TV Review: How I Met Your Mother “Glitters” and Sparkles!

Thank goodness! How I Met Your Mother has finally given us the final piece of the Robin Sparkles trilogy! And it delivered. As the episode does, let’s start with a brief history of Robin Sparkles. In arguably HIMYM’s best episode “Slap Bet” we discover Robin is afraid of malls. Barney and Marshall make a slap bet of whether she did porn or not. Marshall was the slap bet winner because Robins secret was that in middle school she moonlighted as a pop star named Robin Sparkles whose single was titled “Let’s Go to the Mall!”

The story of Robin Sparkles rise to fame continued in the Season 3 episode “Sand Castles in the Sand.” I believe in the Season 5 Episode “The Rough Patch” Lily tries to use Alan Thicke to break up Robin and Barney. It is here that we learned about Robin Sparkles having worked with Alan Thicke in the past and the show forced us to wait for the final piece. Well played Bays and Thomas…

Barney has now discovered Robin Sparkles origins, a Canadian television show called Space Teens that Robin describes as “two average Canadian teens solving crimes in space using math.” (not to be confused with Milky Way Mathletes). In the show, Robin and her costar Jessica Glitter solve crimes with their pet beavers using math. But now years later, Robin and Jessica are no longer friends. Lily is sad because she thinks Robin is going to dump her as a friend like she did to Jessica.

I’d like to say I enjoyed this episode for its nuanced plot and revelations about the mother (I’ll get there), but I really just wanted Alan Thicke, Jessica Glitter, and Robin Sparkles. Fortunately, the writers knew this and all of the other plot lines were simple, subtle, and down played in comparison.

But Ted’s rekindling with his high school best friend Punchy (A Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia look-a-like) led to one more clue. We know Ted meets the wife at a wedding and Ted was just offered a best man position. Coincidence? We’ll see…

To me, this was a great HIMYM episode since it met my most important HIMYM criterion: It further developed the mythology of the show. The story is very big on doing things like “Oh we’ll get there later” and creating a pattern of anticipation. Also, it references the characters deep and secretive histories. On a drama, these secrets are usually who they’ve slept with or who they’ve killed. On a comedy, characters just don’t have these rich pasts. But on How I Met Mother, these secrets are hilarious and unique, each time enriching our view of the character.

Robin Sparkles is the pinnacle of non-Ted mythologies and this episode gave us mother related clues. Any episode that does both is just excellent.

This was also a wonderfully quotable episode so here are my top 10:

Barney: “Did you know that boutonniere is french for ‘Booty is near?’ – L’histoire est vrai!”

Barney: (On having not yet watched Space Teens) “I wanted my first time to be with someone I cared about. ” Marshall: “I get that a lot… well, once.”

Barney: “A big ol’ bowl of porn flakes!”

Lily: “A veritable pornucopia.”

Jessica Glitter: (on Space Teens) Good job using long division to catch that bad guy.” Robin Sparkles: (on Space Teens) It looks like he’ll be in space jail for the remainder of his life.”

Lily: “But B.F.Fs are forever.”

Ted: “When a second uterus plump becomes…”

Alan Thicke: (on Space Teens) “If Robin’s beaver needs 6 inches of wood every half hour and Jessica’s beaver needs 8 inches of wood every 45 minutes, how much wood will I need to keep their beavers satisfied all weekend long?”

Marshall: “You sound about as convincing as the time you shredded my Joey Buttafuoco pants.”

Barney: (on getting rid of Punchy) “You are the weakest link, goodbye! Punchy, the tribe has spoken. Please pack up your knives and go. Your work of art didn’t work for us. Your time’s up. I have to ask you to leave the mansion. You must leave the chateau. Your tour ends here. You’ve been chopped. You’ve been evicted from the Big Brother house. Your dessert just didn’t measure up. Sashay away. Give me your jacket and leave Hell’s Kitchen. I’m sorry, you didn’t get a rose. You have been eliminated from the race. You are no longer in the running to be America’s Next Top Model. You’re fired. Auf Wiedersehen.”

Neil Patrick Harris was awesome in this episode as Barney. It’s okay that he watches more reality television than I do… well really just Work of Art and Ru Paul’s Drag Race. And I did steal that quote from Buddy TV cause I was way too busy peeing my pants to write that down. And props to Nicole Scherzinger. She was great in the Space Teens parts, when she wasn’t getting upstaged by Cobie Smulders.

Overall, a great end to the Robin Sparkles trilogy… NOW GIVE ME MY LAST DOPPELGANGERS!!!

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