famous for being famous. Two of them are actors, and Tiffany is a hilarious addition in that she really was a teen mall queen.

zodin2008 said...

I saw the Barney-Robin hook-up coming a mile away. Frankly, given her character's actual personality, Barney's probably a good fit for her, and she's ultimately the right girl for Barney, if he could consider sticking with one person - which he couldn't. (though someone as gorgeous as Robin should be enough).

The fact is, while she and Ted made a fun couple for a while, they were never right, based on her character's personality and his personality.

As for the Sparkles video #2, funny but still can't top "Let's Go to the Mall!" I thought the Alan Thicke appearance was a bit wasted and disappointed we didn't get it for a wee bit longer.

Jonathan said...

All my worries for naught. I actually enjoyed James Van Derbeek; never thought I would write that sentence.

Sparkles video not as good as the original, but how could it be?Indifferent towards the make-out session at the end, but I am curious how they will be handling it in the future. Good stuff overall.

Phillip Ramati said...

I think my expectations might have been built up for the new video, which didn't really have the impact of the old one. But the Lily scenes and the Canada jokes at the beginning made up for it.

Jonathan said...

Ah, no you didn't! Yeah, Lilly was great.

The more I think about it, I think the only problem I have with the Robin/Barney incident is that it just feels a little forced. Ever since Robin and Ted broke up, they have had very little use for the character. Sticking her in uninteresting sub-plots occasionally, but otherwise she just kind of hangs around in the background.

Colbie Smulders (I think I got that right; too lazy to check) has never had the best comic timing especially compared to the other four, so that probably doesn't help matters. So, I'm curious to see where this leads, but it seemed like the writers were scratching their heads as to what they should do with Robin, and came up with this. It should be interesting either way.

Phillip Ramati said...

The main issue I had with HIMYM when it first started was when we learn that Robin wasn't the mother. It painted the writers into the corner just a bit because they were trying to make us care about a character who ultimately doesn't end up with Ted. Whenever they get around to introducing the mother (please be Sarah Chalke!) it marginalizes Robin even more. She's not like Barney, who defines himself as a swinger. So starting this romance is done to strengthen the character. We'll see how it turns out.

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