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TV Review: How I Met Your Mother Episode 100: “Girls Vs. Suits”

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How I Met Your Mother is the best sitcom on network television. Sorry The Office, sorry 30 Rock, sorry that weird new Scrubs spinoff-but-not-really show, but you are all second rate in comparison. A show with an original premise and almost obsessive attention to continuity, HIMYM has continued to push all the buttons of viewers' emotions: laughter, joy, triumph, sadness — and it's even heartwarming. Somehow, a show this good has survived cancellation and has made it to its 100th episode, titled “Girls Vs. Suits”, which airs January 11 at 8PM on CBS.

In case you have been living under a rock these past few years (or are too busy watching reality junk or Two and a Half Men), HIMYM is told from the perspective of Ted Mosby (in voice-over by Bob Saget) in the year 2030, when he sits his kids down to tell them the story of how he met their mother (obviously). Ted gets sidetracked a lot though, and instead of just telling that story, he tells his kids stories from his life in New York in the present day.

Before he had kids, Ted (played by Josh Radnor) was a young architect looking for love. His best friend Marshall (Jason Segel) is a lawyer and Marshall’s wife Lily (Alyson Hannigan) is a kindergarten teacher. Marshall and Lily are the biggest relationship in the show; they've been together since the first day in college and have the love that everyone wishes they could have. On the outskirts are news reporter Robin (Cobie Smulders), an immigrant from Canada who is afraid of commitment, and the playboy Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), who finds the idea of marriage completely asinine and instead spends his time trying to sleep with as many girls as possible, any way he can. The show follows the lives of these five friends as they experience life, love, and hardship in New York City, all while "future" Ted gets closer and closer to revealing to his kids (and us) how he actually met their mother.

The fifth season of the show has created many changes in the characters' lives. Ted is now a professor of architecture at Columbia University, while Barney and Robin, who began a relationship in the fourth season’s finale, have now broken up. To watch the 100th episode, these are the details you need to know. “Guys Vs. Suits” revolves around both Ted and Barney. There’s a new hot bartender at their favorite bar McClaren’s named Karina (played by Stacey Keibler of WWE and Dancing with the Stars fame) and Barney is attempting to bed her, having never made it with a hot bartender before. There’s only one problem: she hates guys in suits. In order to do this, Barney must forgo the thing he loves most in the world, his collection of suits, and “suit down” in order to get her in the sack. Ted, meanwhile, meets a pretty college student named Cindy (Rachel Bilson) and asks her on a date. It turns out that Cindy has a connection to Ted’s future wife, but what is it?

 “Girls Vs. Suits” is a Ted/Barney episode, with the rest of the cast just kind of there. Marshall and Lily in particular are not given a lot to do, and Robin gets a quick arc of being threatened by not being the hottest girl at the bar. This is all about Ted’s arc and Barney’s arc. It’s impossible to go into detail about Ted’s story without giving away massive spoilers, and if you’re as big of a fan as I am, you probably don’t want to know until you see it. Let’s just say this is big news and gets us closer to the identity of the mother.

Barney’s arc headlines the whole episode, and is absolutely hilarious to watch. Throughout the seasons, everyone has seen how attached he is to his suits, and having to give them up for a chance to bed Karina is similar to a drug addict who is forced to give up crack. Without the suit, Barney is not whole. Neil Patrick Harris has been the highlight of this show since the first season, and he keeps the funny going in this episode, with all the little quirks and inflections he is known for.

The best part about “Girls Vs. Suits” is the end of the episode, when the musical number titled “Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit” kicks in. After Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, we’ve all learned that Neil Patrick Harris has amazing vocal ability, and he ups the ante in the finale of the show. It’s a well choreographed, well sung, and very entertaining song that caps off the 100th episode right. If there is anything bad to be said, it’s that it feels a little forced, like they are doing this solely because NPH did Dr. Horrible and hosted the Tonys.

This episode is another feather in the cap of the show, being entertaining and doing an excellent job at getting closer to the identity of Ted’s future wife without giving it away yet, building the suspense to a fever pitch. “Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit” is a wonderful musical number and undoubtedly will be all across YouTube within a week of this episode’s airing. As Barney himself would say, this episode is legen…wait for it…

How I Met Your Mother’s 100th episode airs on CBS Monday January 11 at 8PM. If you want to get into it beforehand, catch the show in its usual time slot on Mondays at 8PM, or watch full episodes on the official website.

…DARY!

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