Issue March 25, 2008

Cable Boxing: LEO’s Weekly Television Rehash

How I Met Your Mother
Episode 313: “Ten Sessions”
CBS; Mondays at 8:30 p.m., aired March 24. Starring Josh Radnor,
Jason Segel, Neil Patrick Harris,
Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulders.

Synopsis: Ted is repeatedly snubbed in his attempts to get a date with Stella (Sarah Chalke), his dermatologist, but her receptionist, Abby (Britney Spears), becomes infatuated with him.

Mat: So here we are, contributing to the mountain of Britney coverage. And to think, I was just beginning to like this column.
Sara: Wait. What? Britney was on this week’s episode? I had no idea.

Mat: Maybe I’m taking this way too seriously, but when I first heard of her cameo, I thought it reeked of a publicity stunt. Then I read Rolling Stone’s cover story, the one where the Associated Press circulated a memo that said everything she does is news … insane.
Her role on this show isn’t funny — eh, a little — it’s creepy. Her line “When people yell at me, I start crying,” had an eerie truth to it; and running after Ted (Josh Radnor) at the end reinforced her image as a desperate pop star.
Sara: I disagree. I didn’t think she did half bad with the few lines she was given. Of course I thought Sarah Chalke ran circles around her, but that’s how the characters were written. I don’t think this is the big Britney comeback that everyone is predicting. Since when is a guest appearance on a half-hour sitcom a comeback? How about an album, Brit? Or maybe try getting your kids back first.

Mat: Not a comeback per se, but celebs do drop in all the time. Ever watch “Friends”? I read that she’s auctioning her wardrobe from the show. Spending $700,000 a month must be taking its toll on the pocketbook. Time for a new record, indeed.
Sara: But one quick sidenote: Who was expecting a pop princess showdown between Ms. Spears and Robin Sparkle? If you didn’t tune in last year, Robin (Cobie Smulders) revealed a childhood secret to the gang that she was a huge Canadian pop star in her teens. I believe her hit song was “Let’s Go To The Mall,” which I still listen to on my iPod. She’s even one of my MySpace friends!

Mat: Stay on topic, Havens. We’re talking about this week. Do you suffer from feliculafelia?
Sara: Definitely not! I think facial hair — well, body hair in general — is scary. Only a few can truly pull it off. Jack on “Lost” is one of them.

Mat: Thanks to “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle,” Neil Patrick Harris will always be a coke-snorting gigolo who prefers his ladies topless. Waiting an entire year to pull a mustache prank does take patience and cunning, though. I might have to borrow that trick.
Sara: He’ll always be Doogie Howser to me.

Mat: If I ever hear that keyboard sound again, it’ll be too soon. Chalke’s appearance is endearing, but her character on this show wishes it was as whip smart as “Scrubs.”
Sara: She’ll always be Becky No. 2 to me.

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