Sometimes it's the little things, the bits and pieces, that matter most. Everything in an episode of a show can be working perfectly, and then there's a snag. There's something, some little thing, that throws the show off kilter.
That seems to be what happened last night on How I Met Your Mother. It was the funniest episode in a long time, and then, all of the sudden, there was a moment that should have been great… but it wasn't. The new Robin Sparkles video, "Sandcastles in the Sand," her follow-up to "Let's go to the Mall" a video which should have been utterly fantastic, simply didn't click as well as the original. Granted, Robin explains in the episode that the follow-up was a disappointment and flop, but it simply wasn't flop enough to be really funny. Or, possibly, it was funny, but simply couldn't match the hilarity of the original video.
Here, you check them both out (original first, new song second), and you tell me what you think.
Sure, sure, that's Tiffany, Alan Thicke, and Dawson (the kid from the creek) in the second video, but maybe that's part of the problem too. Maybe they were trying just a little too hard to get that '80s vibe going. Maybe it was all just a little too forced.
The rest of the episode was funny; Robin's revertigo and wanting to hook up with Simon (Dawson) despite the fact that he was a complete loser worked, as did Barney's obsession with finding the new video. Plus, the episode didn't focus on Ted and his searching for his future wife, a storyline that, while crucially important, desperately needs to take a backseat from time to time. Heck, I didn't even mind the "surprise," although telegraphed, ending. I just wanted more out of Sparkles.
I also wanted more out of Top Gear, but I want more out of that show every single week. Oh, I don't mean that they don't deliver a great hour of television on an almost weekly basis, I just want it to be two or three hours of great television. I don't want the season to be ending. I want Hammond, Clarkson, and May to be in my life with new episodes all the time. I want every episode of Top Gear ready to go on my TiVo every single moment of the day.
Boy, that makes me sound weird and more than a little bit obsessed with the genius that is Top Gear, and yet, I think I am. I've called Top Gear "quite possibly the best show on television," and with every episode I watch I'm closer and closer to removing the "quite possibly" bit of that quote. It's funny, it's smart, and though the presenters are silly, they clearly quite love what they're doing.
Please, if you haven't checked out Top Gear yet, you need to before the current season ends. You just need to. It airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET, and as far as I can tell, BBC America only has an East Coast feed, so you need to adjust for your time zone.