Hump, Marry, Kill: How We Met The Mother

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HMK_bodyPhoto: Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE; Ron P. Jaffe/Fox; Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.
Hump: I know he married Mary, but, seriously, John Watson and Sherlock Holmes 4eva. That best-man speech, man.

Marry: So, I’m definitely a little weak regarding any and all renditions of “La Vie en Rose” due to repeated viewings of Love Me If You Dare (do yourself a favor and watch it ASAP) over the past few weeks. But, still, Cristin Milioti’s plaintive, soulful ukulele version on this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother gave me chills.

We finally got the backstory to how the titular “your mother” came to be the bass player at Barney and Robin’s wedding. And, while it’s a tad cheesy (her life’s mission is to “end poverty,” which I don’t fault her for — it’s just more of a 10-year-old’s answer than an adult’s), the writers only had 22 minutes to make us fall in love with the woman we’ve been waiting eight seasons to meet. They had to give her universally beloved qualities, and “end poverty” is probably the number-one way to communicate that a character is kind and caring.

We haven’t yet seen how Ted and the mother actually meet, although I kind of expected him to clap after her performance on the balcony. This is Ted, after all; he’s been heart-on-his-sleeve, balls-out searching for the love of his life pretty much since he was first sentient enough to understand the concept of marriage. The man wears driving gloves. He clearly isn’t afraid to make his presence known in a situation.

Alas, the meeting was not yet to be. But, at least we now know how we met Luke and Penny’s mother.

Kill: So, I turned on my TV for some background noise when I got home last night, and it was tuned to CBS. Two and a Half Men was on. I decided to just let it happen because I was making dinner and only half paying attention. Except…that show actually has the ability to make me angry. Like, bra-burning, night-taking-back grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

In last night’s episode, Alan threw a bachelor party for his future stepfather, an octogenarian named Marty Pepper (of course) who’s been married six times, played by Carl Reiner. (You’re better than this, Reiner.) Since he’s Alan, world’s biggest schlemiel, he decides to get strippers — for a party consisting of four altakakers (you’re welcome for the Yiddish lesson) taking place at four in the afternoon.

Extremely predictable long story short (the only other plot alternative would have been lap-dance-induced heart attack), future stepfather decides to take the two strippers home while also concluding that he doesn’t really want to get married again. But, when Alan tells his mother, instead of getting upset, she just says, “If he doesn’t want to get married, that’s fine. You can’t force someone to love you.” This is a formidable, strong-willed woman. Her reaction is completely out of character and 100% indicative of the show’s demeaning view of women. It’s as if she has no agency in her relationship and what she wants doesn’t matter at all.

In the end, of course, Walden and Alan convince future stepfather to go through with it. "How?" you probably didn’t ask. Well, they go to his house (where he’s currently shacked up with the two young strippers) and use the age-old argument that Alan’s mother is super lenient and game for anything. “Given the chance, my mother would probably sleep with you and the strippers,” Alan says about his own mother. Walden chimes in with “Yeah, she’s kind of a whore.”

It’s just such a cheap resolution to the already cheap conflict. There’s a way to fix the cold-feet situation without calling a 70-something-year-old woman a whore and implying that she would have to have a four-way with two younger women just to get her fiancé‎ to actually go through with marrying her. Oh well, at least I remembered why I don’t watch Two and a Half Men on the reg.