Tuesday , April 23 2024
Monday night television, it's all about the game.

Playing Games on Monday Night

The games people play.  Last night was rife with them.  The 8:00 hour of television alone featured Marshall's playing a first Slapsgiving game with Barney on How I Met Your Mother, and Chuck playing dating games with Lou over on NBC.

Thank goodness I'm married, because I couldn't date anyone, and Chuck proved that to me.  He sat there at the deli yesterday for a ludicrously long period of time in order to talk to Lou.  Her not being willing to talk to him unless he was ordering a sandwich was insane.  The semi-smile she gave as he took a second number (when his first number led to him being served by the wrong counterperson) and had to wait all over again was evil.  She wanted to see how long he would wait.  She wanted to see if he was dedicated.  I don't play those games. 

That show also featured Sarah's game with Chuck.  She lied to him the other week about not thinking their relationship could go anywhere, and then last night did things to hurt his relationship with Lou, because she does think her own relationship with Chuck might have a future.  I'm very much a “say what you mean and mean what you say” kind of person.  It's gotten me in trouble from time to time, but so be it.  Honesty is the best policy. 

HIMYM was also all about the game, but in this case it was the much happier notion of Marshall's toying with Barney over their slap bet.  Marshall invented a new holiday, Slapsgiving, which is kind of like a Festivus for the rest of us.  The entire holiday centered around Marshall taunting Barney about the impending slap (number three out of a possible five Marshall is allowed to give Barney).  Lilly actually kiboshed the whole thing for a while due to it ruining her Thanksgiving, but Barney was a major pain in the butt and she reinstituted Slapsgiving just in time to have Barney get the slap of his life.  Plus, Marshall sang a song about it.  I loved the song.  I also loved the music video.  Check it out:



Journeyman, on the other hand, feels entirely like a game.  I know that it's deadly serious to Dan, his wife, and brother, but the way they play with the timeline feels like it's all sort of done in jest.  Looking at last night's episode, Dan finally started to convince his brother, Jack, that he was actually traveling through time.  Jack then helped Dan out with information about the episode's bad guy, Bennett.  Dan saved the day, which altered the timeline so that Jack never had the conversation with Dan about Bennett (Bennett was already in jail in 2007 so there was nothing for Jack to check up on).  This then meant that Jack no longer believed Dan about time-traveling because the convincing conversation never occurred.  Head spinning yet?  No?  Well try this then:  if they never had the conversation Jack never fed Dan the necessary information to help Dan get Bennett which means that he didn't get Bennett in the past which would mean that they did have the conversation and that he did get Bennett which would mean that… you get the idea. 

Normally I avoid this sort of logic in a time-travel show, or I try to anyway.  I attempt not to go down the circular logic rabbit hole, unless the show forces it.  Which they did in this case.  I think they tried to be far too clever. 

Enough, I'm off to play some Crazy Eights. 

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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