TV Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' Season Three Premiere
Mandy Moore and Enrique Iglesias help the CBS comedy return in style
After a long summer without "How I Met Your Mother," one of the small screen's few remaining comedy gems returns for its third season on Monday (Sept. 24) offering a quick resolution to Barney's cliffhanger from May, "Legend... Wait for it..."
Some resolution-obsessed TV fans -- you know, the ones who keep insisting that Tony Soprano was killed -- began getting antsy last season that "HIMYM" (as people too lazy to write out full titles call it) wasn't actually getting closer to revealing how Future Ted (voiced by Bob Saget) met the mother of his future children, particularly since Present Ted (Josh Radnor) was stuck dating Robin (Cobie Smulders), a woman he'd already said wasn't the eponymous baby-momma.
As the third season begins, the show's creative team is back to the business of helping Present Ted find the love of his life. Not only did the finale conclude with the revelation that Ted and Robin had parted romantic ways, leaving Ted back on the market with a very eager Barney (should've-been-Emmy-winner Neil Patrick Harris), but the premiere reveals in its opening seconds that a yellow umbrella is central to the mommy-meeting narrative. I know that isn't much, but it's more information about her identity than we've ever gotten before. Of course, the premiere is titled "Wait For It" and that should give some indication that answers aren't coming immediately.
"Wait For It" is about Ted and Robin trying to move past their break-up after three months apart. Ted thinks he's cool with things until Robin returns from Argentina with a crooning massage artist (guest star Enrique Iglesias), which sends Ted into the arms of another guest star, Mandy Moore's tattooed bad girl.
It has to be said that although Moore looks phenomenal in leather and fishnets, she's just about the least believable biker chick I've ever seen and unlike Inglesias, she doesn't even get to sing. However, her stunt-casted presence ("HIMYM" will take new viewers however it can) is validated by the utter brilliance of having Mandy Moore call another character a "huge vagina." Iglesias isn't so much with the acting, but he brings out the best in the actresses, as both Smulders and Alyson Hannigan have a great time swooning over him like teenage girls.
As is always the case with "HIMYM," the straightforward narrative is playfully fragmented and the funniest bits come not from the story, but from the familiar interactions of the top notch cast. Standout moments include a debate on the logistics of sex on a windsurfing board, a string of reactions to Ted's break-up beard and an unexpected tattoo. And, as is often the case with "HIMYM," the best lines go to Barney, including his attempts to entice Ted out on the town for a date with two circus performers with the come-on, "We are gonna get Cirque du So-Laid."
Dedicated fans will want to stick around for the post-credits tag, which sets up both a website and a momentous event for November.